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Explained: Timeshares Vs Holiday Clubs

resort view

We are revisiting an article posted in 2016 to clarify any confusion on Timeshares Vs Holiday or Vacation Clubs.

Do a little research online, and you’re often likely to see vacation clubs and timeshares mentioned in the same breath. At their core, timeshares and vacation clubs share a model based around buying access to properties maintained and operated by a larger developer or resort company. While the two models share some similarities, there can be differences between them that are important for consumers to know.


The most typical method of timeshare unit ownership was, in fact, a deeded piece of real estate, a specific “slice” of a resort condominium that was also divided up for time.

Due to changing economic factors and consumer tastes – particularly a desire for more flexibility when vacationing – the industry has now essentially transitioned to a “points-based” or “right-to-use” model, which, as the name suggests, does not necessarily offer consumers a tangible “piece of the rock” – an actual, deeded interest to underlying real estate.


Holiday or Vacation Clubs

A “Club” membership dispenses with the idea of owning a single, deeded piece of real estate completely. Rather, these clubs give consumers points-based access to a variety of locations within one resort family. As a result, the “buy-in” for a vacation club is typically less than that of a timeshare, and there are usually no annual maintenance fees.


So How do You Tell the Difference between a Timeshare and a Club?


  1. Does the company own or manage its resorts? If the company does not OWN the resort, it is a Club.
  2. Do you pay a Fee to Join? Do you pay for holidays on top of the fees? Then it is a Club.



As with all things related to the travel and vacation industry, our biggest recommendation? Be careful and do your research. As always, caution is the watchword: Before signing any contracts or making a payment to any resort company, vacation club, or timeshare developer, do some thorough vetting with the help of the FTC, the Attorney General, and the consumer protection agencies in your state.


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