RCI’s UK "Holiday" Magazine Gets a Makeover


Claire W. - UK and Holiday Magazine UpdatesWhen you received your last copy of Holiday magazine you may have noticed we’ve had a bit of a revamp. Like it? We hope so, because many of the ideas came from you!

At the end of 2009, we sent out some member surveys, and we got so many great ideas and feedback from you that we decided to incorporate them into the magazine (updates were also made to RCI North America’s subscribing member publication Endless Vacation® Magazine – you can check those out here) . And as someone who is very involved in the management of Holiday magazine, I can tell you that feedback is always very helpful!

One of the things you told us is that you find travel and vacation tips, RCI information and hearing from other members very useful.  So we now have an all-new, revamped member section called Your Holiday. This is where you’ll find details about your membership, all the latest RCI news, new timeshare resorts for you to try, exclusive offers, recommendations and stories from other members, and much, much more.

We’ve also introduced a new regular feature, Ask the RCI Experts, where you can send us your vacation queries and travel questions to be answered by us.

From the October issue we will be including a Member Travelogue  featuring interesting travel tales from RCI members (we’ve already heard from one member who slept in the same bed as Bill Clinton on holiday – albeit two weeks apart!).

And we’ve introduced regular food features as you told us you like eating out and trying new foods on holiday. (Who doesn’t!?)

We hope you love the new-look Holiday magazine and we’re really keen to hear your opinions and feedback. Let us know what you think by commenting below.

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Cape Cod Memories 2009!


Gary S. - Travel Tips and InformationWe drove from our PA home to check out Cape Cod for the first time and were not disappointed. The fresh seafood and beautiful coastal scenery experienced on that late August drive, was just a small indication of the wonderful time in store for us! We stayed at the Harbor Hill resort at the very tip of the cape in Provincetown. Entering our timeshare unit was like walking into a palace in terms of luxury and size! The resort was surrounded by water on three sides with magnificent views of the town and the beaches from nearly every vantage point.

There were many activities to keep us busy: whale watching, swimming at the one of the many beaches and exploring the unique culture of Provincetown. The weather was picture perfect every day of our stay.

A most memorable day was our trip to Martha’s Vineyard. We parked and rode the ferry; had a great lobster for lunch at Coop de Ville, and after an informative bus tour of the island, we browsed through the shops on Circuit Avenue while scoping out a dinner spot.  Outside one of the restaurants we had earlier considered, a motorcade pulled up, and from beyond the gathering crowd, we made out President Obama and family entering the restaurant. We barely missed having dinner with the President!

After checking out, we drove to Boston, explored Faneuil Hall, the New England Aquarium and then dinner at La Famiglia Giorgio’s, with ample portions of expertly prepared Italian food “where everyone is treated like family”. A perfect way to end a perfect vacation experience!

Check back on the RCI blog this week when we share photos and stories about Cape Cod from RCI subscribing members.

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LOS CABOS TRIP 2007


Our family vacation to the Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach Resort in Los Cabos in 2007 was amazing! Both of our adult daughters were so impressed by the resort that they took the timeshare tour onsite to get more information about becoming an RCI subscribing member someday when their finances become more stable. Anytime we have vacation plans booked through RCI, they try to get some time off work to join us no matter where we stay! We all are definitely impressed with all of the resorts we have stayed at! Just wish we could have done this type of travel when our children were young! RCI is the BEST!!!

- Mary M. from Ada, MI
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Learn what RCI is doing in the Big Apple!


Barbara E. - RCI Subscribing Member BenefitsHere at RCI we frequently discuss how to create an amazing experience for our subscribing members – it is the major topic of conversation – but we rarely get to meet our members. It’s true. Most of us have friends or neighbors who are RCI members – with 2.6 million members in North America it is a likely occurrence to know a few – but few of us ever meet with those we don’t personally know. Until now.

For the first time in North America, RCI will be holding regular events open to timeshare owners at affiliated resorts. Our pilot program will be at The Manhattan Club in New York City – a location near many members, former members and timeshare owners.

Events will run most Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings and will be open to timeshare owners interested in learning more about the recent enhancements to the RCI Weeks program. The first event will take place Wed., July 13 for RCI subscribing members who are also Manhattan Club owners.  The last event will take place on Wed., September 28.

Don’t have time to attend an event in New York City during your visit? No worries. We already have one of our best Vacation Guides on site at The Manhattan Club (Wed. – Sun. 9am-5pm) to answer your questions and provide information.

You don’t need to be an RCI member to attend. We welcome everyone visiting New York or coming into New York for work or play to head over to The Manhattan Club and meet us at the RCI Welcome Center.

In honor of our exciting events in the Big Apple, we will be sharing photos and stories about New York from RCI subscribing members this week on the RCI blog. Be sure to check back and don’t forget to visit us at The Manhattan Club!

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Florida Spring Break


We bought a timeshare in South Africa a few years ago for a great price. We use our timeshare to exchange through RCI and go to FL on spring break every year. We've always stayed at great resorts and never had any problems. The RCI online exchange is a great tool to search for your vacation and the information RCI sends to you is very helpful with detailed information on the resort. Once our kids are out of school, we look forward to many vacations at various times of the year to exchange our timeshare through RCI.

- Wendy H. from Lansing, MI
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RCI celebrates 37 years!


Phil B. - Timeshare Exchange and Resort Vacation NewsThis week marks the 37th anniversary of RCI. 37 years! We have definitely come a long way since 1974, when our exchange requests were kept on index cards! Since then we have reached so many milestones, some of them including the launch of the resort directory (1975), our website (1996), the RCI Points® program (2000), and Enhanced Search Online (2008). And during the last year alone, we introduced the RCI Points Platinum® membership tier, enhancements to the RCI Weeks program with more transparency, and a bunch of ways to stay connected with RCI in social media including a Facebook page, a YouTube channel, a Twitter handle, an iPhone® app, and this blog. And trust me, there will be more to add to this list this year!

First of all, we’ve already launched a cool new version of our “Share Your Vacation” Facebook app. This version allows you to compete against your friends and other users and to earn fun online trophies – all based on the information you enter about vacations (you can check out the app on our Facebook page by clicking on the “App” tab). Also, the RCI app is now available on your iPad® (with the RCI Affiliated Resort Directory, RCI TV and RCI SnapBook features) and you will see the Endless Vacation® magazine app for the iPad in a few weeks! This is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much more to come as we continue to completely transform your timeshare experience.

This week on the RCI blog, we’ll be sharing stories and photos with you from RCI subscribing members who traveled to celebrate an anniversary. Be sure to check back. And if you have an anniversary story of your own, please feel free to share it by commenting below.

The RCI Blog is an independent publication and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Apple Inc.

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Our Goal…High Fives By The Pool!


Phil B. - Timeshare Exchange and Resort Vacation NewsA few months ago, I blogged about the fun and exciting tools we created to help you learn about RCI and our affiliated resorts. Well, we are adding to the list!

We recently launched an RCI Facebook page and Twitter account (we're @RCI_Timeshare) and we’re also planning big additions to our RCI app for the iPhone®. All of these are fantastic ways to stay in touch with RCI, but Facebook and Twitter are great ways to meet and interact with other RCI subscribing members. Which brings me to today’s topic: What are we trying to accomplish with all this social and online stuff?

Simply stated, we’re giving you more useful information in a setting where you can hear from other folks who love to travel. I love the idea of creating a tight-knit community of RCI members who share travel ideas and tips and wish each other well on vacation travels. I can see a day where someone may spot an RCI hat or beach towel at one of our affiliated resorts, and approach that person and say, “Hey, are you an RCI member? So am I!” (This is where the high five comes in.) “This is my wife. How is your vacation going? Have you tried the spa yet?”

So jump into Facebook and Twitter and start hanging out with others who are passionate about travel. While doing so, you’ll find fun and informative updates from RCI – like vacation tips, polls, trivia, updates on our affiliated resorts, and suggestions on FS2D (Fun Stuff to Do) when visiting destinations.

But more importantly, you’ll see what other members are saying about their trips and you can post your own suggestions and tips. And the best part of our Facebook page? Our new app called Share Your Vacation by RCI! It lets you plot all of your vacations on a map and see where your Facebook friends have been. Or, you can just see where other RCI members are traveling to get an idea of where the new hot spots are. Now that’s cool!

If you like hearing from RCI, but prefer to keep it short and sweet (like 140 characters or less short and sweet), then follow us on Twitter.

And by all means, if you’re at one of our affiliated resorts and hear someone talking about RCI, introduce yourself and jump into the conversation. And give them a high five!

iPhone is a registered trademark of Apple Inc.

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How EndlessVacation.com Can Fit Into Your Vacation Planning


Emily S. - EndlessVacation.com and Destination InfoA couple months ago, I traveled to Mexico for the first time and visited a timeshare rental in Cabo San Lucas. The views of the sea were amazing, the days were filled with sun, and I had a chance to travel around the town to check out the beaches, restaurants (try The Office!), and shops. Now that I’m back and the summer is over, I’m already thinking of where in Mexico I’ll want to visit next.

Since a lot of my job at RCI consists of working on www.EndlessVacation.com, it only made sense for me to turn to the website for information on some of the most popular Mexico timeshare rental destinations. I found so many useful tips, I thought I’d share some of them with you:

While researching things to do if I stayed in Cancun or Riviera Maya, I found this article, Away for the day in Mexico, extremely helpful. It shows you three day trips you can take: Chichén Itzá, Valladolid or Isla Mujeres. Even better, these trips are so different from each other, you are sure to find one that you’d like! Just set up your timeshare rental as your home base, and then visit any of the other three areas during your stay.

I also came across an article on the relaxing island of Cozumel. Not only does it tell you about the cultural and shopping hotspots, but it gives you a great inside scoop on where to go to snag a hammock, where the beaches are the least crowded, and how to best experience viewing the sea life.

Finally, this article outlines the popular beach destinations in Mexico (like Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta, and Playa del Carmen), so you can pick the one that’s right for you. Whether you are heading to Mexico for sailing, beaches, shopping, the nightlife, or the food (or any combination of those), this article will set you in the right direction.

If you have visited a Mexican timeshare rental, what suggestions can you provide help to others who are also planning a vacation to a Mexico destination? Also, how do you use EndlessVacation.com? What do you like best about the website?

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California Vacation: More than Just a Summer Timeshare Destination


Susie M. - RCI Subscribing Member Vacation ExperiencesIn my position here at RCI, I get to hear directly from subscribing members about their timeshare vacation experiences. A lot of our RCI® subscribing members choose a California vacation for one reason or another, especially in the winter. They talk about the beaches, the wineries, and the good weather — a great combination to warm up any winter. Some of them are planning a stay at a timeshare for a wedding, honeymoon, or anniversary. Some of them are just planning for some time away. Here’s what other RCI members had to say* about their California vacation:

Robert, Palmdale, CA: Our trip to Arnold, California in March was awesome. The Big Trees State Park was just down the road and the kids went snowboarding 20 minutes away. Lots of hiking and fishing. The nearest lake was gorgeous and we saw lots of wildlife. People in the town were really friendly and helpful. The resort was comfy and had a warm feel to it. We want to return there.

Joyce, Salem, NH: My husband and I were excited to plan our exchange trip to Capistrano California.  We exchanged our Cape Cod timeshare for a beautiful two bedroom, two bath timeshare in the Capistrano Surfside Inn. The timeshare was huge and immaculate and the ocean was just across the street.  Also within walking distance was Dante Point which not only had an active harbor and walking areas with fantastic restaurants and shops, but bikepaths as well for those who wanted to bike around the area.  We visited The Mission at Capistrano and walked the small streets with many unique shops.  We chose this place to have a restful holiday and it was, yet there was plenty to do if we chose to do so.  I would highly recommend this paradise area to anyone who wants to vacation in California.  We would definitely visit again, but there are so many beautiful resorts with RCI, we want to try them all.  We love RCI and the wonderful opportunities it offers us in trying new places and seeking new adventures.

Christine, San Bernardino, CA: In the summer of 2007, my husband and I experienced the most wonderful, relaxing vacation week that we have ever had. We decided to stay at WorldMark Angels Camp, California. During the day, we spent time visiting a couple of local wineries and sightseeing. In the evening, we barbecued dinner, relaxed, and escaped the reality of everyday stresses. It was a wonderfully simple and non-hurried vacation and we are looking forward to getting away again in the future!!

* Although we've corrected some spelling and technical errors, these vacation stories from RCI members are otherwise unchanged. They are not meant to inform you about resorts, destinations or about RCI products and services. RCI always recommends that you do your own research when making travel plans.

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Italy: A Lot of History and A Lot to Do!


Susie M. - RCI Subscribing Member Vacation ExperiencesWho hasn’t dreamed of visiting Italy, even if it's just for a short while? Picture it: lounging in the espresso shops, reading by one of the fountains, dining al fresco with friends, taking a break for gelato…

Some RCI subscribing members have already enjoyed a vacation rental or timeshare exchange vacation in Italy and everything the country has to offer. Since my position at RCI allows me to hear from members about their European vacations, I thought I’d share a few stories* with you:

Larry, Olympia, WA: Last May, when we arrived at Il Poggio, our first week’s stay, it was 9:50 p.m. The resort office closed at 10 p.m., and we were worried we wouldn’t make it. We had a stressful drive from the Rome airport, and were hungry and tired. Il Poggio is located in a small town in Tuscany, and by that time of night, the few stores and eateries were closed. The owner graciously sent a tray of salami, cheese, and bread to our room, and it was even enough for breakfast the next morning. We thoroughly enjoyed our week there, followed by a lovely week on Sardinia, and another week in northern Tuscany.

George, El Cajon, CA: Our trip to Italy was fantastic. We went from Assisi to Sicily. All four weeks were with our RCI weeks. Assisi and Tropea were our favorite. This was a chance for my wife to explore her roots in Sicily and we had a great time with long lost family. Thanks RCI.

Richard, Monroe Township, NJ: Just got back from a wonderful week in Montegrotto Terme. We were a 10-minute train ride from Padua and a 60-minute train ride from Venice. The property was wonderful and located near the train station. The hotel staff was great and the room was immaculate. The town’s shops were very good for browsing and shopping. The food on the half-board was very good and we would return to this property again.

Now it's your turn! Do you have any experiences from your trip to Italy you’d like to share? If so, comment below.

* Although we've corrected some spelling and technical errors, these vacation stories from RCI members are otherwise unchanged. They are not meant to inform you about resorts, destinations or about RCI® products and services. Some stories mention unusual exceptions made or circumstances that may not be typical for most vacationers. RCI always recommends that you do your own research when making travel plans.

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Canyons, Hiking, Beautiful Scenery and More… All on an Arizona Vacation!


Susie M. - RCI Subscribing Member Vacation ExperiencesThree years ago, my family planned a winter vacation to sunny Sedona, Arizona. We bought our Red Rock Pass and picked up a trail map from the local Chamber of Commerce, then we hiked, and hiked, and hiked, each trail offering more adventure and more scenery than the last. We all enjoyed the area immensely, hiking, shopping, dining, and enjoying the fabulous resort pool and hot tub to our hearts’ content.

Making the most of our timeshare travel, we’ve visited Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., even Disney during our winter vacations, but this is the area we like to return to the most. We’re not alone in our adoration of Arizona! At my job with RCI, I am fortunate to hear vacation stories from our RCI subscribing members. Here’s what other timeshare owners had to say* about their Sedona resort vacations:

Linda, Wilmington, NC: We absolutely loved our trip to Arizona. We stayed in Sedona for the week. It is impossible to describe or photograph how beautiful it was. It was also our base for the Grand Canyon, Painted Desert, Petrified Forest and Page Canyon. What a wonderful week. We will return to this destination.

Alan, Ankeny, IA: Wanting to take a great winter vacation, my wife and I invited a couple to go with us to Sedona, Arizona. It was February and we found the weather to be great jacket weather. It was warm enough to golf and reasonably priced golf courses were found. Our condo exchange was the most beautiful we ever had and had a small lock-out unit attached which was wonderful for two couples. The scenery was beautiful and we really enjoyed the vacation.

Elaine, Milford, CT: Sedona, Arizona, is a dream destination. We have used our timeshare there several times, and never cease to marvel at the natural rock formations and of course the people. Best adventure is the side trip to Grand Canyon close by — don’t miss it!

Robert, Galt, CA: Our trip to Sedona, Arizona, was one of the funniest and most relaxing vacations we have taken in the 20+ years we have been members of RCI. Stayed at Sedona Summit, a great place. Each day we explored the area seeing some of the most beautiful scenery, Indian ruins, red rocks, beautiful homes, interesting rock formations, and talking to the locals about the area. The entire trip was one of awe. Fortunately, we had fantastic weather. We had the time of our lives.

* Although we've corrected some spelling and technical errors, these vacation stories from RCI members are otherwise unchanged. They are not meant to inform you about resorts, destinations or about RCI® products and services. Some stories mention unusual exceptions made or circumstances that may not be typical for most vacationers. RCI always recommends that you do your own research when making travel plans.

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All-Inclusive Resorts Have More Than Just Food and Beverages!


Gonzalo S. - RCI Timeshare Exchange and Vacation ExperiencesMost people think all-inclusive resorts are just swimming pools, tennis courts and food…but the “all-inclusiveness” doesn’t stop there! My job is to work closely with our affiliated timeshare resorts in Mexico and I have been onsite to personally check out what they have to offer, especially the all-inclusive ones.

We all know the main reason all-inclusive resorts are so popular is because of food and drinks, and the amount of them! But did you know that most resorts offer a lot of different dining options? There are many with 24-hour buffet style restaurants with a kids' buffet area, smaller restaurants that cater to sit-down dinners, and fine a-la-carte dining restaurants. So no matter what your taste buds like, you will find something to enjoy!

An abundance of activities is another plus to an all-inclusive resort. They usually have every water sport under the sun, and some may even be free of charge. Some resorts also include golf, tours and even spa discounts on selected treatments. No need to worry about the cost, you can let yourself have fun!

For children, the opportunities are even greater. All-inclusive resorts that cater to families have many options to keep your child entertained and happy. They may have a separate pool just for playing and splashing, water slides, and large gaming centers. Many all-inclusive resorts also offer classes like arts and crafts, acting, and even puppetry. Some all-inclusive resorts even have nannies available!

We worked with Dan the RCI Guy to create a video on RCI TV which tells you all about all-inclusive resorts. You should take a look; it’s very informative and a lot of fun!

What do you think about all-inclusive resorts? Share your experience by commenting below!
 

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What’s New with Endless Vacation® Magazine


RCI Timeshare Exchange and Vacation ExperiencesWith so many new additions to RCI this year (the RCI® app for the iPhone®, new RCI.com search functions, RCI TV and the RCI channel on YouTube, etc.), you didn’t think we’d forget about Endless Vacation Magazine, did you? We know that you are always looking for more ways to get the most out of your vacation timeshare ownership – and as the Publisher of the North American version of Endless Vacation Magazine, I know you’re excited when we add more to the magazine - so, starting with our first issue of 2010, we added a 10-page RCI Member Section.

In every issue, you’ll now find tips and information to help you understand your RCI subscribing membership and member benefits (like when it’s the best time to deposit or how RCI.com can help you plan your vacations), updates on RCI, and membership news (did you know that RCI follows environmental-sustainability best practices?). You can also see a listing of newly affiliated resorts that have recently joined the RCI exchange network, special member-only offers, and RCI vacation stories from subscribing members like you!

We’re constantly working on ways to make it easier for you to get on vacation. I know the RCI Member Section will help you in your planning journey. So, what do you think of this new section? What other information would you like to see? Let us know by commenting below.

iPhone is a registered trademark of Apple Inc.

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Try an RCI Timeshare Exchange for a Romantic Getaway


Jen V. - RCI Timeshare Exchanges and RCI.comI can't think of any better way to spend a vacation than with the person you love (or want to get to know better!).

Whether you’re sitting together in front of a fireplace in a Breckenridge ski resort, or lounging on a beach on your Myrtle Beach vacation, sharing a relaxing experience is a great way to not only get some down time, but to strengthen your relationship with your significant other.

I went on vacation to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico with my boyfriend last year — our first vacation together, in fact — and had a great time. Cabo is one of those places that you can take your family, or just one person, and there's something for everyone. The place we stayed in had different pools for families and adults. Some restaurants were family friendly, and some were fancier, so they didn't have kids. At those places, we had dinner at our own little table on the beach, watched people play live music, and listened to the waves. And some nights, we just sat on our balcony, drinking wine and looking out at the ocean.

A couple years ago, I stayed in Snowbird, Utah for a resort vacation, but that was with my brother, which is hardly romantic. But I could see how it could have been for a couple in love. This was one of those cozy ski lodges where you can cuddle up by the fireplace with a glass of wine and some snacks. But again, there were several families, so there is something for everyone there too.

Of course, I know everyone has different tastes and wants a different vacation experience. RCI tries to provide this for you. Try out our improved search engine (I’m very excited about this – I’m on the Online Team). You can search for amenities and experiences, not just dates or locations, and see what places are available.

Say you want to find a spa or a ski vacation. Go to our search engine, set the filter to show only spa or ski vacation types, and see what locations and dates are open. You can be a little more specific and add additional filters for date ranges and geography. So if you only want skiing locations in February in the western US, if they're available, they'll show up in the search results. Then you can easily see additional information, photos and videos, and member reviews to figure out which site is just right for you and your special someone.

Now it’s your turn – what was your most memorable romantic getaway that you booked with RCI? Comment below and let us know.

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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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