According to the Vacation Ownership Association of Southern Africa (VOASA) there are typically two factors that influence holidaymakers’ decision when choosing accommodation – cost and the comfort of home-like amenities. While most people don’t require a five-star accommodation experience, they do want the best value for their hard-earned money.
For those who typically search for discounted deals on hotel stays or home-sharing services like Airbnb, VOASA says you might be overlooking an even better option – buying or renting a holiday in a timeshare resort, and here’s why.
1. Plenty of On-Site Entertainment
In the past, timeshare resorts were for the exclusive use of owners – but not anymore. By renting a week, mid-week or weekend holiday without any presentations to attend, non-owners can enjoy the large selection of kid’s and adult leisure amenities that are conveniently located on-site, which means you don’t have to travel anywhere.
You will find an array of amenities such as multiple swimming pools with some heated, Jacuzzis, waterslides, miniature golf, Kid’s Club, game drives, mountain biking, picnics against the backdrop of picturesque mountains, horse riding, hiking trails, fishing and water sports, tennis and squash courts, pool tables, outdoor chess, table-tennis, Kid’s Club and more depending on the resort and its location.
Hotels are more orientated towards accommodation and therefore typically offer a much shorter list of on-site entertainment that is mostly limited to a swimming pool, a gym, health spa and an indoor games arcade for the kids. With home-sharing you may have the use of a swimming pool and braai and possibly a pool table, which means a lot of travelling around for things to do.
2. Home-like Accommodation
Bigger families or groups holidaying together tend to lean toward using timeshare because of the larger home-like accommodations. Depending on the style and size, timeshare units can sleep anywhere between 2 to 12 guests. Hotel rooms only sleep between 2 – 4 guests, so bigger families need to purchase multiple rooms, which adds up over a week or two at a time. With timeshare, the use of a fully equipped kitchen, a lounge and dining area, a private braai and most of all bedrooms allows everyone to unwind and relax in their own space. On the contrary, you are very limited in a hotel room with only a tea/coffee station and a mini fridge. Dining out gets costly and eating take-out meals in a small room can add stress to your holiday.
The amenities available to you with home-sharing may be similar to that of timeshare, depending on whether you rent an entire home or only a room, and taking into account what the owner includes in the price. However, you won’t have the comfort and guarantee of new appliances that are in perfect working condition for cooking and laundry. Also, homeowners will charge per guest, whereas timeshare is rented per unit, which is another valuable cost saving.
3. Professionally Managed Properties
Having the peace-of-mind that that your holiday accommodation will live up to the internet advert is always a gamble. Currently there is no legislation governing home-sharing and the need to ensure quality has prompted the first steps towards regulating online hospitality services in South Africa. There are over 150 timeshare properties across the country, which are operated by leading South African hospitality brands such as Tsogo Sun, Sun International and Legacy Hotels and Resorts as well as globally recognized exchange companies like RCI, amongst others.
4. Better Security and Safety
Timeshare resorts are theoretically safer than hotels or home-sharing as they are purpose built for holidays with full security access. Timeshare owners don’t check into resorts with falsified credentials and IDs, instead they are couples and families on holiday at a resort where they have an ownership commitment.
On the contrary, busy hotels accommodate many people who are not registered guests and are able to pass through the building and its public areas daily. Home-sharing presents a variety of safety risks as the security of alarm codes and keys can never be guaranteed. The meeting of fire prevention standards, the availability of first-aid kits, full disclose whether there are security cameras or other surveillance equipment in the home to ensure your privacy, child-proofing and other home hazards that could result in tripping or falling.
5. No Fluctuating Seasonal Prices
Finding the lowest price on a hotel room or home-sharing is always a gamble. Prices are highly volatile and fluctuate dramatically by season. But when you purchase timeshare, you don’t have to deal with fluctuating seasonal prices because you will buy your future holidays at today’s price.
The fixed cost of your holidays will be determined by the size of your accommodation, the location and the season you choose to holiday. Thereafter an annual maintenance fee, which is subject to inflation but not profit, will ensure that your accommodation is always up to standard when you arrive.
6. Budget Friendly Holidays
There are many hidden cost savings with timeshare thanks to the home-like amenities available to you. After the first few days of staying in a hotel, the cost of eating out starts to add up. But with the use of a kitchen you can save by cooking your favourite meals and eating in. Access to a washing machine saves on laundry costs and allows you to pack lighter, which is a bonus if you are flying to your destination. And, the long list of onsite entertainment, especially for the kids, ensures that you take home the best holiday memories without breaking the bank.