When it comes to holidaying abroad, many people in the UK are convinced by developers that a timeshare is a great investment for their future trips.
Marketed as a cost-effective slice of paradise in your favourite holiday destination, these timeshare properties have been around since the 1960s. And, aimed at retirees and families to provide a stable holiday base, it’s estimated that around 22 million households worldwide have invested in a share of a holiday home.
But, unfortunately, it’s recently become apparent that these ‘budget-friendly’ timeshares were too good to be true, with many consumers tied into a long-term contract, paying exorbitant maintenance fees, and struggling to sell on their share.
So, if you’re thinking of investing in a timeshare, we’ve found three better alternatives for your next holiday so you can avoid the same issues.
Renting a holiday home
Rather than investing in your own timeshare and being trapped in a legally binding contract for 25 years, sites like Airbnb have made it much easier to rent someone else’s home for the duration of your holiday.
With destinations across the globe, lots of different types of holiday home to choose from, and budget-friendly prices, you can get the same home away from home feel without the risks. From treehouses to luxury penthouses and family homes, it’s easy to find a rental to suit your needs.
Alternatively, there are lots of rental companies who specialise in renting out holiday homes across the world, such as HolidayLettings and Owners Direct, so a quick internet search should bring up lots of options for your destination!
Renting a holiday home as opposed to buying a timeshare gives you more flexibility in your choice of destinations, will usually work out much cheaper, and doesn’t result in any legal hassle.
Buy your own holiday home
Whilst this is a higher up-front cost, if you love the idea of having a permanent base to keep coming back to, then it’s worth considering buying your own holiday home rather than purchasing a timeshare.
This will depend on the amount of income you have available to invest, but buying your own holiday home gives you the same benefits without the risks.
We spoke to the Timeshare Consumer Association, who said: “Rather than only owning one share and having to work around the other people who have invested in your timeshare, you have the flexibility to take a holiday whenever you want and for however long you want.
“Plus, you won’t be at the whim of the developer when it comes to paying ever-increasing maintenance fees and you’ll be able to sell your property on much easier. You might also be able to make some extra income by renting the home out when you’re not using it, which is much more difficult to do with a timeshare.”
This post by HuffPost has some more information on the benefits of purchasing a holiday home.
Finally, a package holiday can be another great option for those looking for a luxurious holiday abroad.
One of the main perks of a timeshare is the high standard of accommodation available and the low costs once you’re there, due to the ability to cook your own food and prepare your meals, but this can also be achieved with a package holiday.
All-inclusive packages are based on luxury accommodation and the inclusion of all of your costs once there can also reduce your expenditure in the same way as a timeshare.
This way, you get all the benefits and none of the risk!