For some timeshare owners, the journey to their property is a short drive away from home. For most, however, their annual vacation destination is located quite far away. Actually, that’s usually the whole point of going on vacation; sometimes, you just need to get away! In this case, traveling to your timeshare requires a lengthy road trip or flight. These costs can add up rather quickly, especially if you are traveling with several family members. The fact is that, often times, the travel costs associated with timeshare ownership are left out of the equation when people consider their vacation budgets.
As the economy continues to struggle, and the cost of fuel progressively rises to record highs, experts predict that the price of airfare will persistently increase annually over the next 20 years. In fact, the current average price of airfare is already up nearly 10% from this same time last year. According to Ed Perkins, a blogger with smartertravel.com, “Just about everyone in the business believes that airfares are going up, generally, across the boards, and more or less permanently.” Factors for the price hikes include decreased airline capacity, labor strife, conflict in the Middle East, and recent mergers among large carriers. Unfortunately for travelers, none of these issues seem to be going away any time in the near future.
It’s not all bad, though. On the whole, flying is still a relatively cheap form of travel (in relation to rates adjusted for inflation over the last 30 years), and most airlines stay afloat by throwing in hidden costs such as large baggage fees or instituting small price increases several times throughout the course of the year. Many carriers are looking to invest in more fuel-efficient planes, but much of the technology has yet to be fully realized and the cost for research and development alone is well into the billions of dollars. The average consumer who’s grown accustomed to paying modest fees is likely in for a rude awakening in the near future.
The typical timeshare traveler overlooks several fees associated with car travel that can add up quickly, even if you’re flying. If you’re flying, parking your car in an airport ramp can cost as much as $100 per week. In addition, you’ll have to either rent a car or rely on taxicabs for the duration of your trip, and these costs can get out of hand quickly. For instance, I checked to see how much it would cost to rent a compact car over Christmas this year, and the overall figures well exceeded over $100 per day with Enterprise.
If you’re driving to your vacation destination, there are obviously costs associated with fuel, oil changes, and potential car problems. While fuel prices remained relatively low over this past summer (in large part due to the political elections), most experts don’t expect that trend to continue. In fact, many economists are predicting $4 per gallon again by the end of January.
There are also the unseen costs of piling mileage onto your vehicle’s odometer. In 2011, Americans drove an average of 13,500 miles per year (this statistic includes teenage and senior drivers that typically wouldn’t be driving cross-country to a timeshare destination). A roundtrip car ride from the northern eastern seaboard to southern Florida is more than 2,500 miles. That’s almost a fifth of the miles you’ll put on your car in an entire year! Cars are meant to be driven, but packing on the miles will shorten the length of your vehicle’s life.
Just One of Many Fees
Many people are completely comfortable with paying the travel fees associated with timeshare ownership. Others, however, are beginning to see these costs as the straw breaking the proverbial camel’s back. Once these expenses are coupled with maintenance fees and special assessments, along with the headaches associated involved with scheduling your allotted time at your vacation property, the cost of owning a timeshare becomes less and less feasible.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your timeshare, the smartest, fastest way to remove yourself from your contract is to seek the assistance of a timeshare transfer company.