LIFE

Planning it right for a whale of a time

The vacation adviser  

VACATIONS ARE no longer going to the grandparents back in the hometown or village.

The nuclear family wants to holiday on its own and for double-income couples, expense is not the main factor while deciding on a vacation spot.

The time-share or vacation ownership and exchange concept has made it easier for urban families to have a holiday in different places each year.

Buying a vacation ownership needs some careful consideration, according to Radhika Shastry, General Manager-India of RCI.

The entire family's needs have to be taken into account, she says.

Is their interest in swimming, hiking, playing tennis or golf, shopping or sightseeing?

The resort you choose should offer these amenities and activities. Briefly calculate the cost of your current spending on a vacation. The future cost may be affected by inflation.

Multiply the current spending by the number of years the vacation ownership is for.

You can then compare these figures against the cost of owning the vacation ownership unit you are considering.

You should ask about the variable in the vacation week price. Consider the size of the unit, the location and amenities at the resort, the time of the year you want your holiday, specific period of vacation per year, and other factors.

You are likely to pay more for a vacation resort that is in high demand at the peak period, than for the off-peak period at a less popular resort.

While inspecting the resort, see for yourself what the accommodation and facilities are like. Talk to current owners about experiences at the resort. Know your legal rights.

Do not sign any agreement until you understand and are happy with all provisions of the agreement including the interest you will be charged, the amount of scheduled payment, and terms of the loan, if applicable.

Also, find out if you are given a grace period within which you can decide not to purchase.

When investing in a vacation ownership, it is worth finding out about any exchange facility to enable you swap vacations.

Also find out whether you can advance or accumulate vacation time to coincide with your children's school holidays.

By Satyamurty K