Short-term: Vacation Rentals vs Timeshares

Are you considering the lodging options available for your next trip? Are you ready to plan for your future and want to invest in a vacation rental?  Or are private lodging such as home sharing options like Airbnb more your style? Let’s discuss the differences between timeshare vacation investments and home sharing options so you can decide what is right for you.

New Concept of Vacation Rentals

The short-term vacation rental is a newer concept that has really gained steam in the last five years. Popular home share options are Airbnb, HomeAway, VRBO and Housetrip and the industry is absolutely booming. One recent study suggests that the private accommodation market grew faster than the total US travel market in 2016, and could be worth more than $36 billion later this year. That’s a lot of money! The home sharing service works by allowing owners of properties to rent them out for short or long term to potential travelers via a website. The owner lists all the services, prices and amenities available at the property, and the traveler makes a request to book based on calendar availability. You get confirmed or declined, and yoru card on file is used to pay for the property. Some properties require to be prepaid in full, and other allow you to book by leaving a deposit.

Risks of Home Sharing Rentals

Many people, especially the age group of 18 to 44 year olds, have started using this option more and more. It can be a good option to find lower prices and a more authentic travel experience that so many are searching for.  The downsides of these services is that sometimes the advertised property does not turn out to be quite what you were looking for. You are booking based on photos and descriptions alone, and some properties are misrepresented.  You may be disappointed by the property’s cleanliness, location or other aspects and it is difficult to resolve the issue if the owner is unavailable or unattentive. They do have an online rating system so you can review the property after your stay which is useful as it helps travelers know what to expect in terms of location, cleanliness, etc at a certain property. In return, the hosts can also review travelers so that you can weed out any unrespectful users who leave properties dirty or damaged. Even more risky is that some fake owners have illegally listed properties to rent, and unsuspecting travelers paid for a service that was not provided. It is also best to only book properties that have good reviews so that you can prevent a disaster vacation!

The Benefits of Timeshare Investment

Timeshares eliminate the misconceptions or disappointments that may occur when you book through a home sharing service. With timeshare ownership, you become very familiar with the property before you purchase and it is clear what to expect in terms of cleanliness and quality which are a priority. Another benefit of a timeshare is that you have access to competent concierge, courteous staff members, and house cleaners as well as so many other services that are just not available when you book through a home sharing site. Timeshare staff is trained to provide excellent customer service, and are willing and able to resolve any issues or concerns you may have during your vacation. In addition, they can assist you in other ways such as making reservations for you, arranging tours, or even transfers to and from the airport. With a home sharing property, you are left on your own to make any and all arrangements and activity bookings.

In conclusion, both home sharing properties and timeshares are viable options for today’s traveler. Home sharing properties may offer a more authentic local experience, but it does not come without risk. Timeshares, on the other hand, give you excellent access to amenities, quality services and a reliable level of comfort you can count on. Which option makes the most sense for you and your family? Consider your future goals wisely.


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