If you’re as old as me you’ll probably have a preconceived notion of what timeshare is all about – it’s people losing ten of thousands of pounds buying shares in Spanish resorts that end up never being built right?
Turns out that over the last 20 years timeshare has evolved into an altogether more viable option, not just for semi-retired 50-something couples, but also for young families. Did you know for example that you can buy a five year timeshare with Disney? Every year for five years you get to go and stay in one of their resorts, saving you money compared with paying for each holiday separately.*
Another thing that I didn’t know about timeshare is that you aren’t committed to going to the exact same place at the exact same time every single year. This sort of holidaying doesn’t appeal to me, as I like to try out new things and visit new places, but through a company called RCI you can swap your holiday for someone else’s. Essentially your holiday is worth a certain amount of credits, and you can trade these in for other holidays of a similar value. You might want to swap your week in peak season Italy for example for two weeks in low season in South Africa. It’s all very flexible and not half as daunting as the idea of having to return to the same place year on year.
With timeshare holidays becoming ever more popular, we wanted to put timeshare to the test and see what all the fuss is about. RCI very kindly obliged. A couple of weekends ago then we
jetted luxuriously drove for hours to sunny rainy mid Wales to the Plas Talgarth Holiday Resort.
Belle and I are no stranger to UK mini breaks and were very happy with the facilities on offer, including indoor and outdoor swimming pools, spa, steam room, and all the other usual suspects. We didn’t eat in the restaurant, (we stayed in our apartment, ate pizza for the nearby Co-op and watched The Voice on Saturday night, as we are super cool), but it looked lovely. All of the staff we met were very friendly and helpful, and our living room and kitchen were very spacious. One wall of our living room was a huge window, with views out over the Welsh countryside, and we even had a private sauna!
Because we were only there for the weekend we didn’t get to try out any of the weekly activities, as these happen Monday-Friday, but from the information we were given it looked like there was plenty of choice, and I can imagine that this would be a good way to get to know regular visitors and other timeshare owners, particularly if you were coming back for the same week every year.
On reflection, despite the nice accommodation, our destination was probably a poor choice on our part, as it turns out that mid Wales is basically closed in February – no kidding, entire high streets were simply shut – but trying to keep our minds in the ‘a change is as good as a rest’ zone, we set out to explore the area.
Thankfully not absolutely everything was closed and on Saturday morning, accompanied by blue skies and not even a little bit of drizzle, we paid a visit to Devil’s Bridge Falls. For a small looking place the main waterfall was actually very impressive, and the walk around it was beautiful, although not one for anyone with a fear of steps.
(I actually looked this up and ‘Bathmophobia‘ is a fear of slopes and stairs. I can’t read it though without thinking it’s a fear of bath mops. Not that a bath mop is even a thing.)
During the weekend we also squeezed in a visit to Constitution Hill in Aberystwyth, a lovely drive along the Welsh coast and a trip to Powis Castle. You can always rely on the National Trust for a cream tea and a gift shop, whatever the weather or time of year. There were plenty more attractions that we would have liked to have seen had they been open, but despite being a little heavy on the driving front, we did have a lovely weekend. Perhaps a change really is as good as a rest.
*Timeshare isn’t an investment in the same way that you might buy your own property abroad and then resell it – it’s more like the Costco of holidays – buy in bulk, get a great deal, and know that your holiday needs for the next x number of years are taken care of – ideal for anyone who likes to visit their favourite resort every year and wants to make sure they bag the best times and accommodation.
Disclosure – our weekend away was courtesy of RCI.