More and more travelers are opting for timeshare rentals, which are condo-style units at resorts that timeshare owners rent out rather than using themselves. Compared to regular vacation rentals, these are often not only more affordable, but offer additional resort-style amenities as well activities for children and adults.
You may have heard the horror stories of having to sit through boring presentations and sales pitches in order to snag a timeshare deal. But renting a timeshare through a reputable booking site is different than buying one. With timeshare rentals, there are no strings attached—or at least there shouldn’t be. You’re simply paying for accommodations, just as you would a hotel, bed and breakfast or any other type of lodging.
Timeshares usually offer fantastic savings compared to hotels, are available almost anywhere, from metropolitan cities to laid-back beach towns, and many boast over-the-top amenities like state-of-the art health clubs, lazy rivers, golf, spas and more. Some websites that offer timeshare rentals require users to create a (typically free) membership. If you think you might like renting timeshares, these memberships can be quite beneficial, as they offer rewards and special bonuses for members.
We researched the best companies from which to rent timeshares based on fees, variety of destinations and customer service. Here are our top three choices.
This brand-new timeshare rental service came online in August 2020, and boasts a colorful, easy-to-navigate site that is chock full of information about the company and how it works. KOALA connects renters directly with timeshare owners and only charges a 5% booking fee (included in the booking total). This covers credit card processing, service charges, and taxes and is processed safely and securely using Stripe, a reputable e-commerce platform. You will find many resorts at significant discounts compared to the big travel sites. Another feature that sets KOALA apart: owners only receive payment after you check in, so you can verify the listing is accurate before you’re charged. KOALA is free to join for both renters and timeshare owners.
Timeshare Users Group
This online forum consists of tens of thousands of owners looking to sell, rent or exchange their timeshares. TUG is one of the most informative timeshare sites out there and provides access to ratings and reviews of more than 5,000 timeshare resorts all over the world. Reviews are written by actual timeshare owners who have traveled to the resorts and provide descriptions of the property, accommodations, local attractions and restaurants, and more. Potential renters can also view photos, videos and virtual tours. When you find a property you’re interested in, TUG allows you to send a secure message through the website, or, in many cases, you can contact the owner directly. Serious deal hunters will love the “Bargain Basement” section, which features stays priced at $500 or less. There is no cost for renters to use TUG; owners pay $15/year.
Sell my Timeshare Now
The largest online market for timeshares, SellMyTimeshareNow connects travelers looking to book a timeshare directly with timeshare owners. You’ll find more than 4,000 resorts in 1,300 destinations, most with top name brands such as Disney, Hilton and Marriott. Simply search the database to find a property you’re interested in, then contact the seller to confirm the price. Per the website, you can also negotiate prices on this platform. If haggling isn’t your thing but you’re still looking for a deal, search the “Last Minute Timeshare Rentals” section for savings of up to 70% off and quick confirmation—all the rentals on this page can be reserved immediately. SellMyTimeshareNow also has a hotline just for renters, with specialists available by phone seven days a week.