Vacation Club vs Timeshare: Is There Really a Difference?


Have you ever dreamed of owning a villa in an unknown location? For many, these dreams are possible thanks to the growing popularity of timeshare and vacation club programs.

While these concepts are often conflated, there are notable differences between a vacation club and a timeshare. Before investing in one of these qualification programs, you should know the difference.

If you are interested in learning more about storing between vacation club vs. timeshare, follow along for our quick guide.

Vacation Club vs. Timeshare: Differences

What is a vacation club? These are membership-based, much like a country club or gym membership. You pay an annual fee to become a member and access the vacation club’s inventory of vacation properties. You can also often trade your vacation club points for vacations at other properties, both within the club and outside of it.

On the other hand, Timeshares are more like owning a piece of the vacation property. You purchase a specific week or unit at a vacation property and have the right to stay there during that week every year. You also usually have the option to exchange your timeshare for a vacation at another timeshare property.

How to Choose the Right Option for You

Vacation clubs typically involve prepaid membership fees and give members access to a database of vacation rental properties. However, timeshares involve the purchase or lease of a specific property, usually for a set period each year.

Vacation clubs offer more flexibility in terms of where you stay and when you travel. Timeshares can be more expensive, but they offer the ability to use the same vacation property year after year.

It depends on your vacation preferences and budget. A vacation club may be the better option if you like the freedom to choose your vacation property and travel dates.

A timeshare may be the way to go if you’re looking for a more affordable way to vacation in a specific location. Considering the other current timeshare prices, you may look for HGVC resale. If you are in the buying and selling process, beware of those timeshare scams.

The Pros and Cons of Timeshares

Both offer ownership of a vacation property, usually for a set period each year. The most significant difference is in the way that they are sold. Timeshares are often thought of as being sold by pushy salespeople, while Vacation Clubs are seen as more reputable.

Timeshares can be expensive, and there is often a lot of pressure to buy one. Vacation Clubs can also be costly, but ownership is usually more flexible. Both can be a good option for those who love travel and want to own a piece of their vacation destination.

The Pros and Cons of Vacation Clubs

Vacation clubs typically offer more flexibility in booking dates and destinations, while timeshares are often more expensive and have more restrictions. Additionally, vacation clubs typically require members to pay an annual fee, while timeshares usually involve a one-time purchase.

Which One Is Right for You?

There is a critical difference between vacation club vs. timeshare that ultimately comes to cost, flexibility, and ownership.

For those wanting to save money on vacations and have the ability to vacation when and where they want, a vacation club is the better option. A timeshare may make more sense for those looking for a more traditional ownership model with the potential to resell or pass it down to family.

Check out the other online articles for more tips to enhance your vacation getaways.