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Back from the yearly road trip

November 15th, 2013 at 01:46 pm

Well the trip to FL ended this past Monday (literally, I finished driving at 3:00 AM Monday) and we survived (physically and mentally). The total for me and the SG girlfriend was probably $1,800 ($730 for the timeshare, $490 for 3 day disney tickets, ~$300 for gas, and well... a little here and a little there). We survived some near misses (people trying to play dodge'em with our car, a gated community's gate that swung towards our car, not to the sides {yikes, put it in reverse now!}, the 3 egrets that tried walking in through the open door in our time share, almost getting lost in Tampa). My girlfriend showed her new found courage to go on some "scary" rides. OK, not so scary to me, but I know she was considering turning back more than once. Her fortitude was really appreciated - it helped to make a great time in Florida.

We also did our (or mine anyway) first timeshare presentation (at the location we were staying). I think our presentation was the shortest of any in our group (maybe 20 groups). We didn't lie to the guys (there was first guy, and then the "closer"), but I think they thought we were a little nuts. OK, that may be true, but hey, if it works, go with it. Right? That got us about $65 off our tickets for a little over an hour of time (plus we got some nice OJ and coffee). Not sure if we could have done better elsewhere (probably), but this is supposed to be low pressure, so it was probably just as well we went there. I forget the exact numbers (they wouldn't let us take the numbers with us), but I think they started at $30,000, then $12,000, and finally a reduced value package for $5,000. Since its not a real "time share" any more, but some convoluted point system, they can offer all levels of packages. Basically looks like pre-paying your vacations, though more flexible (in some ways!) than with old style time share systems. And I think I realized what is going on. Using a point system, they can over-sell facilities, knowing that not everyone will use their points, or will only buy when prices are high. Its like planes where they over book. An easy way to make even more money. Gawd, if that ain't easy money for them, I don't know what is.

On the trip I used my gas gift card, along with a Subway gift card she had. That helped with the expenses. And today I get my two-week paycheck, more than enough for the whole trip plus more. Yep, it was a good trip.

2 Responses to “Back from the yearly road trip”

  1. monkeymama Says:

    Sounds Nice!

    I've never seen what the big deal with timeshare presentations are. They always seem quick to usher us out before anyone else notices we aren't drinking the koolaid. Wink It's like they know not to even bother with us. My spouse did want to go to one in Florida last year when we were there (stayed on his parents' Shell vacation points), BUT I did not want to ruin a perfectly nice vacation with a timeshare presentation. I have less tolerance for them in more tropical type locales. In Vegas we have been to a couple. A little downtime is nice and it is 110 degrees outside, so whatever... (I think Vegas is also more desperate so offers better rewards than average. We received $100-$200 each time. Maybe they don't have to try so hard in places like Hawaii).

    Was this Shell? Just curious if we should be going to all the Shell ones if they are really low pressure.

  2. bennyhoff Says:

    This was at a place called "Orange Lake", run by Marriot. They participate in various point systems with other companies. Its close enough to Disney to hear the fireworks every evening. The place is very nice, no doubt about it, but I know you can do better on the secondary market, to say the least. I only say its low pressure because that is what I heard, but I may be wrong about it. Sure wasn't going to convince me, I know better.

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