It’s almost summer!
With summer coming up really fast, and our family desperately needing a vacation, I’ve been searching for ways to take an awesome vacation on the cheap. You may remember that last September we took a vacation to Branson, Missouri, to Big Cedar, the Bass Pro Shops Resort. The resort also happens to be a timeshare, but we really didn’t want to buy an entire timeshare (Read: $28,000) to take a single vacation there.
So, last summer, we participated in a promotion Bass Pro was doing where you attend a timeshare presentation, and in exchange you essentially get a 4-day vacation for free after gift cards! We actually found that it was really easy to make it through the timeshare presentation, and we really, really enjoyed our time there. What’s more, all of the units at Big Cedar have a full kitchen, so we spent very little eating out!
So much so, that we want to go back this summer, but we’re on a budget!
I had heard from friends about this travel hack: sometimes people want to unload their timeshare weeks when they can’t make it, or don’t want to, and the best place to find these weeks are on craigslist. Think about it: you’ve book a week at your timeshare, but then something comes ups and you can’t make it or change your dates. Where would you go to sell your week?
Craigslist, of course.
So, I experimentally hopped over the Craigslist and took a peek at what Craigslist had to offer for Big Cedar during August. I looked at August because that’s when kids head back to school, so the resort would be less crowded, but it would still be warm so we could enjoy the water and the beach. I found that I could pick up nights at Big Cedar in August for as little as $50 a night
No matter what area you live in, or which resort you would like to visit, Craigslist probably has timeshare rentals available – and I’m betting your can pick them up for even cheaper than the rates I saw!
Flexible Dates = Best Rates
As with all great deals, the more flexible you are, the better rates you’re going to get. I noticed that when I browsed for weeks coming up soon at Big Cedar, the rates when down considerably, and were even advertised as a reduced price! Just like you’re able to book a room on a cruise ship at the last minute very cheaply, people start to get desperate if they’re week hasn’t sold and the dates of stay are approaching, so use that to your advantage!
But You Can Book Way Out Too
Sometimes, when booking travel, you can get discounts for booking far in advance as well, and the same goes for buying timeshare weeks off of Craigslist. Admittedly, the rates probably won’t be as good as those last-minutes deals, and will probably be scooped up quickly, but if you monitor Craigslist for those hidden gems you’ll be able to get a great deal on next year’s vacation!
Try It Yourself
Head to Craigslist and type in “Your Area Vacation Rentals,” or “Your Area Timeshare.” Even if you don’t have any idea of what types of resorts are in your area, just typing those search criteria into the Craigslist search box will reveal more options than you probably thought were out there!
We were able to book a week-long vacation in a 3-bedroom cabin at Big Cedar for $650, just slightly less than $100 a night! We’re taking my aunt and uncle, partially because they’re fun to vacation with, and partially because they’ll act as babysitters so we can have a few nights of doing stuff without the kiddo!
How do you save money on vacations? Have you ever bought a timeshare week off of Craigslist?
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Wow! That is such a great idea! My husband and I work for an airline and last minute travel is kind of our thing, this method of booking suits our style perfectly. Thanks for the hack!
Oh wow! I would love to have all of those opportunities to travel that you do! Hopefully you’ll be able to score some great deals!
Toni @ Debt Free Divas says
This is sooooo much smarter than buying a timeshare. Boy the things I would do differently now that I know better!!!!
I’ve already looked at the Craigslist page and found some good deals! I’ve never used Craigslist before. Is it secure and reliable?