By SUSAN LYNCH
With fall break quickly approaching I thought it would be a great time to talk about saving money on vacation. Let’s just face it, vacations are expensive. The average person will spend between $2,000 and $4,000 a year on vacation. What’s even worse is that according to “Money Matters” by Suzie Orman around 85 percent of those people will use a credit card to pay for that vacation. If you use a credit card, your $2,000 vacation could acquire 15 percent interest. If you only pay the minimum balance due each month, the actual cost of that vacation would be $3,758 and could take you as long as 15 years to pay off. Simply put that annual vacation you take with your 3-year-old could still be sucking your bank account dry when they graduate high school. So what should you do? Pay cash.
It is a very rare occasion for my family to have the extra cash on hand for a vacation; however, a few years ago we were able to go on a wonderful vacation to Tennessee without breaking our bank account. The trick? Timeshare. The mere mention of the word timeshare used to instill fear into me. My whole life I was under the impression that if you vacationed via timeshare you were under an obligation to buy timeshare property, but boy was I wrong. We found out it is possible for a family of four to enjoy a 4-day 3-night vacation at a 4-star hotel/resort/inn and only spend around $100 for your lodging.
For the sake of this article I logged onto Getawaydealz.com and typed in Gatlinburg TN as my destination. After entering a few other details about our family size and the dates we wanted to vacation the website offered me 3 promotional packages. The cheapest one offered was for a 3-night stay was at Creekstone Inn. Creekstone is a 4-star hotel just minutes from downtown Gatlinburg. For $99 plus tax my family could stay at this beautiful Inn, enjoy FREE continental breakfast each morning and also receive an additional FREE $50 dining voucher upon arrival. Most promotions also include tickets for a fun filled day or night at a local attraction. After factoring in the free items you are actually not paying for the room at all.
Here’s how it works. When you arrive at your destination you will be given a time and day to meet with a timeshare sales person. This sales man/woman will spend around two hours telling you about the benefits of owning timeshare. You are only there to listen. When the presentation is over there is an opportunity to ask questions if you are interested. If not, you say “No, thank you” and then you can enjoy the rest of your vacation hassle free. It’s just like test driving a car. If you like it there is an option to purchase, if you don’t all it cost you was your time. These promotions are available year round, and worldwide. The most credible website for timeshare prices and bookings is Getawaydealz.com. If your family is planning a vacation in the near future before you type in those credit card numbers I suggest you give this a shot. We did, and had a wonderful time in the process!