81 million people in the US live within 600 miles of the Wisconsin Dells, "The Waterpark Capital of the World!®"


Beth SDid you know that more than ¼ of the total US population lives within a 600 mile radius of the Wisconsin Dells?  For many, this is less than an 8-hour drive to a destination that delivers endless hours of activities for people of all ages!

My family of five has been traveling to the Dells nearly every October for the past eight years, and we’re planning a return visit over Fall Break this year.  With three boys ages 3-14 years old, our interests change daily, and the Dells is one of the few drive-to destinations that the whole family looks forward to. Here is a list of what you can do during your trip to the Dells!

At the waterpark:

  • My 14-year old –LOVES the wave pools, surfing, water slides and sometimes a hot tub to (in his words) “chillax”J
  • My 6-year old – He’s crazy about playing basketball and getting his feet wet riding the big kid slides!  With zero-degree entry pools, water guns galore, and plenty of splashing water, there are endless kid-friendly areas to play.
  • My 3-year old – Last year he loved floating on the lazy river, chasing his brothers and gliding down the tot sized slides. 
  • Where can you find all of these amazing water park activities in the Dells?  Our personal favorites are the Wilderness Resort, Kalahari, and Mount Olympus
     

Away from the waterpark:

This week on the RCI Blog, we’ll be sharing stories and photos from RCI subscribing members who have also traveled to the Dells. Be sure to come back to take a look!

Have you vacationed in the Wisconsin Dells, what other recommendations do you have (for me and the other 81 million people living within 600 miles)?

Here’s a pic of my 2-oldest boys at the wave pool. 

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Romantic Getaways Are a Time to Reconnect with the One You Love


Beth S. - Timeshare Exchange TipsSeveral years ago, my husband (at that time, my boyfriend) and I went away over Valentine’s Day weekend. We traveled several hours south of where we live in Indiana to a place where we could ski, visit local restaurants, and (of course in Indiana in February) watch a Hoosier basketball game.

It was a great weekend to just get away, relax, and enjoy one another’s company…and little did I know, it was also the weekend my boyfriend planned to propose to me! I had no idea the big surprise was coming, so it will forever be a memorable experience.

Many of our subscribing members have also taken romantic getaways (these don’t always have to be on Valentine’s Day!), so this week on our blog we are going to share stories and photos with you from some of those members. And if you have a story about a romantic vacation of your own, please feel free to share it by commenting below.

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Nothing Beats a Warm Winter Getaway!


Beth S. - Timeshare Exchange TipsThere’s been a lot of blogging about the snow, skiing and destinations like Tahoe. Don’t get me wrong – I love a winter wonderland. But, I also love heading somewhere warm when I’ve had enough of the cold! Several years ago, my husband, son and I went to Florida at the start of the winter. Not only was it nice to escape the start of a snowy season in Indiana, but it was also nice to return back with a tan!

This week, we’ll be sharing stories and pictures from subscribing members about their own warm winter getaways. Check back to see the fantastic places they’ve visited!

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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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