Why I Owned A Timeshare in Hawaii on Maui (for less than a day)

categories: USA Travel

Maui-SchoonerMaui is a destination that my family has returned to for vacation on more than one occasion. It is a beautiful island that is the only place my workaholic manager says he can relax. So it is probably not too surprising that on one of our trips to Maui we attended a timeshare presentation and walked out the owners of a timeshare at the Maui Schooner.

We attended the time share presentation because they were offering a free snorkel trip to Molokini if we would just attend. Certainly we would not have any problem saying no… right? The Maui Schooner is a very beautiful 5 star location. Certainly if we were going to buy a timeshare this would be the place that we would want it. It is located in the more laid back Kihei area that we like. You can easily trade weeks in Maui for a week (sometimes for two weeks) elsewhere. Well, with arguments like that we ended up buying on the spot.

And we were miserable for the rest of the day. We spent that day driving the beautiful road to Hana, but our thoughts were elsewhere. That night my wife got out of bed where she was not sleeping, checked the contract and found we could cancel. It was only after she learned that we could cancel that she was able to sleep.

So what was the problem? Why was a timeshare a bad match for us?

  • I don’t think we have ever spent a week on vacation in one spot. We like to explore. Even when we go to Maui we spent half a week there and half a week on another island
  • It was a 5 star resort but we were not sure we wanted our kids to think they always had to stay at a 5 star resort.
  • The sales proposition with a timeshare is that you should lock in the cost of lodging which is only getting more expensive. But is it? With options like Hotwire, Priceline, etc we are often able to find inexpensive lodging including renting someone else’s timeshare.

So before you go to that timeshare presentation. First figure out why kind of traveler you are and what you would like or what you would not like about this style of vacation.

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by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast, and a co-host for This Week in Travel podcast.

No Responses to “Why I Owned A Timeshare in Hawaii on Maui (for less than a day)”

Rich A.

Says:

Hi Chris,

We have sat through two timeshare presentations. After the first, I didn’t think RA would ever sit through another. But many years later, she agreed when they promised us a 45 minute presentation and 5 tickets to the water park we were planning to visit anyway. The kids were really excited about for the pitch – it does sound so good…but we didn’t go for it. The pitch was way more than 45 minutes, but the good part was, since the pitch went so long, later at the park when a thunderstorm hit at 4:30, we still wanted to stay. When the rain stopped and the rides reopened for a bit over an hour, we had the park to ourselves :^)

P.S. to everyone: If you really want a timeshare, consider buying a resale. This is closer to the “true” value (although you always have a grouchy seller). Also, make sure you look at the fee structure – you can get into some mighty nice hotels for the same annual cost…

free timeshare listings

Says:

Yes, resales are the way to go. Purchase prices are usually one third to one half of the original price.

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