Why should you consider Hilton Grand Vacations?

If you’re considering timeshares, Hilton should DEFINITELY be on your list. There is so much to like about their system. They have a lot of resorts in highly desirable locations, their system is one of the most flexible and it is one of the more affordable options on the resale market while being very luxurious!

With this program, the week that you own will have a specific unit size, season and point value. You have a 12 month window to book your own week at your own resort with no extra booking fees. At 9 months mark from your CHECK OUT date, (usually it’s your check in date in other systems) your week converts to points that you can use to stay at any other Hilton Grand Vacation resorts per availability for a booking fee.

When we’re talking about point charts and systems, Hilton probably has the easiest to follow. Other timeshares have different point charts for different resorts. Hilton’s is 1 point chart for MOST of the resorts. So there’s less to look up or remember all the time.

A tip for using your points wisely in Hilton would be that if you have a unit/week with 8,400 points which would get you a 3 bedroom in most resorts. Let’s say you don’t need that big of accommodation, you could scale down to a studio for example and stay 4 weeks instead of 1. For the same cost! Also, if your travel time is flexible, and you can travel during non peek seasons, you can stretch your points a lot longer! For example, we have been eyeing Mexico during Thanksgiving/beginning of December. It’s considered “silver season”. So, our 8,400 points would last at least 2 weeks in a 2 bedroom or 3 weeks in a 1 bedroom. Again, for the same cost in maintenance dues that you paid for 1 week.

Let’s talk locations!! Hilton has some of the BEST locations and resorts in Hawaii by far! Amazing resorts in California, Colorado, Utah, Myrtle Beach, SC, Hilton Head Island and of course Orlando. They do have other resorts on the west coast of Florida which are harder to get but it’s not impossible. They also have exposure to Europe, Mexico, Caribbean and a ton in Japan!

Another thing to keep in mind when exploring vacations in Hiltons system, is they have something called “Open Season”. This will give you exposure to expiring inventory at all resorts within 60 days, which you pay for in cash at a significantly discounted rate.

RCI is another option which gives you ability to stretch your points as well as make them have a longer shelf life. Instead of just booking through Hilton Grand Vacations, you have a HUGE exchange network through RCI. In the Hilton system, your points are given to you every year and you can choose to save unused points for a fee OR you can make reservations through RCI in other available resorts that are not Hilton. When depositing points into RCI, they will last for 2 years! When using RCI, there is a small increase to the booking cost. RCI also offers a trip protection for a small fee. They also have a “Last Call” where you can get awesome vacations for a highly discounted rate.

Hilton Grand Vacations has a lot of options when it comes to their resorts. They have high rises and more spread out resorts, so there’s something for everyone. It’s a good idea to just research their website, watch travel videos (mine included) and get different opinions.

If you have any questions about Hilton Grand Vacations, please comment below, email and follow us on social media and youtube. We will be posting all kinds of travel content for you!

Thinking about Marriott Vacation Club?

When we were first learning about timeshares, we were not really thinking about anything except Disney. Then, we started exploring different ones. We were looking at luxury and deluxe resorts. Marriott came up. We started researching the resorts and learned that they have the most resorts for timeshare ownership. With 63 resorts throughout the U.S.A and the world, their resorts range from beach, theme park, golf, ski, to Europe and much more! This was a game changer for us! We started dreaming about traveling the world with our family. (By the way…recently, within the past couple of years, Marriott has acquired Vistana Signature Experiences that include Sheraton Vacation Club and Westin Vacation Club. They have also acquired Hyatt Residence Club and now as of this past month, Welk Resorts.)

At this point, we called Marriott direct and started talking to them about ownership. Having bought DVC through resale, we didn’t know yet if there was a large resale market for Marriott or if there was, what it looked like. We were quoted some astronomical cost for points. After which, we looked at each other and said, “No way!” We started researching resale more and more and learned that there are 2 types of ownership within the Marriott system. Well, really 3.

  1. Destination points which work a lot like DVC. They provide the most flexibility at the highest cost.
  2. Legacy weeks which is a deeded ownership to a specific resort with a specific season and the only ability is to book your own resort at your season/week or exchange into other resorts through II (Interval International) which is a timeshare exchange company. (I will discuss it in another blog post.)
  3. Enroll your legacy week through Marriott into the destination program. It gives you the best of both worlds. BUT, this is not always available without a direct purchase from Marriott. This enrolled week would provide you lower annual maintenance dues, the ability to choose whether you want to use your week as points OR book your season/week.

We own both legacy weeks that are enrolled and also not enrolled. We enjoy and use them for different reasons. We use the legacy week that is not enrolled to stay in resorts that we know we want to stay in. We use the enrolled weeks to travel to resorts that we don’t own at. We will teach you how to make your legacy weeks more flexible when we start talking about the rental market.

The resorts we have visited so far have been amazing and funny enough, while we were on our last Marriott Vacation in Myrtle Beach at OceanWatch Villas Grand Dunes, I asked Vadim to book the next vacation at the same resort before we even left. It was that amazing. The rooms are spacious, the beds are super comfortable, beautiful amenities, thoughtful staff, the kids clubs (pre covid) were amazing! (Stay tuned for awesome videos on YouTube about other Marriott properties that we will be visiting this March)

We truly enjoy the Marriott system. It has been a wonderful addition to our vacation portfolio and I hope this post was helpful and gave you a little insight into this timeshare. If you have any questions or comments, please reach out or leave a comment below.

Why buy into DVC?

In my previous post, I touched on how much research went into our decision to buy into the timeshare industry. Yes, Vadim, my husband had one, but it was a quick sell for him while he was in Las Vegas years ago. He never used it and it just sat there. So learning the system was totally new for us.

We didn’t really know about any timeshare in detail but DVC (Disney Vacation Club) was looking really appealing. Their draw with the villa style rooms with kitchenettes or full kitchens, deluxe resorts, free transportation all throughout Disney, and the list went on. We kept crunching numbers on buying direct vs resale. We then started doing more research on the benefits of buying direct. There aren’t a ton and we determined it wouldn’t be worth it for our family.

So, we decided to buy resale. Now what? Well, there are few things you had to do first.

1. Decide where you would want to stay.

2. Which parks or area do you want to be near.

3. What size room will you be getting normally?

Once we came up with these answers, we were ready to make an offer on something. We decided that being able to walk to 1-2 parks would be ideal, then we would want to usually have a 1 bedroom. We narrowed it down to Disney’s Boardwalk resort. The purchase price, the points required to stay for a week, and the proximity to Hollywood Studios and Epcot, it was great! Plus, we got to use the back entrance to Epcot! Whoop whoop! No more long entrance lines!

We found a great contract, made an offer and off we went…

More posts to come regarding in depth details about each resort we have stayed at using DVC.

Why a timeshare?

You might be thinking, “Wow! Points, weeks, what’s the difference? How is a timeshare worth it? Timeshares have such a bad rep! I would never sit through one of those presentations!” Well, I’m here to tell you that if you don’t vacation every year, can not plan far in advance, and you don’t have the intention, capability, or desire to do so, then yes. Timeshares are probably not right for you. There’s also a learning curve that must happen in order to get all the benefits they offer. But, if you can plan far in advance and travel at least once a year, then read on. I will teach you how to stretch your points or weeks to be able to stay for more than 1 week on 1 maintenance fee.

Essentially, you’re buying pre-paid vacations for life or for a certain amount of years. The out of pocket cost after your payment of the timeshare deed itself is the maintenance fees which are yearly. If you don’t rent out what you have or use it yourself, it’s just a waste. BUT, if you use it in different ways, you’ll be set. It opens so much traveling experiences for you that you might never have been able to accomplish or even afford before having a timeshare.

Depending on time and locations, DVC, Marriott Vacation Club, Hyatt Residence Club and Vistana have great rental abilities. We have rented to family and close friends over the years and it’s been great. But we mostly use our points for our own stays and when you’re able to go during school times, you’ll be able to stay even longer because the point charts are lower. If you go during school breaks, it costs more points. You get the idea.

So while our girls were smaller, we would be able to go for 2 weeks at a time. Once they started school, it got less because we had to abide by the school policies.

There are other timeshares like Marriott, Hyatt, and Hilton which go off of points and/or weeks. The difference is that with a week, you basically now would choose a time frame based on seasons or desirability that they have laid out, and then you would choose the type of view you want. Then, you’re able to book a room during that allocated time instead of the same week every year. Although, a lot of timeshares are still structured with fixed weeks. There’s nothing wrong with that either! On one hand with a fixed week, your flexibility diminishes but on the other, you gain control over knowing that you have a set week at the most desirable time. Guaranteed.

Either way, there is a lot of options when it comes to timeshares and the opportunities are endless!

Myrtle Beach, SC. July 2019

Our Story

Welcome to our blog! My name is Naomi Matatov. I’m married to a wonderful man Vadim. We live in Metro Detroit, Michigan and have 3 beautiful and amazing daughters. They are 9, 7 and 1. Vadim and I met 10 years ago and married 6 months after we met. Our first trip together was to Washington DC for our honeymoon. We visited DC, Virginia and Philadelphia. After that, we took quite the break while having 2 little ones and only travelled locally around our home state.

After deciding we were going to branch out and felt our kids were old enough to start traveling, we decided to go to…dum dum dum…Disney World! (typical, I know.) After we started planning our vacation, we were pretty sticker shocked by the prices at Disney World and then I remembered that Vadim had told me he had an old timeshare that he never used. We did some research and wound out being able to trade his week to stay at Wyndham Bonnet Creek. We were able to secure a 2 bedroom, rented a car and did Disney like everyone else…or so we thought.

After having an amazing vacation and deciding we needed to go back A.S.A.P; we started looking into DVC (Disney Vacation Club). It was really tough on our kids to be at the parks all day and it was definitely a chore to get to the parks when driving our own car. So the transportation that DVC offered was a really big draw! After weeks of research, spreadsheets and dreaming, we decided to purchase. After that, we started going twice a year until Covid hit.

What you’ll get from this blog is a lot of timeshare information, and yes, while timeshare representatives can be quite pushy and obnoxious, we will show you the benefits of owning or renting timeshare weeks/points. Please take a moment to comment and visit out social media pages! Looking forward to helping you create amazing vacations!