“I read, I travel; I become.” ~ Derek Walcott
Reading, traveling, becoming – this is my June. Is there anything more wonderful than being immersed in good books and viewing new scenery? I think not. Also, we did a thing. Earlier this month, my husband and I visited a new beach destination – Ormond Beach, Florida. Longtime fans of Florida, we have enjoyed St Augustine/Palm Coast (so many lovely memories with Mom), Destin/Fort Walton, St Pete/Tampa, Alligator Point, and Mexico Beach/Panama City. We stan Florida beaches!!
Guthrey and I have an affinity for small beach communities, those quiet beach towns off the beaten path. The natural wind-swept wonder of these places quiets my heart and refreshes my spirit long after the trip’s end. The memories made with our children during these quality times are among my most treasured.
Being as we now have a 20 and 17 year old, our vacation needs are evolving. We have become tired of the long drives. As a result, he and I flew for the first time in 23 years of marriage! It was efficient and much less tiring, and would have also been cost effective had I not messed up our flight reservations 🤦🏻♀️. FYI, if you’re familiar with Allegiant, you SHOULD definitely pay the $50ish dollar trip insurance fee so you can receive at least a partial refund for changing your flight reservation.
That said, I wasn’t expecting anything spectacular from the Ormond Beach area. The truth is we had signed up for one of those timeshare things through Spinnaker Resorts (https://www.spinnakerresorts.com/). This was not our first rodeo with timeshares. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the accommodations provided at Holiday Inn Resort in Daytona. We were right on the beach with a balcony view of a spacious pool area and the fair sands below – which far exceeded our last venture into timeshareville with a company I shall not name (we were 20 minutes from the beach with no extra ammenties).
However lovely, I did not plan on purchasing a timeshare. In fact, I was thinking this might be our last trip for awhile due to rising costs, traveling difficulties, and home obligations. We arrived at the Wednesday morning timeshare presentation at the Ormond Beach Resort like everyone else…prepared to listen for two hours and get the heck out of dodge so we could enjoy the rest of our day. Coincidentally, the gentleman conducting our presentation just so happened to have a wife who worked for the competition – the same company we had turned down previously. As fate would have it, he began to address various points of each company and to explain why Spinnaker is able to offer their clients a desirable timeshare package. It didn’t hurt the cause to mention due to their partnership with Interval International Travel Club (https://www.intervalworld.com/web/my/home) he was able to score his son a honeymoon in Ocho Rios for $850 bucks!!
As for the tour of the resort, I must say the Ormond Beach facility is a gem. The condo was spacious with spectacular views, and the outside is perfect for couples, families, kids/grandkids (photos below).
They also have a nice area for family grilling (we enjoy this at the beach, but seldom have a gas grill in the beach houses we’ve rented) and cornhole (my kid loves this game). In addition to their Ormond Resort, Spinnaker has resorts at Hilton Head, South Carolina; Hilton Head is closer to home for us, and we’ve never visited.
All in all, in the seven or so family beach trips we’ve taken over the years, we’ve averaged 2-3k a trip renting beach houses (not including other expenses). Guthrey always wanted a house because he loves beach fishing – Ormond is at the start of the Daytona drive-on strip. The left hand side of the last pic offers a public non-drive beach area perfect for casting a line.
In short, we took the bait, guys. We did a thing. We bought a timeshare. Our saleswoman, Maria, and her manager, Justin, went above and beyond to answer our questions and meet all of our requests. That said, here are a few tips for anyone interested in navigating the timeshare waters.
Timeshare Buying Tips
1. Family Needs
Think carefully about the changing needs of your family. Within the next 10 years, our kids will likely be having kids. Ormond is the closest beach to Disney! We flew into Orlando and it took us less than an hour to get to Daytona/Ormond. With this timeshare, Papaw and Nana will be able to relax at the beach while the kids and grandkids do Disney. What could be more perfect?
2. Future Investment
With the purchase of our timeshare, we are no longer throwing away money on rent. We have a deed of ownership for a set week each year that our children will inherit. My only foreseeable problem is needing another timeshare week so they won’t have to split this one! LOL
3. Trading Potential
We do have the option to trade our week for another location – not just Hilton Head, but any resort participating in II (Interval International). Being so close to Disney, our trading power is huge!
4. Fixed Week
Our biggest reservation about purchasing a timeshare was my teacher’s schedule. We need to go at peak vacation times and do not have much flexibility in terms of taking a non peak week. This is the reason we did not purchase a timeshare from the other company. Though not initially offered, upon request Spinnaker met the needs of our family by giving us a fixed week every year. It cost a bit more, but we have long been looking for a financially sound way to own property on or near the beach – the fixed week is what sold us!
5. Travel Incentives
As previously stated, prior to this plane ride and trip to Ormond, I was on the verge of giving up travel. The long drive to Florida has become too exhausting. With our timeshare and membership to the travel club, Spinnaker offered us so many incentives not to give up travel:
• Unlimited Bonus nights for us/family/friends at our resort at discounted prices (cheaper than area hotels)
• Unlimited Getaway Weeks via their partnership with II (the travel club). Remember the Ocho Rios trip I mentioned? The one that offered resort accommodations considerably cheaper than the beach houses I’ve been renting? That’s right. We have unlimited getaway trips to resorts and destinations all over the world – over 4,000 destinations! Sales and specials on these getaway weeks are available on the II website and we can choose to trade our week or purchase the trip on our own. See my new coffee table/dream book:
• Travel Planner With our membership in II, I now have my very own travel planner. Wonderful for someone like me who confuses dates and costs us money on airfare. I am not detail oriented enough to plan trips out of the US on my own. I need help with making reservations, renting cars, catching ferries, renting hotel rooms – all of the things. I need help with all of it. 😂
• Planned Vacation Y’all, my vacation for next year is planned. I do not have to find a beach house or condo, I do not have to make reservations, I do not have to hassle or worry with availability.
As some of you know, my husband’s negotiating skills are superb. As an added bonus, we have a Dream Week vacation and a free week to try out our resort, the Hilton Head location, or the Branson location (yes, Spinnaker is at Branson, too). In the very near future, I have promised my 20, Bekah, a cruise and I can’t wait to receive my Dream Week and travel club log ins to see what discounts on cruises are available!!
If you made it all the way to the end of this post, give me a shout out in comments! Thank you for reading my timeshare testimonial. Save this post for future reference if you’ve ever sat through one of those things and seriously considered purchasing. Perhaps I’ll become a travel blogger in the future!!
Enjoy your summer,
P.S. I have an exciting new venture and announcement coming soon! One that will hopefully finance my timeshare and future travels. Stay tuned!!