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Vacation clubs vs Timeshares
Product·27/01/2023· Luna Marcos

Vacation clubs vs Timeshares: What are their main differences?

There are many options for shared ownership in the industry these days. Today we explain the cons and pros of vacation clubs and timeshares. Read more to understand the differences and find out about other sound alternatives.

Timeshares and vacation clubs are top of mind when one thinks of hassle-free holiday rentals. But what are the differences between them and are there any better options? Let’s find out.

The sense of freedom from the stresses of needing to be the fastest finger on holiday rental booking sites is unparalleled. 

What’s a timeshare and how does a timeshare work?

A timeshare is a model of shared ownership in which over 50 buyers get exclusive ownership rights to a piece of property for an annual period of time. 

This typically comes in the form of the partial ownership of a holiday resort or villa for a week per year. 

The sharing arrangement comes in two forms. The first is a floating arrangement in which owners book ahead to use the property within a fixed period. Say, one week any time between January and March.

The alternative is a fixed arrangement in which owners book the property for a fixed week ahead of time. For example, a timeshare owner may choose to book a property from February 1 to 7.

Pros and cons of timeshares


Owning a timeshare is a much better option than owning a vacation home. Complete ownership of a vacation home will leave it vacant and unused for most of the year. This can really be a huge waste of money. Having partial ownership of a vacation property can be cost-efficient in terms of ownership costs.

This also means that you are guaranteed accommodation when you go on vacation. Say goodbye to the hassle of competing with the rest of the crowd to book a holiday rental for your ideal vacation period.

Some timeshares even allow you to rent out your ownership period if you are not planning to use it during your allocated slot.


While you get to enjoy cost-efficiency in terms of property ownership, other unexpected costs can rack up pretty quickly. Because a timeshare is shared among many owners, it’s to no one’s surprise that maintenance costs billed by the timeshare management company can get pretty high. The larger the number of people sharing the property, the more likely damage is done to the space. 

Couple that with the low resale value of timeshares, you may just incur a greater cost in the long run. If you are looking at timeshares as an investment option, we strongly suggest that you drop the idea.

What is a vacation club?

A vacation club is an alternative to timeshares. 

Vacation club ownership is a variation to the timeshare model. They are similar to timeshares in the sense that you still need to pay a fixed fee to use a vacation property for a fixed period annually.

But instead of purchasing rights to a specific piece of property, “members” pay an upfront sum to purchase a fixed number of points that can be used to purchase the right to use different holiday rentals each year. Yearly maintenance fees still apply to this model of shared property ownership.

Examples of companies with such programs include Disney Vacation Club and Hilton Grand Vacations Club.

Pros and cons of vacation clubs


Vacation clubs are more flexible than timeshares. You are not bound to a specific property for the rest of your life. And not only are you not bound to a specific property, but you are also actually not bound to a specific country. Vacation club companies come with a wide variety of holiday rentals for you to choose from.

A resort swimming pool at one of the vacation clubs owned by Disney
A resort swimming pool at one of the vacation clubs owned by Disney

And because these properties are owned by large multinational corporations, rest assured that you’ll get to enjoy the best resort facilities there are. Just look at how grand the swimming pool is at one of Disney’s Vacation Clubs.

Because you are not the owner of the property, you are not responsible for the maintenance fees for the entire year. You only need to pay the fee for the duration for which you will be using the place.


While they’re slightly more flexible than timeshares, they aren’t the most flexible arrangement either. You are limited to the locations where the vacation club company has a presence.

Many travelers who have stayed at vacation clubs have lamented that they were bombarded by a lot of aggressive attempts to sell them a variety of packages. These include tour packages and membership extensions. And this kind of hassle will surely take away from you fully enjoying your stay.

What’s the difference between a timeshare and a vacation club?

differences between a timeshare and a vacation club at a glance
This table shows the differences between a timeshare and a vacation club at a glance

Are there any vacation club and timeshare alternatives?

While these shared ownership options sound decent, sharing the same property with 50 users does not sound like a great idea at all. Nor does the idea of being poked by aggressive salespeople at vacation clubs 

Are there any other alternatives out there that can fit you better? Enter the world of fractional ownership.

What is fractional ownership?

The fractional ownership model is one where around six to 12 owners share actual ownership of a home. Each owner has access to the place at least five weeks per year. This makes fractionally owned properties more of an actual home than a vacation house.

Unlike timeshare owners, buyers of fractionally owned properties actually have more control of the property. While the management companies oversee the day-to-day operations and maintenance of the properties, they have no ownership of the place.

And on the point of property investments, fractionally owned properties actually appreciate in value, unlike timeshares.

Want to learn more about fractional home ownership?

VIVLA’s fractionally owned properties have some of the most flexible options in the market, with the highest value

VIVLA fully manages all aspects of the administrative work that comes with the house in exchange for a monthly fee. This includes the buying process, legalities, administrative work like annual taxes, and a full home management service. We even offer exclusive services like a 24/7 concierge service and excellent personalized services. 

Owners will be free of all those stressors and enjoy a great experience every time they stay at their homes.

You can fractionally own a VIVLA property anywhere from one-eighth to half of the total selling price the price of the home and use the space for at least 6.5 weeks per year.

Reach out to us today to learn more about how you can purchase a fraction of your perfect retreat at a great destination.

Get in touch with us to find your dream vacation home