Life after timeshare does not mean an end to vacations, it means your world of choice has just got bigger, a whole new world and locations to explore, your choice of hotels and resorts in places you would never have travelled to beckon. You are not booking because you have paid the maintenance fees and must use it, you choose when, where and who to go with, welcome to the world of tailoring your own vacation to suit you.
For those who have “owned” timeshare for many years, booking their vacations became routine, most tended to visit the same resort, usually their “home resort”, year after year. More than likely with their young family, but they are now grown with youngsters of their own, vacation needs have changed. It is time for you to explore the world and be pampered.
So where do we start?
Well, let’s think of where to go and what we want, for this example, I have chosen a two-week vacation in Spain, no, not what you think, down on the Costas drinking Sangria and partying, something a little more refined.
We have chosen to begin our journey in Málaga, although a name known for its tourism, Málaga is a wonderful city, rich in history and steeped in culture. For those who want to experience the culinary delights available, the city is full of excellent restaurants, but the best are the small family-run places usually found on the side streets.
Málaga is served by the Málaga–Costa del Sol Airport, which is the fourth busiest in Spain and is situated around 8 km from the city. It has a rail service on the Málaga-Fuengirola line, with a frequent service of one every 20 minutes, with fares being very reasonable. There is also a bus service and is well served by taxis, which are also quite reasonable in price.
The cost of flights does depend on where you are travelling from, although for our European readers, it is well served from most airports. For our friends across the Great Lake, it would mean a flight to Madrid and then on to Málaga.
Again this depends on what you are after, the choice is yours, I started with a very simple Google search, “hotels in Málaga”. From just what was offered in this search I chose a Four-Star Hotel the Sallés Málaga Centro.
It is well situated with the Picasso Museum being only a 10-minute walk (800m) and the Catedral de la Encarnación de Málaga a walk of 9 minutes (700 meters), with the ancient Alcazaba Fortress just behind. In this area there are so many more places to visit, you can easily spend a whole day and not leave that area.
Catedral de la Encarnación de Málaga
Only 7 minutes’ walk from the hotel (600m) is Calle Marqués de Larios, this pedestrianised street is full of shops and restaurants, with some of the more traditional establishments hiding away in the side streets. Since it was closed to traffic it has become the centre of Málaga, with street performers and during fiesta time fantastic light displays.
When it comes to food, the best advice is to decide what cuisine you want and ask the staff on reception, they will usually know the best and reasonably priced restaurants. If you want to try out the local “Tapas”, then there will be plenty of those small family-run places, again hidden in the side streets.
Depending on the time of year will depend on what fiesta is being celebrated, Easter is always a busy time and is usually quite spectacular. Have a look at the link to the Malaga Guide below.
The basic package of one room for two people, with a five-night stay including breakfast, started at 640€. This price was direct from the hotel website for the dates 6 May to 11 May 2023.
For the next leg of the tour, it will be by train from Málaga to Seville, not as daunting as you may think. The main station in Málaga underwent a major transformation and is a large and modern station. From here you can board the high-speed train which will whisk you to Seville in around 2 hours and 32 minutes, and that includes a change in Cordoba. The cheapest price found was 88€ for both passengers.
If you are a little more adventurous there is also a coach service which takes around 3 hours 15 mins for only 40€ for both passengers. One thing about the coach is you will see more of Spain than by train.
The choice of hotel in Seville is a modest Three Star, Hotel Convento La Gloria, situated right in the centre of the city and a very short walk to the cathedral. The hotel is a former convent and looking at their website it is certainly a place that is full of character.
Like Málaga, Seville is full of history, with the most influential being the Moors, it is also the “Birthplace” of Flamenco, and only a 3-minute walk away is the Flamenco Dance Museum. Worth a visit.
Unfortunately, little remains of the 500 years of rule by the Moors, but the Royal Alcázar of Seville (Real Alcázar de Sevilla) is a wonder of Moorish architecture.
Real Alcázar de Sevilla
Being in the centre of the city you will not be spoilt for choice when it comes to dining out. Again, check the back streets for the small family-run places, and again your hotel reception staff.
The following link will show upcoming events
A four-night stay (11 May to 15 May) for two people, booked direct with the hotel is 700€.
For the last leg, it is another train to Madrid, this will take 2 hrs 32 min, with the cost of the two tickets at 0nly 40€.
The cost of the train and bus tickets was from the following links.
The Hotel Moderno is a three-star located in the very centre of Madrid, with the Royal Palace just 9 minutes’ walk and the famous Plaza Mayor only 4 minutes away. This Plaza is considered one of the most vibrant places in Madrid.
Plaza Mayor de Madrid
Being the Capitol of Spain there are so many places to visit and luckily the location of the hotel makes them very easy to reach. It is also a very rich area for some of the finest “Tapas” bars in the city, always busy with the Madrileños as the inhabitants of the city are known, so as they say, follow the locals, you can’t go wrong.
Madrid is also renowned for its long afternoon siestas, although it is a tradition that is slowly fading out, so don’t be surprised that all the “tapas” places are packed out in the afternoons and everywhere else is closed.
Being the Capitol of Spain and a large city, there will always be something going on.
Using the hotel’s website, a five-night stay starts at 907€, as with all hotel bookings, if you spend a bit of time searching the booking sites you may just find some great deals. If you don’t feel confident with making all the hotel and train bookings yourself, take your itinerary to a good high street travel agent, yes, there are some still left, and get them to book everything for you.
The cost for the three hotels over the two weeks comes to 2,247€ with the cost of the train fares coming to 132€.
As with your timeshare, you still have the flights and meals during your stay to consider, but when you think that in many cases, owners’ annual maintenance fees came to more. There is also the important point that this payment is only made if you decide to book, with a timeshare you pay the maintenance regardless. There is also the matter of choice, how easy would this trip be to book using your timeshare, considering availability problems, exchanges, and associated fees?
Somehow, this type of vacation would prove very difficult for any timeshare company to arrange, and if they did, we can be sure there will be added some very high “extra” charges.
There is also the matter of the initial cost to become a “timeshare owner”, with very basic packages starting at around 20,000€, but most timeshare owners will have paid a lot more than that, especially with all the upgrades.
Finally, there is no contract binding you with no way of getting out, no sales pitches at every visit, and most importantly, you are getting what you paid for.
We hope this has given you a glimpse of what can be done outside of timeshare, the searches made for this article were done quickly, I’m sure with a little time you can put together the same trip for less than we have found here. Have a look for yourself, plan your own trip and see what you can do.
This weekend, Baby Dog decided he was going to be stubborn, usually, he pesters to go walkies, but this time he refused to go anywhere by pretending to be asleep, however, his little tail wagging gave him away.