By Monica Fish
Raise your hand if you love a good travel deal! How do condo rentals at Hawaii resorts for as low as a $199 week sound? Or week-long $399 condo vacations in Las Vegas, Branson, Orlando, The Poconos, The Berkshires, or Shenandoah National Park? Want to save thousands of dollars at premium resorts like Disney Vacation Club, Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas, or Marriott’s Aruba Surf Club? I’ll show you the way!
Did you know that you can rent condos at timeshare resorts, just like renting vacation homes? As a happy timeshare owner of 15 years, I’ve learned the ins and outs of this part of the vacation world. I’m not a secret employee of the timeshare industry. I’m just a frugal fannie sharing my travel hacks so people can go on more vacations, no matter their budget. And don’t worry, when booking timeshare rentals, you aren’t required to attend a timeshare presentation.
What is a Timeshare?
A timeshare is a type of resort that divides ownership of vacation condos among multiple people. They range from boutique resorts, small chains to household names like Marriott Vacation Club, Hilton Grand Vacations Club, Club Wyndham, and Disney. If you’ve stayed at a resort and your unit was more like a condo, then you’ve probably been at a timeshare.
Timeshare rentals offer the best amenities of a hotel like pools, restaurants, and on-site activities combined with the conveniences of an apartment home. Whether you like having a kitchen on trips or have a large family, timeshare rooms offer space! It’s the same layouts as condos – living rooms, full kitchens, and multiple bedrooms. Some timeshare rentals even have a washer and dryer in the unit. Our family loves the private bedrooms and rooms to spread out in can’t imagine going back to a small hotel room on vacation again! So when looking at timeshare rental websites, you’ll see differently sized units – studios, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, or even three & four-bedroom options.
How Do Timeshare Rentals Work?
When owners aren’t using their timeshare, they can offer it up to others instead of sitting empty. According to Redweek.com, when you rent a timeshare instead of using a hotel or travel booking site, you bypass the industry fees baked into these prices. Did you know that there are often two middlemen in the booking process who each mark-up rates by 12-25%? When you rent from a timeshare owner or a company whose goal is to fill empty rooms, you’ll be vacationing for much less!
16 Places to Rent Timeshares for Epic Vacation Deals
While you can book some timeshare resorts directly on the hotel’s site, Airbnb, VRBO, and well-known travel deal sites, I want to introduce you to 16 new places to book these rooms at a fraction of the cost. Like any big purchase or travel booking, take an extra 20 minutes to price compare and understand the rental terms and conditions.
How to Rent Timeshares from Exchange Companies: 4 Sites Open to Non-Timeshare Owners
Timeshare Exchange Companies are the middlemen facilitating resort trades for owners. Even though I have a timeshare in New York, I can exchange my timeshare week for a vacation at 4,000 other resorts in over 100 countries. I deposit my week with one of these companies and then choose another owner’s week for my vacation. When these resort weeks are still available in the exchange company’s inventory 45 to 90 days out, they make them available to anyone as timeshare rentals with prices that are hard to beat!
Some people think that these available rooms are ones they’d never be interested in at any price. Honestly, some older resorts are offered, but mostly these deals are in destinations with lots of timeshare properties or rooms in resorts with thousands of units. For example, Orlando, Branson, Poconos, Gatlinburg, and Las Vegas are often available as destinations with numerous timeshare properties. Massanutten Resort, The Grandview, and Vacation Village Parkway are regular resorts in these last-minute deals with some of their 2,000 to 4,000 units available.
Let’s take a look at four timeshare exchange companies offering these last-minute rentals to anyone.
Serving travelers for over 40 years, Platinum Interchange is an independent timeshare exchange and rental company. Even though they aren’t owned by a large company like Wyndham or Marriott, they have relationships with 1,300 timeshare resorts worldwide. They lower their timeshare rental prices as the date of check grows near, even offering whole weeks for a $199 rental price within 15 days of check-in. That’s not a typo! $199 for an entire week!
A recent search on their site showed timeshare rentals available under $400 a week in popular vacation destinations like Aruba, New York City, and San Diego. At the time of publication, they had a two-bedroom condo at Vacation Village Parkway Williamsburg, with four out of five stars on Google for a weekly rate of $299.
2.Trading Places International
Trading Places International is a former travel agency turned timeshare resort management company that facilitates vacation exchanges for owners. They offer timeshare rentals further out than others, allowing for more vacation planning time. Like Platinum Exchange, they offer “Hot Deals” of timeshare rentals. Make sure to click this button “on” during your search to filter for their lowest prices.
Recently, when browsing their Hot Deal listings, I found a room at a premium Wyndham Resort in Hawaii. Ten weeks out from the check-in date, this one-bedroom condo had a $475 total rental price for the whole week. I did a quick price comparison of the same unit with the same check-in date on travel deal sites, and they had prices over $200 a night! Booking a timeshare rental through this timeshare exchange company saves you almost $1,000!
3.Trading Places Maui
Trading Places Maui is a spin-off of Trading Places International, serving the 100 timeshare resorts with 13,000 total rooms across the Hawaiian Islands. When the average Hawaii hotel room rate is $330 a night, their $199-$399 weekly timeshare rentals in one or two-bedroom condos are a secret everyone should know about! Their recent last-minute deals included the beloved oceanfront Lawai Beach Resort with a Google rating of 4.6 out of 5 and the highly-rated Kona Coast Resort adjacent to a golf course.
Expectations Interchange is the only timeshare exchange company on this list that has a small fee to join. You can see all of the timeshare rentals available before deciding whether to purchase a membership for under $50. This European company is fantastic for international travel deals. If you’ve been dreaming of staying at The Crane Barbados or in Snowdonia National Park in the United Kingdom, you can book a timeshare rental for under $500 for the week!
If your family or friends own a timeshare, they can book similar last-minute deals for you at different timeshare exchange companies that require timeshare ownership. They can reserve rooms for nonowners with a guest certificate which costs under $100. Even with the additional cost, it’s a fantastic travel deal for a week’s long resort stay.
7 Timeshare Rental Marketplaces
Even if you’re not the last-minute type, there are still ways to score epic deals with timeshare rentals. If you want to travel during a peak season like school breaks or if you have your eye on premium resorts, renting from a timeshare via these marketplaces saves you tons of money!
RedWeek.com is the largest online marketplace for timeshare resales and rentals with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. If you’re looking for more of a full-service experience when booking a timeshare vacation rental, Redweek.com is an excellent option.
They say their prices are up to 75% off the resort price and up to 50% off travel deal sites. So, if Marriott’s Aruba Surf Club seems out of your vacation budget, rent a room from a timeshare owner! The cheapest nightly rate on the hotel site is $500, with the same two-bedroom unit available for $270 a night on Redweek.com. With these savings, it’s not hard to see why this resort is Redweek’s most rented resort!
KOALA, a new website from timeshare industry veterans, connects people to verified timeshare rental listings. Since owners set their own rental prices, there are fantastic deals available, even at high-end resorts like Marriott’s Newport Coast Villas and the popular Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort. Their homepage also includes a link to rentals under $200 a night, which you can further filter by price.
A recent search showed a $35 night listing in a two-bedroom at Massanutten, an award-winning four-season resort outside Shenandoah National Park. It also had an $85 a night in a three-bedroom at Wyndham’s Bonnet Creek listed for $85 a night. Don’t let the price fool you. This Wyndham resort ranks #4 on Condé Nast’s Readers’ Choice Awards list of Orlando’s Top Resorts.
TripBeat is a practically unknown website despite being owned by Wyndham Destinations, a publicly-traded company and the largest timeshare conglomerate in the world. It looks like they are taking inventory from their timeshare owners-only exchange company (RCI) and making it available to the public via this site. Whatever their reason, Tripbeat offers amazing timeshare rentals deals and is worthy of a look during your travel planning. They had this frugal fannie at weekly resort stays from $399!
Tripbeat offers a wide range of rentals in the U.S. and globally. We are planning a shoulder season trip to Greece in September, and I was excited to see lots of resort options on Tripbeat. If you dream of going to Greece too but thought it was outside of your budget, check out the week-long $399 timeshare rentals in Crete and Corfu. If you plan trips to U.S. National Parks or popular American destinations, check out the timeshare rentals available in Smoky Mountains, Shenandoah Valley, or Branson, MO.
TripBeat is free to join for anyone despite their confusing sign-up page. They ask you to pick an affiliation to register, making it feel exclusive. However, if you scroll to the bottom of the options, there is a “You Decide” choice, meaning you don’t need to have an affiliation to set up a Tripbeat account.
Also owned by Wyndham Destinations, ExtraHolidays is a marketplace where timeshare owners list their owned weeks for rent. With a tag line of “condo vacations at hotel prices,” you can snag deals at almost 700 worldwide resorts, especially during their sales. Make sure to sign up for their emails, as they have regular promotions, like their Swing into Spring Sale with 35-40% off the rental price of select resorts.
5. Three Disney Vacation Club Marketplaces
Staying “on-property” at Disney or their beach resorts comes with additional perks, amenities, and that Disney Magic. But it comes at a steep price. Did you know that you can rent those same Disney Vacation Club (DVC) rooms from a timeshare owner and save thousands of dollars? While some owners list DVC rooms on the platforms mentioned above, many list theirs on Disney-specific rental sites, like David’s Vacation Club Rentals, DVC Rental Store, and DVC Rental. If you’re looking for some Disney Magic but at a discount, check out these timeshare rentals available for your next vacation and the significant savings you can score.
How to Rent Direct from a Timeshare Owner: 5 Places
When you rent directly from a timeshare owner, there’s no middle man involved. That means the owner doesn’t have to factor a listing fee or site commission fee into their rental price. They are looking to cover their annual expenses, and you’re booking a vacation rental for a lot less than from resort direct. It’s a win-win!
1.Timeshare Users Group
Timeshare Users Group (TUG) is a forum-based site started in 1993 by owners for owners to connect in a world before Facebook. Now they’ve grown into the largest timeshare community with more than $18 million in completed timeshare rentals. They often have 1200+ timeshare rentals available, including a Bargain Basement section for those open to last-minute bookings.
Suppose you know that you want to stay at Marriott’s Ko Olina Beach Club and have searched all the travel deal sites but still can’t make their “best price” of $5,000 a week work. You can rent a two-bedroom condo at this same resort directly from a timeshare owner for $2,650 on TUG!
If you feel nervous booking a timeshare rental this way, keep in mind that all members of TUG are timeshare owners and have provided extensive contact information to join this community. For peace of mind, follow these TUG Rental Tips when renting directly from an owner.
2. Timeshare Owners’ Facebook Groups: 4 Examples
Timeshare Owners at specific resorts or with particular companies like Wyndham have formed Facebook groups to stay connected, rent their weeks out, and rent additional units for family and friends to join them on vacation. Some of these groups have separate forums to post reviews about owners similar to Airbnb or VRBO. You can see what renting from a specific timeshare owner is like.
If you are a fan of staying in Wyndham’s premium Timeshare Resorts, you can join their Owners Facebook group to rent direct. Recently, a timeshare owner posted an unbeatable Spring Break rental at Club Wyndham National Harbour outside Washington D.C. Their timeshare rental listing was $700 for a week in a one-bedroom condo. $100 a night for a condo room in peak season, in an expensive location, is a fantastic deal!
If you’ve found a timeshare resort and you want to inquire about renting directly from an owner, you can search Facebook with “Resort Name Owners” as the search term to locate the group. Holiday Inn Club Vacations Orange Lake Resort, a beloved 12-acre resort right next to Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando, has a Facebook group for owner direct rentals, as does Bluegreen, another popular Timeshare chain of resorts. You can also rent directly from a Disney Vacation Club timeshare owner in the DVC Disney Vacation Club Points Rental group.
Whether you’re looking to travel in the most economical way possible, want to take more vacations a year, or thought some destinations were out of your budget, you can take advantage of timeshare rentals deals to turn your travel dreams into reality!
This article originally appeared on Your Money Geek and has been republished with permission.