As my first real post in “The Frugal Cheapskate’s Blog” I thought I’d take a brief minute to talk about timesharing and whether or not you (and me) feel like they are worth the price? Are they a good deal with all the amenities? Or just a vacationing Hell that’s way out of bounds for the average consumer?
Getting off the plane in Cozumel, we got wheeled into a sales pitch for the El Cid timeshares in Playa Del Carmen. They said they’d give us a rental car for 2 days, and plenty of free stuff (admission) into the various tourist traps while we were in Cozumel. And all for the bargain price of (drum roll please….) only $90usd. Truthfully, it wasn’t a bad deal considering we also got free breakfast and transportation to and from the Island over to the mainland, etc, etc. If you’ve ever been through a timesharing “speel” you know that they butter you up, and let you simmer while basting away on the Pro’s of why you need this timeshare … and for the next 20 years of your life.
They even say “you can sell you time share (TS) anytime you want. It’s yours, you own that!” (note: they never said you own land, housing/building, etc.) It was all-inclusive and it was B-E-A-U-tiful (aka: view from Picture shown). And all for the price of …. a small home in Houston (around $75K to $150K spaced over 20 years? Yeah. Right!) We almost walked then.
“But wait! There’s more…”
How about the one the just came available (what a coincidence) and it’s only 1/2 price? Okay, how about this time slot with a nice view during the rainy season? (no, they didn’t say that, but might as well have said it) LOL.
Time lapse ahead about 30 min’s and a bottle of Champagne flowing freely. Hey, Isn’t this place just Grand? Such service? Such happiness? So many smiles and people just cheering you on to just “Sign here please.”
We knew we weren’t going to buy from the onset. We just wanted to see the mainland and get a nice breakfast … plus the car rental (which was nice btw) and all the extras. It was 1 day.
If we were on a 1 week vacation, or less, this day would’ve been lost. Go, Go, Go and stress to buy, buy, buy. We stayed in Cozumel for 15 days. Hotel with the most beautiful view and airfare, the cost was around $1500, any tax already incl.ed. the time share package would’ve ran about $2000/yr. and up. (the water view from the hotel Vista Del Mar was the biggest expense, IMO)
My how things have changed in the Mexican Riviera. Used to be a place to go “cheap” … and it still is IF you know what to do, where to go. But, if you’re an unsuspecting tourista’ who gets stopped by every con along the street, your fun just got compressed, squeezed. I hadn’t been (back) to Cozumel since the late-1980′s. Thankfully I do know how to do it right. $2/breakfasts are still there, $5/lunches. $6-$12/dinners. And we ate like kings. :) But you have to know the ropes. (and they have purified water everywhere now)
vacationing bottom line. I like to unwind on vacation, not maintain the speed I was @ in the real world. Most people need a vacation once they get back .. just to unwind from the go-go-go! I like to feel the Oooo’s and Aaaah’s.
Timesharing may be the way to go for some people, but I prefer going on vacation and blending in with the ambiance, the atmosphere, and the people of where I/we go to. I’m not talking about any fast paced places obviously. A vacation – IMO – should be about blowing off some steam, but at the same time spending time relaxing, and getting to know that there is more around us than a cellphone, bills to pay, or a deadline to meet. Why go on vacation if you never slow down, and/or are always bossing people around, being rude, etc. Those people could save money and stay at home.
I hope to talk about many things that are money minded and (obviously) “frugal” to do. And cheap!
Have you thought of buying a condo or timeshare somewhere? If so, how much are you willing to spend and why vs. packing the luggage and just taking off for places unknown? I’d love to hear your comments. Or, do you have a vacation that was off the wall and so memorable that you couldn’t believe you found it, or experienced it? I’m interested, even if it wasn’t a frugal cheapskate’s dream. ;)
Thanks for reading this. This 1st post was a “get my feet wet” idea. There’s plenty of changes coming and lots to talk about. :)
The Frugal Cheapskate. Little things do add up! >:< >