The COVID-19 pandemic forced many kinds of businesses to rethink how they operate. Restaurants switched to take-out, clothing retailers sold all of their inventory online and hotels restructured their cleaning policies. Timeshare owners were part of the group scrambling to stay financially afloat as more people than ever had to cancel their vacation plans.
States announced mandatory quarantine periods that kept everyone at home. Even after the reopening, many people don’t feel safe to travel yet. Timeshare owners find it difficult not to lose money they invested in their vacation homes and condos, so there have been creative strides made to account for this problem.
Read on to discover a few ways timeshare owners navigate coronavirus cancellation policies nearly a year into the COVID-19 pandemic. These changes will likely stick around for a while as the world continues to operate differently to protect the public’s health and safety.
Find Extended Deadlines
Depending on the timeshare company, traditional cancelation deadlines have varying policies. Some may have required a 24 to 48-hour notice before cancellation to allow for refunds, but that isn’t always possible now. Last-minute shutdown notices caused a wave of cancellations past that window, leading to many disgruntled clients who lost money while the economy sunk.
Timeshare companies like the Hilton Grand Vacations Club have made changes to wave all cancellation penalties through the end of an adjusted deadline, typically months away. It gives owners 30 days or more to cancel their reservation and still get their money back.
Refund Earned Points
Some timeshare owners may have booked their vacation using points from previous trips, which often have a different cancellation policy than cash payments. The Hyatt Residence Club timeshare program took this into account when they published updated cancellation information that allowed for a seasonal reservation window.
Under this program, clients can get a full points refund and still use them within the same vacation season or before 2021, depending on the location. Owners don’t lose any money and maintain the flexibility that’s so crucial during the pandemic. Instead of re-booking a week-long trip during uncertain times, they can split their future vacation into shorter weekends over multiple trips.
Get Preferred Booking Privileges
Timeshare properties split between purchasers, so transactions may be fixed or floating. Although your lease could last up to 99 years, you may lose your one week per year if you cancel during the pandemic.
Some companies now offer preferred booking privileges to those who already booked dates and had to cancel. The owner who canceled the earliest can choose their vacation dates later in the year or even in 2021 before the other owners. You might not get the 2020 dates you originally wanted, but preferred booking privileges could give you more options than the timeshare company would typically allow.
Keep an Eye Out
The same cancellation policies that worked at the beginning of the pandemic may not hold up as medical advancements make the world a safer place again. Keep an eye out for these updates as you decide when to use your timeshare in the following months.