Vacation Planning - How to Make Your Trip a Success

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Published: 20th November 2016
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Vacation Planning - How to Make Your Trip a Success

Vacation clubs are organizations that people join for a fee so that they may receive special discounts on accommodations and various travel related activities. There are a variety of different clubs that specialize in specific destinations and activities (such as all-inclusive resorts, cruises, etc.). Normally, a vacation club membership is not required in order to receive airfare discounts. The popularity of vacation clubs has increased over the years as the interest in owning timeshare units and condominiums in resort locations has decreased.

There are normally three main factors that interest people in a vacation club membership. The first and most obvious factor is that people who love to travel, whether it be to a ski destination or beach vacation, can travel more frequently with a club membership. This leads to the second factor, which is that a membership allows individuals, couples, groups and families to save a significant amount of money on their vacation. Finally, there is a certain amount of prestige associated to being an insider who can receive a certain level of privileges and benefits. For example, sometimes club members might have exclusive access to a certain facility.

Vacation club membership comes with a number of benefits. The overall main benefit is that people can afford to travel more often at a reduced cost. Club membership can provide people with the opportunity to stay at hotels and resorts that might normally be out of their budget. The membership might even provide the chance to take a cruise that ordinarily might be too expensive. The memberships can be an especially good deal for those traveling with families as premier vacation destinations may be available at affordable prices.

In addition to vacation club member advantages, there are a number of advantages for those entities that provide the offerings for a vacation club. These entities are paid in advance for units that otherwise might not reach 100 percent occupancy levels, and the club provides marketing for their facilities. Since a specific vacation club usually has a specific brand name, the marketing has a uniform feel and appearance.

Although vacation clubs can be a great deal for many travelers, they are not for everyone. For example, it is generally not worth the cost for those who plan on traveling only once or twice a year. The people who get the most value out of vacation club memberships are those who travel frequently and enjoy staying at the world's top vacation destinations at a discounted rate.

If the decision has been made to join a vacation club, the next option to consider is the selection of a specific club. Of course, a major factor is the price and whether a particular club will offer a significant value for the investment. There are also a few other factors to consider. For example, it is important to note how long a club has been in business to ensure that they offer legitimate deals. There are numerous vacation clubs to consider, and potential customers can research these clubs through the Internet. In addition to browsing a vacation club website, it is also effective to search for unbiased reviews for a particular club. Discount travel websites such as Expedia, Orbitz and Travelocity are not true vacation clubs, but they do provide some benefits to those who sign up for an account (examples include hotel points for a free night's stay, etc.).

Vacation clubs are able to offer such highly discounted rates by purchasing large blocks of rooms. Since the rooms are bought at such high volumes, the rooms are discounted and these lower rates are then offered to club members. Most hotels and resorts are noted with a star designation that is a reflection of their overall quality. A higher star rating normally translates into a higher number of amenities such as swimming pools, golf courses, etc. Despite the star rating, it is always a good idea to check out the reviews of actual prior guests on tripadvisor.com. Note that when a vacation club quotes prices for accommodations, these are normally quoted as per person, per night rather than per room. Therefore, it is extremely important to consider the desired occupancy level to determine the true cost. None of the prices that are quoted include taxes or additional costs such as resort fees. In addition, the club prices cannot be found unless an individual is a member of that specific club.

To determine a club's reputation, it is helpful to rely on the experience of others. There are various websites that list customer reviews, and the Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org) is an excellent resource to check out any negative experiences. However, the best test is to experience a vacation club for yourself. Many clubs have excellent customer service representatives that will address any possible issues while traveling. In general, vacation clubs can be an excellent deal for frequent travelers, and/or for those who like to travel in a group or with their family.

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