What Is Vacation Ownership?

Travel takes our breath away, doesn’t it?

For those of us who love to travel, we live to visit magical destinations featuring beaches, mountains, and cities. Some destinations appeal to us so much that we cannot help but consider vacation ownership. 

9.9 million American households own some type of shared vacation ownership. You may already have a place or are considering looking into it. 

But what exactly is vacation ownership? Is this the right type of property purchase for you?

Before you purchase a partial residence in your favorite vacation destination, it’s vital to be well-informed. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about vacation ownership. 

What Is Vacation Ownership?

Vacation ownership is another way to refer to owning a timeshare. With ownership of a timeshare, you are purchasing a select amount of time when you can stay at your favorite vacation destination. 

A timeshare gives you a shared piece of a residence, typically broken down into its usage during a specified number of weeks per year. Some timeshares involve resorts that have locations around the world. Ownership in this type of timeshare allows you to spread your weeks out in different places if you choose to do so. 

Vacation property owners are also typically members of the resort where the property is located. Each member has specific rights or times to use the vacation property. 

Types of Vacation Ownership

Owning part of a vacation property is not a one-size-fits-all scenario. There are many different types of vacation ownership; understanding each is important if you are considering investing in one. Here are some of the different types. 


With this type of vacation ownership, the owner gets a literal “deed” for their week, confirming their ownership. The owner can rent out the timeshare, give it away, or sell it. 


The right-to-use vacation ownership property does not come with a deed. Instead, the owner signs a lease specifying how long the owner will have the right to use the timeshare.

The time frames vary depending on the specifications of the agreement, but most last between 25 and 99 years. Owners can sell their ownership to someone else during their lease term. 


Leasehold vacation ownership involves units that have a specific expiration date. They have similar rights and benefits to other types of vacation timeshare ownership. 


Within each of the types of vacation ownership, there are different sub-types. These include:

  • Points-based to use in a range of resorts within the brand 
  • Biennial (for use every other year)
  • Fixed week 
  • Floating week within a preferred season
  • Fractional ownership

Benefits of Vacation Ownership

Many people love to return to their preferred vacation destination time and time again. With many benefits, vacation ownership has become quite popular for a reason!

Avoiding Stressful Vacation Planning

Some people do not enjoy the stress of planning a vacation. Vacation ownership brings you back to a place where you know your way around, what you will do, and the quality of your accommodations. It’s an excellent solution for those who like predictable and routine trips. 

No Maintenance Worries

There are fees you will have to pay with vacation ownership to cover the costs associated with maintaining your property. However, you will not have to personally be responsible for planning or overseeing any upgrades or improvements. 

Less of a Financial Burden than a Vacation Home

Owning a typical vacation home is often a financial stressor. With vacation ownership, you get to travel regularly to a place you love while limiting your overhead costs.

Resales Can Be Found at a Bargain Price

If people no longer use their vacation property or cannot afford it, they will be looking to sell. Often, this means getting the unit at a fraction of the original purchase price, with some people even giving them away to avoid continuing to pay the fees associated with it. 

Spacious and Comfortable Accommodations

Vacation ownership means saying goodbye to cramped hotel quarters! Most of these vacation properties offer spacious accommodations to sleep many of your loved ones comfortably. 

Risks of Vacation Ownership

Many people regret their decision in the years following a vacation ownership lease agreement. Are you trying to figure out how to cancel your timeshare? You are not alone.

Here are some of the many risks of vacation ownership. 

It Is Not Affordable

Before you decide if vacation ownership is for you, make sure you do your homework. Compare what you would spend on a typical vacation with what the sales team offers. Many people end up paying more than they would expect.  

Pricey Financing

A typical mortgage involves the financial institution being able to cover potential losses with a tangible piece of property. With vacation ownerships, lenders are wary because they might not be able to recuperate the value of their loan if payment is not made. Therefore, financing rates will be higher. 

No Appreciation

Some people believe that vacation ownership is the same as an appreciating investment. Unfortunately, the opposite is true: ownership of shared vacation units rarely increases in value after purchase. 

High Fees

Vacation ownership goes hand in hand with fees, but these fees may become unaffordable over time. Fees are not frozen upon purchasing a unit. The jumps in price from year to year may be too much for your budget to handle.

Difficult to Get Rid Of

Vacation ownership contracts are a long-term commitment that often spans decades. If you decide to get rid of your property, you may face a time-consuming and stressful battle. 

Vacation Ownership: Is It for You?

Vacation ownership comes with both benefits and risks. Are you looking to get into or out of the timeshare market? Now that you have the information, you get the final say on what your vacations will look like in the coming years. 

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