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Old 11-15-2012, 07:49 AM   #1
julefish3
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
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RCI Traveling

I am new to DVC and so far, I love it! I am thinking about a disney 2013 trip or a RCI vacation and I am getting frustrated. We are very flexible travelers and have many different destinations that we would like to see, but it seems like everything is booked for 2013 in RCI. If we even try to book for 2014 it doesn't seem like we can even book that far in advance.

Is it this hard to make a reservation on RCI?
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:38 AM   #2
bwvBound
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In my 12 years of RCI experience (outside DVC), the model of searching for a vacation in RCI is far different than booking hotels or even DVC. By and large, my most successful RCI techniques are the following:
  • "Open Search": if I have a targeted location and set of dates -- I'll pay upfront for the search and let it run on RCI's computers until it finds a match. Using this method, I've completed some eight exchanges into DVC at BVW for the exact week required for my work-related, technical conferences. In each case, I specified the week, resort and even unit size. I knew from experience that DVC would likely deposit appropriate inventory into RCI's system and that my chances for an exact match were very high.
  • "Go Fish!": Outside of booking DVC, most of my other RCI vacations were booked by simply browsing through the online inventory. For many years I'd peruse RCI's inventory daily even if I wasn't really looking for anything. It is amazing what you'll find when you aren't really looking. If something catches your eye, book it and use the 24-hour window to determine if you want to keep it. I've made my best exchanges using this method. My DH is well accustomed to receiving an email that reads, "Surprise! Look what I found in RCI! Can we keep it? Any interest?"

Using the "Go Fish!" method, I see lots of inventory offered right now through the DVC/RCI portal. 2013 shows over 200 exchange weeks for every month of the year and 2014 shows 50+ exchange weeks for most months. It appears there is lots out there -- now to figure out if any of the weeks are worth taking and keeping?

My next upcoming RCI vacation is now less than 60 days away ... two weeks in South Africa!
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:45 AM   #3
bwvBound
DVC SSR & other timeshare
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: San Diego
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Here's a fun one:

WorldMark Wine Country Angels Camp (#5489)
Resort info: http://www.worldmarktheclub.com/resorts/ac

Unit Type: 1 Bedroom, Full Kitchen
Dates: Fri 17-May-2013 to Fri 24-May-2013
Points: 144

What makes this a neat trade? The dates align with the Calaveras County Fair and Frog Jump Jubilee (May 16-19)! If you've never made the trek through California Gold Country -- this is a great time to visit!
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:09 AM   #4
bwvBound
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Oh, I recall an earlier post where you were thinking of Cabo or Costa Rica for 2013. Looks like there is quite a bit of inventory in San Jose del Cabo, a short bus ride north of the main action, located on the Sea of Cortez side of the peninsula. Personally, I like this area vs downtown or being on the Pacific side.

However, if you like the downtown action, the Pueblo Bonito Rose Spa & Resort (#4110) is a good location and has almost 200 weeks in RCI inventory right now?
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:40 AM   #5
julefish3
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This is great information! Thank you!! It is nice to see what there is hope for traveling on the RCI. I was reading some posts where people are so frustrated and upset over the availabilty that I was beginning to lose faith! Have you found that most of the places offer nice accomodations?
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:48 AM   #6
bwvBound
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Accommodations vary -- but sometimes I also consider that I need to adjust my expectations when traveling abroad. I generally rely on the reviews on TUG to gain a sense of the resort, unit and region.

Expect a few trade-offs. The Boambee Bay Resort in Coffs Harbour, AU, had the oldest mattresses I've experienced in a timeshare resort stay -- but the resort was in a great location and had a wonderful "family vibe." We got lots of great tips from local owners while mingling around the shared BBQs each evening!

Edited to add: The thread "Memorable Trips outside Disney?" contains many short write-ups on destinations offered to DVC owners through RCI.

Last edited by bwvBound; 11-15-2012 at 10:55 AM.
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Old 11-15-2012, 02:14 PM   #7
julefish3
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Thank you for the link! i just checked it out and looked at all of the places you have been! Good for you!!! I hope to be that well-travelled one day!

Reading the other posts it seems like a lot of people go on vacations and don't use their points b/c its too expensive. Once you paid for the DVC why does it matter how much it is? You're just using your points that will expire anyway, right? Am I missing something?
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Old 11-15-2012, 03:16 PM   #8
bwvBound
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Quote:
Originally Posted by julefish3 View Post
Thank you for the link! i just checked it out and looked at all of the places you have been! Good for you!!! I hope to be that well-travelled one day!
Take every opportunity you get! Sometimes these will be "snap" decisions on short notice (like our trip to Australia and our 1st Panama Canal crossing) and some might involve risk (like our trips to both the Holy Lands and Antarctica). Be ready to live out of a suitcase (mine never returns to the garage) and keep your eyes open for great offers.
Quote:
Reading the other posts it seems like a lot of people go on vacations and don't use their points b/c its too expensive. Once you paid for the DVC why does it matter how much it is? You're just using your points that will expire anyway, right? Am I missing something?
Ah, such a can of worms! Use what you have. Be as wise as possible with your decisions. Enjoy every minute.

I will typically try to book any specific travel using the least cost method -- unless I'm convinced that throwing extra dollars are justified by better service, fewer hassles, etc. How others book will depend on how many options they have, how skilled they are at planning, risk tolerance, etc. (Sounds a bit like investing, doesn't it?)

FWIW, we waaaaaay over paid for our first Transatlantic crossing (SS Norway, Sept 2001). We booked it while on board an earlier cruise with the same line. We *knew* we were overpaying at the time -- but justified it given the uniqueness of the journey (the expected "Farewell Journey" for this historic ship) and the level of service we were getting during our booking. OK, we overpaid. Eleven years later we don't regret booking that trip or really care what we paid ... we treasure the memories of the journey!
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Old 11-16-2012, 05:41 AM   #9
Dean
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Quote:
Originally Posted by julefish3 View Post
Reading the other posts it seems like a lot of people go on vacations and don't use their points b/c its too expensive. Once you paid for the DVC why does it matter how much it is? You're just using your points that will expire anyway, right? Am I missing something?
That'd be like giving your car away when you get ready to get a new one because there is an intrinsic value. Your choice of course but I personally value my points more than that. Cabo is a great example, you should be able to rent a week there, even high season, for the dues or less on the same number of points. For many options it's better to get a larger unit or use the DVC points in other ways or even rent them than to throw them away on an exchange you could have gotten easily some other way for MUCH cheaper.

Most really good exchanges are made with an ongoing search planned at least a year in advance. My experience with DVC members looking to exchange is that most are not really flexible when they think they are. Looking at even say 20 high demand resorts for a number of high demand weeks is not really being flexible. IMO and where timeshares are concerned, being flexible means you can travel at least shoulder season and/or are willing to take lessor resorts and possibly, smaller units.
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:40 AM   #10
Brian Noble
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Quote:
Reading the other posts it seems like a lot of people go on vacations and don't use their points b/c its too expensive. Once you paid for the DVC why does it matter how much it is? You're just using your points that will expire anyway, right? Am I missing something?
They don't have to expire unused; the other option is to rent them out---either as a transfer to another DVC owner, or by booking a reservation for someone else who will pay you. You can then use the proceeds to rent the non-DVC vacation you are looking for. These options do take a little work, but in most cases you will find you have money left over. You have to decide if the effort is worth the money, or if you'd rather just use the points directly.
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