It'll never top Mexico


Our first RCI vacation took us to Playa del Carmen on the Yucatan Peninsula. We were excited to be able to exchange our timeshare in the Berkshires for a vacation outside of the US in order to give our two young boys some exposure to other cultures. We rented a car so that we could explore the surrounding countryside and possibly see some of the Mayan ruins while in Mexico. The resort was nice enough and offered a number of activities... The food was great; we tried a number of different options and the kids even tried some new things (a small miracle). The resort’s many pools provided some variety as we spent a chunk of time swimming and joining in on some resort-sponsored pool football...

-William H. from Coventry, Connecticut

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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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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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My trip to California


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, shops but bike paths as well for those who wanted to bike around the area. We visited the mission at Capistrano and walk 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 affiliated resorts in 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.

- Joyce C. from Salem, NH
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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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Irish Adventure


We had done one RCI exchange to south central Ireland years ago and were anxious to return. A friend of mine, whom I had sold on the idea of time-sharing, called me with the news that she had just gotten a call from RCI offering her a choice of 2 exchanges in Ireland. After discussing the points of interest in both areas, she decided to accept the one nearer Dublin. As soon as she called RCI back to confirm, I picked up the phone and requested the one she had turned down. We were thrilled to be able to visit in the western part of Ireland for this exchange.

Our timeshare, just over the Quiet Man Bridge, was a thatched cottage with our own private sauna. The cottage came with a complimentary load of peat so we were able to get a fire going every evening after returning home from our adventures. The living room window overlooked lush green mountains of the West and sheep wandered in and out of our backyard daily. We took day trips to Connamarra, Galway and the Cliffs of Mohr. We booked a bed and breakfast in Doolin so we could sail to the Aran Islands the next day. The mountains, the sea, the pubs and the charm of the Irish people we met made this a magical trip we will never forget.

- Beverly B. from Budd Lake, NJ
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Stone Ridge Resort in N. Idaho


In 2005 we purchased a Last CallSM week for Stone Ridge in N. Idaho. Our first trip to N. Idaho. We were worried about what we would do for a week in such a remote (we thought) area. Well a week is not enough! The resort offered day trips to explore the area plus activities everyday and a wonderful indoor recreation center plus a 19 hole golf course which was only $25 that first year which included a cart and a bag of range balls. Lake Coeur d'Alene is a quick drive to the south and to the north Lake Pend Oreille and Priest Lake and so much more all around.

We continued to return each fall, bringing family and friends, either through exchanges, Last Call vacations or Extra VacationsSM getaways. Being just a seven hour drive from Portland, we planned a family reunion with 19 of us in six units. That year two of us picked up weeks through RCI and then rented two through the rental pool. We will continue to visit this beautiful area. Last Call weeks provide the opportunity to explore out-of-the-way places without the financial investment. We are again using Last Call vacations this month to pick up a week to add to our own timeshare in Puerto Vallarta. Thank you RCI.

- Kari S. from Beaverton, OR
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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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Cape Caribe, Cocoa Beach, FL 2009


As new members of RCI, this was our first time using our timeshare. This past June, the day after school let out for the summer, we packed our bags and headed north 3 hours to Ron Jon's Cape Caribe Resort in Cocoa Beach, Florida. Our vacation was wonderful from start to finish. My kids loved everything about it, from the lazy river and the waterslide, to exploring next door at Jetty Park where we saw stingrays, turtles, crabs, starfish and more. We were able to watch movies, go to the game room, play many of the activities that the resort offers and Mom and Dad were able to get massages, right there at the resort. We are proud to be members of RCI and can't wait to see where 2010 will take us....

- David A. from Fort Lauderdale, FL
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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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Dan “The RCI Guy”: Reporting from Mexico


Dan "The RCI Guy" -  Vacation Travels with RCI TV's Dan "The RCI Guy"Some of my most favorite memories are of the times I spent in Mexico.

As “the RCI Guy” on RCI TV, I get to travel all around the world hosting RCI’s online travel show “New Ways to Play” and showcasing RCI affiliated timeshare resorts. Every time our schedule brings us back to Mexico, I am reminded of my earliest vacations here…which date back to the 1970’s.

My first trip to Mexico was about 35 years ago. After that, I knew I wanted to come back. In fact, in the early 1980s, I was traveling in the coastal city of Mazatlan and bought my first timeshare and became an RCI subscribing member.

What drew me to purchasing my timeshare here in Mexico was that I knew that whether I wanted to golf, take a long walk on the beach, lie in the sun, go scuba diving or deep sea fishing, I could do all of that here and so much more.

One of my most favorite things to do is to go off the beaten path and see how different a town or village is within just a few blocks from the touristy areas and timeshare resorts. Some of the most memorable times for my family and I have been when we simply took a side detour to see more of what this country has to offer. In my opinion – and limited Spanish – Mexico es perfecto!

If you want to check out some of my favorite things to see and do in Mexico, check out the Destination Review Channel on RCI TV. Comment below and let me know what you think!

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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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