I first bought credits with Worldmark by Wyndham at least 10 years ago. Back then, they were Trendwest. Since then, my wife and I have upgraded a couple of times to the point level we now enjoy. I use the word “enjoy” specifically because we do enjoy timeshare ownership probably more than most owners… primarily because we actually use ours and like to plan our vacations in advance or last minute.
Timeshares aren’t for everyone… and I believe they mostly get a bad rap because the interest rates are high on purchase loans (so pay that sucker off asap!!!) and many people pay the annual dues, but never actually use their points/weeks to go anywhere. Essentially, they just pay the dues and let their timeshare go to waste. Bad move.
There are so many places to visit, both domestically and internationally… and depending upon which company you’re with, they often have locations within driving distance, so expensive plane tickets and such shouldn’t be an excuse!
We’ve been to so many places over the years, including San Francisco, Seattle, Solvang, Big Bear, Whistler, Steamboat Springs, and Wolf Creek, Utah. One place we hadn’t been to before was Indio. I know, right. Who in their right mind thinks of vacationing in Indio?
My wife and I fell in love with traveling using timeshares because the units are generally so much larger and well-equipped than a hotel room. Especially now that we have a 2-year-old son, we need more space than a hotel room generally provides… and it really helps to have a full kitchen to save money on meals and have a place to keep juice and milk cold for him.
We’ve found that the best way to own a timeshare is to visit several companies and tour their properties, pick out the best one you like, then buy it on the secondary market. You’ll save TONS of money and get almost all the same benefits. Some companies require you to purchase from them to get to “elite” levels of benefits… so, if you can afford it, and the benefits are worthwhile, add the minimum number of points directly from them to get the benefits AFTER you’ve already purchased a bunch of points on the secondary market (aka eBay).
In the meantime, take advantage of promos and use the system to get some free (or almost free) vacations to test out their product. You can also buy single-use points on eBay to get a better handle on how their system works. If you’re interested, I can refer you to Worldmark or Diamond Resorts for a special offer. Email me on my contact page, and I’ll send you the information.
Worldmark Indio? Seriously?
So, why in the world would I want to go to Indio? I live in Orange County, and if you’ve ever watched The O.C., you know that the 9-0-9 (aka Riverside County) gets a bad rap. Well, Indio is to Palm Springs, as the 9-0-9 is to The O.C.
What drew me in was the warm weather and the Lazy River.
The relaxing feeling of floating around in circles in 80* water while talking with friends is unbeatable!
The first time we went was in October 2012. And it was an amazing experience. We stayed in a 3 bedroom Presidential Suite. We brought a few friends with us. The weather was in the upper 80s/low 90s. We had our own spa on the deck. We only stayed one night since you can use the pool all day on day of arrival (even if your room isn’t ready) and all day on departure (even after you’ve checked out). So, in true Bald Thoughts fashion, since the drive is only 90 minutes from home, we got two full days of fun for one nights’ worth of points.
This time, we went in March. Based upon the monthly weather planner from Weather.com, we figured out which months are hot enough to laze poolside, but not so hot that your skin starts melting… and your beer gets warm as soon as you crack the top!
We missed the best weekends by one week in either direction, but it was still a respectable 70*-75* most of the day. It was 80*+ the weekend before and the weekend after. What are you going to do?
Worldmark Indio – Our 4 Bedroom Presidential Suite
The view from our room was great. The view inside our room was almost better!
And the kitchen was roomy and had everything necessary to cook meals for 3 families with kids.
The rest of the unit was great too… two King bedrooms with their own bathrooms, and two bedrooms with Twin beds.
And… we even had our own laundry in the unit. Not much of a need this trip, since it was only one night. But, with children, you never know when disaster will strike!
The best feature of our unit – the on-deck private jacuzzi
After a long day lounging around the pool, what you need for total relaxation after a nice dinner cooked on your BBQ and/or the kitchen, is some jacuzzi time… especially after the kiddos go to sleep.
Our deck was HUGE and wrapped around the unit in an “L” shape.
The view from the spa towards the BBQ and outdoor dining.
View from the BBQ to the remainder of the deck. Perfect place to watch the sun set… or, if your kids are a little older, to watch the kiddos in the pool below.
Worldmark Indio – the rest of the property
On the rest of the property, there is a game room, a movie theater, a day spa for massages and facials, a small market, community BBQs, and a workout room, with a golf course right next door.
If anything, Worldmark Indio has taught me to not judge a location based upon preconceived notions. Give it a chance, and it may turn out to be one of your favorite properties.
We now try to visit in the Spring and Fall, and our friends love coming with us. Heck, one family questioned why we only stay for 1 night. We’ll see about that… there are so many other places to explore. We may just find another favorite to add to the list.
Indio was initially a 1 Razor property… but after visiting, it totally deserves the 5 Razor treatment!!!
What do you think? Would you visit Indio? Are there any places you didn’t want to go, but turned out to be one of your favorites? Let’s talk about it.