Timeshare Availability. One of the reasons dissatisfied timeshare owners state for trying to dump their timeshare is availability. I don't get it!
Here's just one example. A couple's daughter decides to get married on short notice -- in a month. Now the parents knew this was brewing, but didn't know when exactly she would decide to get married. When she sprung the news on them, they called up their timeshare and expected to book a week in Hawaii.
When they were told nothing was available in Hawaii with only a month's notice, they got upset, came to the conclusion that they had been gipped and told their parents about it, who were getting ready to purchase a timeshare. Needless to say, their parents decided not to purchase based on this scenario.
Now let's use some common sense here. I said timeshare is the very best way to have first class dirt cheap vacation accommodations, right? I told you in Why Timeshare and specifically showed you the numbers in Timeshare vs Hotel why timeshare is literally the best first class accommodation deal money can buy.
Did I say "timeshare overrides the laws of supply and demand?" No, I didn't, because it doesn't.
Did I say "now that you own a timeshare, you can go where ever you want, whenever you want?" No I didn't because you can't!
Owning timeshare doesn't make you God.
It doesn't place you in front of everyone else.
It doesn't change the fact of "first come, first serve" availability!
In the example above, this couple was expecting to have "immediate" access at the height of high season to only four resorts in Hawaii within their timeshare group, somehow expecting that their request for timeshare availability would be placed ahead of the 250,000 other owners, many of whom understood that they needed to plan ahead and booked Hawaii up to 13 months in advance.
Who on the planet doesn't know that Hawaii is a hot spot year-round, and that owners would be clamoring to book vacations there? Who on the planet wouldn't know that timeshare availability in Hawaii would be tight?
Common sense, right? The only way you're going to score last-minute reservations in Hawaii's limited supply of timeshare availability is if you manage to get lucky and snap up a cancelation! But that also requires flexibility on your part!
Let's do the math. In my resort directories for RCI and II, (for an explanation of how these two companies work see Timeshare Exchange), I count 128 resorts in Hawaii to choose from, counting duplications just once.
Now according to ARDA (American Resort Development Association), there are approximately 5 million timeshare owners worldwide. That means that 5 million owners could potentially be competing to reserve their vacation in 128 Hawaiian resorts!
Let's suppose for our example that each resort has 50 units, and each is divided into 52 weeks. That's 50 times 52 which equals 2600 weeks available for each resort.
2600 weeks times 128 resorts equals 332,800 weeks available to be booked.
If, in the unlikely event all 5 million owners were trying to book the 128 resorts Hawaii at the same time, your odds of success are .06656, or about 7%!
If you reduce that to weeks available in the summer, when everyone else wants to go, too, just imagine how that reduces your odds of success.
128 Hawaiian Timeshare Resorts
x50 Number of Units (just supposition for our example, actual # of units vary)
=332,800 Weeks Timeshare Availability
332,800/5,000,000 = 0.06656 odds if all 5 million owners booking
On the other hand, when I go to Hawaii's visitor and convention bureau website to search for hotels I come up with 295.
Of course, that's more than double the number of timeshare availability I have to choose from in RCI and II, but the math would be even worse because then you have potentially the world trying to book those few hotels in Hawaii!
I challenge anyone to call up and try to book a hotel last minute in Hawaii exactly where they want exactly when they want! Not happening!
If it does, it is sheer luck. I'm not willing to gamble my vacation time on sheer luck. Are you?
Do you see what I'm saying? Availability is a constant in travel. You can be the most important person in the world, you can have all the "ins" on the best travel deals out there -- you still face availability just like everybody else!
I've seen people who book a last-minute $1,000 per night hotel suite without blinking. They've considered timeshare, but decide not to purchase because they can't be guaranteed timeshare availability above everyone else! Please!
Do they actually think they ever get better availability?
They don't -- they pay out the nose for their "spontaneous, it's-all-about-me" decisions! I have no time for people who waste money -- sorry! Don't even get me started on the "I'm-all-that" entitlement attitude!
Remember the fairy-tale "The Emperor's New Clothes," where the emperor is parading around in his underwear? There they are, parading around in their pretentious underwear! They might as well tape a "fool" sign to their foreheads! Quite honestly, they just don't get it so they don't deserve timeshare.
Okay, I'm fine. I'm stepping down off my soapbox now.
The point is, even though there are now more timeshare condos being built than hotel rooms, it will take a little while for timeshare availability to catch up. Regardless of what kind of traveling you are doing, availability is ALWAYS on a first-come, first-serve basis -- so plan accordingly!
If you are going to book your annual vacation week or two weeks, then do your planning a year ahead! Don't leave it to chance. When you own a timeshare, you have a "vacation plan" just like you have a "retirement plan."
Use your vacation plan wisely. The early bird really does get the worm when it comes to timeshare availability. Make it a fun event for your family to go vacation shopping for next year, so you can get just what you want!
"You can't stop the waves, but you can learn how to surf." Zinn, Jon Kabat
Now, all of that being said, do you want to know how to get whatever you want whenever you want it? Open up what you want and when you want it! Flexibility!
Flexibility is the only way to hedge on timeshare availability. If you were to call up RCI or II or even your timeshare company and say, "What do you have anywhere in the world for next week?"
You would definitely score something! If you say, "What is your next available reservation anywhere in Hawaii?" You would most certainly be able to book a reservation in Hawaii!
Flexibility turns the availability equation on it's head. It's the only thing that can! It's all about injecting your expectations with a sense of adventure! What a fun way to travel!
Now this is really "letting go!" Some world travelers swear this is the only way to go. It is wanderlust at it's best.
Of course, I recognize that which ever season of your life you are currently in can tend to narrow your flexibility options. For instance, if you have children, then you're navigating around school schedules.
If you're tied in to your career and it's a major priority for you right now, then you're navigating around your work schedule. I would encourage you to check out Take Back Your Time if you find yourself living to work instead of working to live, though!
It's all about balance. I recommend planning ahead if you don't have a lot of flexibility, but I also recommend throwing in some spontaneity. Even if you have to plan a year ahead, why not be flexible in where you want to go! Variety is the spice of life.
After all, the whole point of vacationing is to escape the regimen of your daily routine.