Timeshares: Better than Home Shares?

Have you started planning out your next vacation or two, and deliberating between what kind of lodging to rent?  Are you a frequent traveler and ever considered investment in a timeshare instead of spending your money on hotels? Or is temporary lodging through home share rental websites like Airbnb better suit your travel plans? Read below to understand the differences between timeshare vacation investments and home sharing vacation rentals.

Home Share Websites

Home share vacation rentals is a relatively new concept that is most popular with young people between the ages of 18 and 44, and has steadily increased in popularity over the last five years. The best known home share websites are Airbnb, HomeAway, VRBO and Housetrip. A recent study indicates that the private accommodation market grew at rates faster than the total US travel market in 2016, and its estimated growth is expected to exceed $36 billion later this year. That’s quite a lot of vacations in the mix! How it works is home sharing services provide an online platform where property owners rent out their homes for short or long term use to potential travelers. You search properties by selecting criteria such rooms, amenities, and location and make a booking request if the property is available. If available, you receive a confirmation or denial if property is already booked or owner does not want to rent to you. Your credit card on file is charged to pay for the property, and some rentals must be prepaid in full, and others allow you to confirm your reservation with a deposit.

Risks of Home Sharing Rental Websites

As they often offer lower prices than you can find at hotels, home sharing rentals are a good option if you are on a budget.  A negative of using these services is the risk that comes along with renting a property sight unseen.  Often times the advertised property is not what you expected based on photos and descriptions alone.  Some properties are even intentionally misrepresented by devious owners trying to make a quick buck.  By booking properties through home share website, you could end up disappointed by the property’s cleanliness, location or other reasons.

If the owner is unavailable or unattentive when you complain, it may end up ruining your vacation experience. On the upside, one positive to the home sharing websites is that an online rating system exists so you can review the property after your stay. This is designed to help both travelers and owners know what to expect from the vacation rental property and traveler. Be aware that you may encounter situations where fake owners have illegally listed properties to rent, and unsuspecting travelers paid for a service that was not provided. This is unlikely to happen, but it is a risk to be aware of. To better protect yourself, only book properties that have good traveler reviews to increase the likelihood you won’t have a disaster vacation!

Benefits of Timeshare Investment vs. Home Shares

Now that you know the potential risks involved with home shares, are you wondering if there is a better option for you that is more secure? If so, why not consider a timeshare investment? With genuine timeshare ownership, you know the property you will vacation at from first hand experience so it is unlikely to disappoint.  Another benefit of a timeshare ownership is the added bonus of having competent concierge, courteous staff members, and friendly house cleaners all on site to assist you during your vacation.

There are many other services and amenities such as pools, gyms and spas to enjoy that are usually not available if you use a home sharing website to book your vacation rental. Timeshare staff are well trained and focused on providing excellent customer service to make your vacation great. They are ready to resolve any issues or concerns you may have during your vacation and can even assist you by making reservations, arranging tours, or scheduling airport transfers. When you rent a home sharing property, it is up to you alone to make any and all arrangements, and resolve any issues or problems that may arise.

While both home sharing properties and timeshares are valuable choices for today’s savvy traveler, be aware that home share rentals come with a potential risk for major issues that could ruin your vacation.  On the contrary, timeshares provide excellent access to amenities, quality services and offer a consistent level of comfort that you can trust. Which vacation rental option will work best for you?