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What Is a Timeshare?

What Is a Timeshare?

Timeshares, also called vacation ownership, help you enjoy more vacations more often with your family. With a timeshare, you’re pre-paying for your annual vacation accommodations by locking in today’s rates.

One of the benefits to owning a timeshare is that you get the flexibility to return to your favorite destinations every year or tap into your vacation ownership network to experience hundreds of new places.

Different Types of Timeshares

Way back when timeshares became a “thing,” owners bought a contract for a specific week at a specific resort to stay at every year. Types of timeshare and vacation ownership contracts include:

  • Deeded
  • Leasehold
  • Right to Use
  • Fixed Week
  • Float Week

Today, owners join a points-based program that offers more vacation flexibility. Owners purchase points to apply to a wide variety of vacations without being locked into the same week at the same resort every year.

Learn More About How Timeshares Work
Family of four running onto beach from Galveston Seaside Resort in Texas.

Are Timeshares Worth It?


Timeshares can save you money over the lifetime of ownership by locking in today’s rates for future vacations.

More Vacations, Less Planning:

With your accommodations set, you’ll spend less time hunting for a place to stay—and the best price—for every vacation.

Prioritized Family Time:

Timeshares help you plan more quality family vacations more often at a variety of accommodations every year.


Enjoy your favorite destination every year or take advantage of a timeshare exchange network to see new places.

How is a Timeshare a Different Way to Travel?

Sometimes it’s easier to understand the pros and cons of timeshares when you compare it to other travel options.

Timeshare vs Hotel

vs. Hotel

  • More Room: Spacious villas let you spread out and get comfortable. Extra bathrooms mean no more waiting. And multiple bedrooms let you stay up while the kids sleep.

  • Features from Home: Enjoy a home-cooked meal away from home in a fully-equipped kitchen and unpack fresh clean clothes when you get home with access to a full-sized washer and dryer.

  • Experiences: Keep the kids busy (and tired for the night) while you relax with fun extras like waterslides, lazy rivers, mini golf courses, seasonal activities and counselor-led activities.

  • Bottom Line: Once you experience a resort-style vacation with all the comforts of home, you won’t want to go back to “just a hotel room.”

Timeshare vs Vacation Home Rentals

vs. Vacation Home Rentals

  • Trust: Feel safe on a secure, well-maintained property and stay with the promise of a familiar brand name instead of hoping for the best with a stranger’s part-time rental.

  • Assistance: A front desk representative is a phone call away 24/7 if you need anything during your vacation. Feel welcome when you arrive instead of guessing where to go or what to do.

  • Extras: Stay in vacation mode when you step out your front door. From scheduled activities to poolside fun, timeshare resorts offer more than just a place to sleep.

  • Costs: By locking in today’s rates, know what you’ll pay for your accommodations for every stay and avoid the unpredictable prices and unexpected “service fees” of home rentals.

Timeshare vs Vacation Home Purchase

vs. Vacation Home Purchase

  • Maintenance: You take vacations to get away from chores. Spend your vacation time relaxing instead of mowing, watering, renovating and other home improvement projects that would be required at a traditional vacation home.

  • Peace of Mind: Take comfort in knowing someone is watching over and protecting your vacation accommodations when you’re away.

  • Housekeeping: Remember getting away from those chores? When it’s time to head home, leave the kitchen cleaning and bathroom scrubbing to someone else.

  • Costs: Pay for timeshare accommodations you’ll actually use and get away from complicated tax laws and insurance for a vacation home that sits empty 50 weeks a year.

  • Variety: Don’t be locked into one place year after year. Enjoy the flexibility to vacation at multiple resorts or exchange your points to visit different destinations worldwide.

Is a Timeshare Right for You?

Are timeshares worth it? Are timeshares a scam? A quick Google search will show you that some people love vacation ownership and some…don’t.

Here are a few reasons why people love timeshares:

  • Space, amenities and activities designed for families
  • Resorts with family-friendly features and access to a global hotel network
  • Trust that you’ll have a high-quality experience every time—especially when your membership is affiliated with a global hotel brand like IHG® Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn®
  • The ability to enjoy quality vacation time with the confidence of knowing what it’ll cost

And here are signs a timeshare may not be for you:

  • You can’t afford to travel during your vacation time each year
  • You don’t need any extra space because you always travel alone
  • You can’t responsibly afford our pricing and payment plan
  • You’d rather not commit to one brand, even if it means spending more money over time

Frequently Asked Questions