When you buy a timeshare or a fractional property share, you get so much more than the keys to a holiday home. A good timeshare or fractional purchase opens the doors to a home-from-home holiday lifestyle, with spacious apartments offering privacy for groups and family gatherings, with well-equipped kitchens and dining areas so you can enjoy dining in just as much as dining out. A great menu of on-resort facilities, which varies from resort to resort, but which often includes swimming pools, bars, restaurants, spas, wellness treatment areas and more, is a real bonus. And that is all before you've even stepped outside your resort.

Why squash yourself into a tiny room for your holiday, when you could be spreading out in style in a roomy apartment? The space and privacy offered by timeshare properties makes them a perfect family holiday solution.

Why squash yourself into a tiny room for your holiday, when you could be spreading out in style in a roomy apartment or residence?

Where can I buy timeshare and fractional properties?

If you don't own timeshare, how do you go about buying it? I have friends who have been invited to sales presentations during their holiday, purchased timeshare and gone on to enjoy many years of fabulous family holidays. There are more ways to buy timeshare, and perhaps the best is to go directly to the resort that you like the look of.

And if you are interested in buying a timeshare in a resort that is affiliated to RCI, here are some that currently have timeshares to sell, so be sure to take some time to visit their resort pages on RCI.com and the resort's websites directly so you can establish if they are a good fit for your holiday needs. Simply contact the resort you're interested in to make further enquiries, or even book a rental holiday at the resort to sample exactly what it has to offer.

Are two weeks on holiday simply not enough? Fractional properties are another form of sharing ownership and time in a holiday home, but are based on longer use periods which rotate so each owner gets to holiday in the property in all seasons. Typically they also come with higher service levels than standard timeshare and are upscale properties in AAA locations - so if you have lots of time on your hands and love to languish in luxury for extended periods, fractional could be the way to go for you.

The following resorts offer different levels of ownership and membership, so you can move on to higher tiers if you want to upgrade your holiday lifestyle, but all tiers of ownership have so much more to offer you than a standard hotel room.

Perfect Karma

The Karma Group offers beautiful leisure and holiday properties across the world. An independent company, the vision of its founder and CEO, John Spence, uniquely shapes the holiday offering at his resorts. Karma creates extraordinary experiences and puts curated entertainment at the heart of its operations. From island beaches bathed in sun to snow-capped mountains, Karma knows paradise comes in many guises for different people.

The group owns and operates 27 resorts worldwide across four continents, from beach parties with live DJs in Greece, relaxing spa retreats in the Indian hills to historic hotels and designer resorts. Arriving at a Karma resort is just the start of your holiday journey. The group's seven brands - Karma Retreats, Karma Resorts, Karma Royal, Karma Estates, Karma Beach, Karma Spa and Karma Boutique - will open the door to a life more extraordinary.

For more information on buying timeshare or other forms of shared-holiday ownership with Karma - or to book a stay to sample the Karma experience - visit www.karmagroup.com

Karma Cay Tre (DE41), left, is known as the finest boutique property in the ancient Vietnamese city of Hoi An. Refresh yourself in the expansive pool, enjoy barbecues riverside and discover the secrets of the local cuisine with farm tours and cooking classes. Karma Bavaria (C815), centre, is to be found in the foothills of the Bavarian Alps, surrounded by stunning mountain scenery in a location that can be enjoyed year-round. Mayura A Karma Retreat (DA15), is a contemporary Balinese-style property set on the banks of a jungle-clad river in the village of Mas in Indonesia. Surrounded by rice terraces and coconut groves the resort offers much family entertainment, including a swimming pool and children’s pool, as well as horseback riding and biking. Guests seeking relaxation can take refuge at the calming spa, pick up a round of golf and dine at the on-site restaurant.

Relaxing retreat

Barnsdale Country Club (2932) has a splendid location in England's smallest county, Rutland. Set in the Rutland Water conservation area, it's just a short drive from the pretty old town of Oakham. The resort's extensive spa and leisure facilities make it a haven to retreat to for relaxation. With its breathtaking views of the magnificent Rutland Water, this is one of the most relaxing places to enjoy the great outdoors. Please note that this resort is not suitable for guests with walking difficulties, as there are steep hills and steps to be negotiated.

There are different ways to own your Rutland Water retreat at this resort. For a one-time payment from as little as £1,200 (an annual maintenance and management fee is applicable, however), you can buy a week's holiday - to use each year until 2029 - in one of the A-frame lodges in the park or an apartment in the original hall. With an RCI membership, you can also use this ownership to exchange into a selection of the more than 4,000 resorts worldwide which are signed up to RCI Holiday Exchange.

Or, you can take up a short-term ownership of a five-year holiday package for a simple one-off fee of £5,000, which actually includes the five-year maintenance and management fees, as well as RCI membership!

To find out more about buying timeshare and shared-holiday ownerships at this resort, please visit www.barnsdalehotel.co.uk

Set in conservation parkland overlooking Rutland Water in England, Barnsdale Country Club (2932) has plenty of rural charm and character, with friendly and attentive staff. It is a perfect mix of nature and spa, and all in close proximity to some of England's oldest towns.

Family fun

Club Las Calas (1448) is conveniently located near the heart of the popular tourist destination of Puerto del Carmen on the island of Lanzarote, one of the sunny Canary Islands. The resort comprises of 145 apartments and has recently benefitted from a €2 million lavish upgrade. Its attractive gardens are dotted with palm trees and other tropical plants, such as the colourful hibiscus and bougainvillea. On-resort, guests can take a splash in any of four heated pools, and then lounge on the extensive sun terrace. For the children, there are two small pools and a Kids' Club, while teenagers are catered for with pool tables and arcade games. Plus it's close to the sandy beaches and the Old Town fishing docks, while the beachside boulevard presents a stylish shopping opportunity by day. By night, the restaurants and nightclubs in the area provide lots of lively entertainment options.

To learn more about this resort and how you could be holidaying there, visit www.resort-solutions.co.uk/resorts/club-las-calas/ or, for more information, contact: Tracey - tracey.membershipservices@cmslanzarote.com or Rachel - rachel.lascalas@cmslanzarote.com

Club Las Calas (1448) has recently had a €2 million upgrade, creating a lavish and very attractive resort in the lively holiday resort of Puerto del Carmen on the Canary Island of Lanzarote. There are several restaurants and bars on the resort itself, together with much in the way of entertainment for the children.

Dolce vita

Overlooking the cool waters surrounding the sizzling Italian island of Sicily, the magnificent vistas to be enjoyed from Domina Zagarella Sicily (D722) are enough, on their own, to make a holiday here something special. This resort is set in the cliffs in the spectacular area of Palermo. The property itself is totally sympathetic with its beautiful natural surrounds and is simply stunning. Classic Italian décor, a fitness room, three swimming pools and a lush Mediterranean garden are all on hand to enhance your stay here. For the more active, a diving centre opens seasonally to offer the best in marine adventures. Three on-site restaurants provide unique culinary experiences, with gourmet versions of classic Mediterranean dishes. The property's five floors are each themed to reflect an important aspect of the Italian heritage: the automotive world, music, fashion, film, and woman the diva!

To see how you could be living the 'Dolce Vita', visit www.dominasicily.com

Domina Zagarella Sicily (D722) nests in the cliffs of Palermo, overlooking the azure waters around this tiny Italian island. The resort is, first and last, Italianate, with all the panache and styling you'd expect of one of Italy's largest holiday brands.

Maltese indulgence

Pergola Holiday & Leisure Club (1383), another hideaway on Malta, prides itself on its service and what it describes as the 'sinful indulgences' of its luxurious Da Vinci Spa. Add to that the resort's indoor heated pool, two outdoor pools and a children's splash pool, whirlpool and fitness centre, and you'll find there is much to do on resort. You can also book some exciting adventure excursions through the resort, such as driving and diving expeditions. Set in Mellieha, a traditional Maltese village, the property overlooks the island's largest sandy beach, Mellieha Bay, which is made for those who simply want a lazy sun and sand holiday. Plus you are only a short ferry ride from the neighbouring islands of Comino and Gozo for a little exploration. One of the most beautiful places on earth, The Blue Lagoon, is a shallow bay of the brightest, most translucent, water lying between the main island and Comino - the boats stop here so you can take a dip in this surreal blue pool.

If sun, sea, sand and a little sinful indulgence is how you see your holiday panning out, visit www.pergolahotel.com.mt You can also contact:
Pergola Hotel & Spa Tel: +356 21523912 Email: sales@g3.com.mt

The charming Maltese resort of Pergola Holiday & Leisure Club (1383) is a wonderful spot in Mellieha and the bonus is the menu of on-resort facilities, including the Da Vinci Spa and its Cave Bar, set in a natural cave it comes alive by night with live entertainment - putting a whole new spin on al fresco dining!

A classic sunshine spot

Deciding where to have your holiday base is by no means an easy decision, but if you are looking for a classic, the eternally sunny island of Tenerife is an easy choice if you are a fly and flop kind of traveller. Club Marina (2378) rests in the south of the island, and is a firm family favourite with a large swimming pool, sundeck and round-the-clock entertainment, including a children's club to keep everyone amused and smiling. There's even a PADI diving school on-site if you fancy exploring life underwater. In the evenings you can retreat to your cool and chic apartment to relax on your balcony or enjoy your spacious lounge for some family time. There's a restaurant on-site, and plenty of dining venues nearby, but you can always make full use of your kitchen, and rustle up some of those delicious Canarian delights. Or just start the day with an al fresco breakfast on the balcony. Sounds perfect right?

Email info@clubmarina-tenerife.com to discuss your options, and visit www.clubmarina-tenerife.com to explore the resort.

Club Marina (2378) is a resort with something for every kind of holidaymaker in the sunny south of Tenerife. Featuring round-the-clock entertainment, a kids' club and even an on-site PADI diving school, there is so much to keep you entertained within walking distance of your comfortable holiday apartment.

Buying a pre-loved timeshare

There are many reasons why timeshare owners reach a time in their lives when they can no longer use their timeshare. Often they become too old to travel, or illness or the death of their partner changes the way they holiday. This means that many timeshares come onto the resale market, giving you the chance to make a great value holiday purchase.

Timeshare has a governing body, known as the Resort Development Organisation (RDO) and this organisation makes it its business to ensure the resort developers and management companies adhere to an RDO Code of Ethics, requiring them to behave in a professional manner when delivering their holiday experiences to their timeshare owners and guests. If you like what you have learned about timeshare and want to explore more opportunities to buy your own, then visit https://rdo.org/buying-timeshare/ for some realistic advice to help guide your decision. If you want to go ahead and buy, then a good place to start is to visit https://rdo.org/members-directory/ where you will find a list of RDO members who are timeshare resort operation professionals who run established and trusted timeshare sales operations.

Importantly, don't be afraid to ask questions about the timeshare use you are buying into. You can buy weeks ownership or points; you can buy a short-term membership of, say, three years, after which you can hand it back to the resort management company with no further financial obligation, or you can extend your period of ownership if you loved this way of holidaying; you can buy into a long-term ownership from the get go if you choose. If you are buying your timeshare with a view to using it to exchange for holidays in other places across the world, and at different times, then it is advisable to buy a longer term ownership of, say, five to ten years, together with a holiday exchange membership from an exchange services provider such as RCI. That will then give you enough time to get a real taste of the benefits of holiday swapping using your timeshare ownership.

Where in the world will you go?

Don't forget to check out the Timeshare Advice and About RCI sections of Our Blog for lots more information, advice and top tips on the 'nuts and bolts' of buying, and selling, timeshare.

And, once you have your timeshare - and RCI membership which lets you use your timeshare to holiday all around the world - all you have to do is check out the RCI Resort Directory to start ticking off those boxes on your travel bucket list!

Timeshare is the ideal and safe way for global travellers to strike out on big adventures.

View RCI Resort Directory

Once you are holidaying in your timeshare, and your thoughts start turning to getting more value out of it by using it to see more of the world, be sure to give yourself the widest choice of destinations and experiences, as well as the greatest flexibility in your holiday planning, by becoming an RCI member. Click on the link below to join RCI in just a few simple steps.

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