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Luxury Vacation Clubs
You love to travel to great vacation spots – pristine beaches, top ski resorts, the world's great cities. And when you get there, you want to stay in a beautiful, well-appointed home with all the amenities.
You could simply buy a vacation home somewhere, but you would have all the hassles associated with ownership. And besides, you could travel to only one destination. You could rent homes in different destinations, but you would then have to research each rental, and you could never be completely sure what you were getting until you arrived.
Increasing numbers of people are considering membership in luxury vacation-home clubs, which let members stay in beautiful, well-appointed homes in popular destinations. These clubs are growing in number and in variety of locations, and many offer several different levels of resort membership options.
Basically, a vacation-home club works much like a country club. You pay a large fee up-front to join, and then annual dues. The up-front fees and dues can vary considerably based on several factors, including the number of days the member can use the homes, which days are included, the level of service, etc. Up-front fees can be as high as $395,000 or more, though most are in the $150,000-$250,000 range. Usually, most of the up-front payment is refunded when the member decides to quit. Annual dues are usually $10,000 or more.
What do you get for your money? You get access to beautiful homes. You also get concierge service, so that when you arrive at your vacation home and while you are there, you have everything you need. Perhaps most importantly, you have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that there will be no unpleasant surprises to mar your vacation.
If you are interested in a luxury vacation-home club, there are several options. You can start your search online; a few of the better-known clubs are Exclusive Resorts and Quintess.
Your choice probably will depend on how you plan to use your membership. First, look at the destinations available through each club. Are these places you would like to travel? Is the club planning to add destinations, and if so, where, and how soon? There is no point in joining a club that does not let you go where you want to go.
You also can check out the types of properties available. Find out how large they are, what amenities they include, where they are located relative to the things you are likely to want to see or do in the location.
Then see what kind of vacation time you get for your money, and whether there are any restrictions on that time. For example, can you choose to travel during the Christmas holidays? How much effort is it to book your travel? Most clubs offer different levels of membership, depending on the money and time you have available. Some also let you join with friends or family to buy a group membership.
If you have smaller children, are there things for them to do? Some clubs even offer children’s programs. If you want to bring friends or grown children and their families, are the properties large enough to accommodate everyone? Could you let your grown children use your membership to travel without you?
Joining a vacation-home club is a substantial investment, so you should do your homework thoroughly before you sign on the dotted line. Make sure the club you select is established and financially secure. But if you choose correctly, you could be helping yourself to worry-free vacations.