Aruba


We had additional points left at the end of the year 2 years ago. We've always heard that Aruba had great beaches and a friendly safe island. But the high season starts at the end of December. We traded our points for a vacation just before the Christmas rush to this Island and found the off season great. There were no great crowds, the restaurants really appreciated our business and so did our resort. The weather was slightly cooler than later but we don't want to burn anyway! We had a great trip and found other people who appreciate the off season travel times. What a wonderful trip, we were able to stay across from one of the best beaches, could walk to a lot of activities and enjoy the activities at our resort and the local area. I'm open to trying new vacation resorts in areas we haven't explored in the past! We can't say enough about the benefits we have with our timeshare.

 

- Anthony B. from Magnolia, DE

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I Love Cabo!


I want to tell you about Cabo! I just loved it there! I was amazed by all the cactus and foothills surrounded by the gorgeous deep blue water. The rock formations and the Arch in the Sea of Cortez are spectacular! Locals said that it only rains approximately 11 days a year. Since I live in Florida, I noticed the lack of humidity and enjoyed it immediately. It was true desert conditions, in the 80's during the day and cooled nicely each evening. This was a timeshare trade for me, staying at the RCI Gold Crown, five-star resort Pueblo Bonito Resort at Sunset Beach. The resort is situated on the Western side of the tip of Baja, on a hillside overlooking the Pacific. This spectacular getaway provides incredible views from hacienda-style villas overlooking a magnificent expanse of private beach and sparkling deep blue sea. This has to be the most fantastic resort I have ever experienced. The luxurious all-suite accommodations along with five ocean-view pools was amazing. Even though the beach there is non-swimmable because of the strong currents, walks on the beach and listening to the pounding waves was breathtaking. There is magnificent dining on property but be certain to make reservations. All the restaurants are very popular, The Spa massages and facials were relaxing and delightful. The resort provides complimentary shuttle golf carts to escort guests around the property. They also offer a shuttle bus to adjacent Pueblo Bonito Pacifica, and nearby (10 minutes) to Pueblo Bonito Los Cabos as well as Pueblo Bonito Rose where you can enjoy full use of all amenities and restaurants. These properties are adjacent to each other and are located on one of the best swimmable beaches in Los Cabos, Medano Beach. This is also near downtown and within walking distance to many shops and restaurants. Be sure to try the tortilla soup at The Office. Best I have ever tasted! And you can dine with your feet in the sand! The marina is also located nearby providing boats for diving, whale watching, deep sea fishing and glassbottom boats with boat tours for spectacular views of Lover's Beach and the Arch.

The Los Cabos International airport is approximately 45 minutes from the resort and is near the quaint town of San Jose del Cabo. I recommend arranging transportation with the resort in advance of your arrival. If you rent a car be certain to drive approximately 30 minutes up the Pacific coast to Todos Santos to visit the famed Hotel California and many other interesting shops and sights in that area.

As you can tell I definitely enjoyed Cabo and certainly recommend that you experience this destination for your next vacation. The people are extremely friendly and accommodating and do everything possible to make your vacation a wonderful memory!

- Janelle A. from Clearwater, FL

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Twenty-three Years with RCI


Our subscribing membership with RCI began when we purchased our first timeshare at Breezy Point, MN in 1985. We made our first exchange the following year for Spring Break with our three daughters to Oceanside, CA. In 1989 we traded for a week in Cancun and purchased another timeshare. We made other exchanges to locations in Florida, California, Hawaii, New Orleans, Texas, Colorado, Arizona, Greece and Canada over the years. We even made an exchange for a houseboat in Florida! We have always been able to get an exchange for the location of our choice. All trips were enjoyable, but Greece was the most outstanding. It was on the island of Crete, which has beautiful scenery and rich history. It was our first experience with Greek culture and we loved it. We have visited Greece many times since. RCI has been a winner for us!

- Norma V. from Burnsville, MN
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South Africa 2003


This was our first real trip using our timeshare. We were told by everyone that you have to trade Gold for Gold, Silver for Silver, and so on, that is so not true. With RCI on your side the world is open...We traded for Cabana Beach just outside of Durban, South Africa, the top RCI affiliated resort in the country. WE GOT IT! What an adventure we had. The resort was wonderful, right on the water with spectacular sunrises over the Indian Ocean. Cabana was home base to a week of once-in-a-lifetime day trips. We went diving with sharks, saw a recreated Zulu Village in the day of King Shaka and went on a game drive. Sharks withstanding the game drive ended up giving us the biggest threat of all. Halfway up the mountain we were met head on by a young bull elephant. Nowhere to turn around and he started walking right towards us! We had to back up down the road all the way, with the elephant flapping his ears and swinging his trunk. We later learned from the rangers that there was a new born calf and he was being big brother. Loved it!

- Richard S. from Houston, TX
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Baseball Spring Training in Florida


For the last three years my wife and I have traveled to Orlando for vacation. We first went to Walt Disney World and other activities in the area. We went to three Braves baseball games during the March spring training. The next year we went to nine baseball games but included the Astros to our game plan all in the same Orlando area.

Well, last year we used our RCI subscribing membership and traded into five weeks of timeshares for 31 spring training games in 34 days. It was a lot of fun and we got season tickets at the Nationals and the Astros parks. We had the same seats every day so the people we were sitting with became friends and we will do it again this year. What a great way to spend a vacation and enjoy friends that we have met in past years.

- Robert W. from Hayes, VA
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Sedona


Traded our timeshare for a trip to Sedona, Arizona in 2007, stayed at the Sedona Pines Resort in April of that year. One of the most tranquil, picturesque places we've ever been to. There is definitely an energy there that really is part of its charm. The color of the sky along with the landscape at all times of the day really brings one back to nature and all it has to offer. On a tour we took with a guide, a member of the party asked him where the best spot was for a photo. He looked at this person and said; "anywhere you want." That about sums it up.

- Ken L. from Simsbury Center, CT
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Our first "timeshare" vacation


When we first bought our timeshare, like most people, I was a little skeptical. After trading in our week with RCI we started looking for options for our first timeshare exchange vacation. My wife and I settled on a trip to Virginia to see colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Washington D.C. Our exchange went through and a few months later we were headed up on our first "timeshare" vacation. We were still a little hesitant and doubtful about the whole thing. Would this place be a total dump? Had we been taken for a ride? Was the whole timeshare thing a big sham?

All of our questions and doubts were answered when we checked in to our condo at Powhatan Plantation. When we walked into our unit we were pleasantly surprised. This was a million times better than staying in a hotel. We had 2 bedrooms, a hot tub, a living room, kitchen, etc. We had an amazing week of fun and relaxation, and most importantly, time together. We have been huge fans of our timeshare ever since and have enjoyed 13 years of amazing vacations since!

- Aaron Y. from Lawrenceville, GA
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New England 2008


New England has always been one of the top places we've wanted to visit in the fall. Last year with the help of RCI, we were able to make our dream come true! We traded our timeshare for one at the VILLAGE OF LOON MOUNTAIN LODGES in Lincoln, New Hampshire at the end of September through the beginning of October. It was the perfect location that allowed us to drive near the resort and also farther away to see so much of the area and the autumn beauty. One of my favorite highlights was visiting the home of the great American poet Robert Frost. His work has been so inspiring to me and being able to walk through his home, stroll the grounds and see the view of the New Hampshire mountains that he saw made me feel like I knew him just a little bit better. With a view like his, it's not hard to understand why he was such an amazing writer with so much inspiration, right in front of him. We also traveled to the Lake Winnepesaukee region where one of my favorite movies, "On Golden Pond" was filmed. On other days, we took drives to see the Ben & Jerry's ice cream factory and the VonTrapp Lodge in Vermont, as well as driving many of the scenic highways in the area to take in the gorgeous natural surroundings.

- Nancy H. from Phoenix, AZ
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Cayman Islands 2009


Grand Cayman Island is one of my favorite places in the caribbean to visit. This was my 3rd trip where I utilized my RCI membership to trade into a wonderful timeshare. We stayed at Morritts Tortuga on the east end of the island. The resort was wonderful, the water tempature was 86 degrees and the diving and snorkeling were fantastic. The island has certainly bounced back from hurricane Ivan and is thriving more than ever. Don't miss the Dolphin Discovery if you have kids. My 7 yr old loved the experience of swimming and riding on a dolphin. The new Turtle Farm offers the opportunity of spending the day inside the farm and swimming and snorkeling with the turtles. There are great bargains in Georgetown, only suggest shopping when the cruise ships are not in town, otherwise way too crowded. If you have never been to the Cayman Islands I would put it on my list of places not to miss. We hope to go back in 4 years, when we can trade again through RCI.

- Shaun M. from Chula Vista, CA
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Even More Timeshare Exchange Tips


Beth S. - Timeshare Exchange TipsA few weeks ago, I wrote a blog entry called "A Few Timeshare Exchange Tips". In that post, I shared what I learned from a subscribing member when I first started with RCI ten years ago as a Vacation Guide. If you thought that members knew everything about timeshare resorts, keep reading to see what another veteran vacation planner taught me!

It was my very first call with multiple bookings. The member was a self-proclaimed family reunion planner, and planned a huge event for her family every other year. Her requirements? A new vacation destination each year, at least five 2-bedroom units, and it had to be in the summertime.  To top it off, she only owned one week per year!

Here’s how she planned: She saved her deposits for two years at a time, and then used them for two of the units. She always planned a year in advance, deposited early to help maximize the Trading Power of her week, and picked an area where there was Extra VacationsSM getaways inventory so that she could easily get the extra three units. She explained that timing is everything. This is true whether you need five units or one unit!

I’m not saying this strategy will work for everyone, but the biggest thing I learned is that no matter what kind of vacation you are planning - whether it’s for a reunion, a romantic getaway for two, or a place the kids would enjoy – you can be really creative in using your existing timeshare resorts ownership (plus, if you familiarize yourself with our Extra Vacations getaways inventory available to RCI members, you open up the doors to even more vacation opportunities beyond just your exchange options!).

Are there any additional tips you have? If so, please comment below.

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A Few Timeshare Exchange Tips


Beth S. - Timeshare Exchange TipsWhen I started at RCI as a Vacation Guide 10 years ago, I was a college student with absolutely no discretionary income so needless to say, my exposure to “timesharing” was quite limited. I can guarantee that when you first joined RCI, you knew more than I did in my first days.


In addition to my training class, I also learned about RCI and timesharing from you (and other RCI members). Although I have since moved to another department in the company, I will never forget the important tips and tricks I learned about timesharing, timeshare exchange, and our affiliated resorts from members like you.

On one of my first phone calls, I was asked how long I’d been with the company. I said I had just finished training, and the caller laughed at me. She’d been a member for over 20 years, and trust me, she knew everything! She had a confirmed timeshare exchange she couldn’t use, but instead of canceling it, she wanted an RCI Guest Certificate. She explained that she would lose too much Trading Power if she canceled, because she hadn’t purchased (what we today call) Vacation Protection.

So what did I learn? The first thing was that you should definitely understand Vacation Protection and how it works because, without it, if you need to cancel your vacation, you will lose your timeshare exchange fee and your Trading Power will be recalculated to what it would be if you had deposited on the day that you canceled, which can make it more difficult to find a future timeshare exchange.

The other thing this member taught me was that if you choose not to purchase Vacation Protection (or you cannot rebook or are not sure when you can travel again), you should consider gifting your timeshare exchange vacation to a friend or family member with an RCI Guest Certificate instead of canceling. You’ll avoid taking a hit on Trading Power, and you’ll be someone’s new best friend!

What special tips and tricks have you learned over the years? Or if you’re a newbie, what information could help you better understand your membership? Leave us a comment and let us know what you have learned or would like to hear more about.
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Trading Power at RCI: How Our Timeshare Exchange Program Works


Gordon G. - RCI Membership and Timeshare Vacation InfoTrading Power is very important for you when you are booking a timeshare exchange with RCI! This is how we determine what timeshare exchange offers to provide you.

 

The RCI Weeks program is based on a like-for-like principle. This means we will always work to provide you with a timeshare exchange similar to the deposit you provided us. That is, if you provide us with two weeks in a very popular destination, we will try to give you two weeks in another equally popular destination.

 

Most of the inventory in our timeshare exchange program is provided by members who deposit their ownership week with us. RCI members have up to 24 months before their start date to make a deposit. Within that two year window, other members may ask for that same start date for their vacation. So our job is to try and match everyone we can with all the deposits we get from other members.

 

Although all exchanges are made based on Trading Power, it takes higher Trading Power to travel to highly demanded areas with limited supply, or during highly demanded weeks of the year (like Christmas Week, 4th of July, etc.).

 

The Trading Power of your deposited week is based on a lot of factors, including how many members have historically asked for your type of deposit, how many deposits like yours we get, the quality of your resort, and the size and season of your deposit, just to mention a few. We compare all of these to the vacation that you request, and if the Trading Power is similar (or if your deposit has more Trading Power), then you will have a great chance of getting what you are asking for.

 

You probably have heard our Guides talk about depositing early. That's because you can usually help to maximize your Trading Power by depositing early. If you don’t deposit your week until 3 to 4 weeks before your vacation, we cannot give your week to someone else until then. And I'm sure most of you would want to know if you had an exchange long before that!

 

Also, other members are depositing into our timeshare exchange program all the time. So, if the vacation you want is not available right now, enter an ongoing search for your choice of destination or time of year! These searches get prioritized for matching new member deposits. So an ongoing search helps improve your chances of getting the timeshare exchange you want.

 

Finally, to maximize the number of people we can send on vacation, we are always acquiring inventory from our resorts and other sources like hotels, especially in big cities where there are not many timeshares.

 

Our goal is to use every unit we get and to get you on the best resort vacation we can. So deposit early, enter ongoing searches if a unit is not immediately available, and be as flexible as possible! Have a great vacation!
 

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