Abby Slutsky owns several timeshares with her husband and recently vacationed at two of them.
As the holidays approach, many timeshare owners may be thinking about using up points that are about to expire at the end of the year. However, balancing the desire to travel and use timeshare points with your family’s safety is not something that can be taken lightly. When I recently booked a vacation, I was not sure if I was going to be happy with the precautions the timeshare took or not. A combination of the Marriott's precautions with our own allowed us to have a safe vacation.
- Driveable destination.
- Brought our own linens and pillows.
- Brought our own cleaning supplies.
- Ate outdoors only.
- Only participated in activities that allowed us to social distance.
Marriott Timeshares' Precautions:
- One person per family in the registration lobby and masks for all.
- One person or family in an elevator.
- Plentiful wipes and antibacterial soap.
- Sanitized chairs at the pool.
Our Travel Precautions
Choosing a driveable destination made it easy to stay socially-distant from other travelers. We decided to leave early in the morning, so we could avoid staying overnight at a hotel that specializes in overnight guests who are just passing through to get to another destination. Driving omitted the possibility of being crammed in a tiny seat in an airplane next to someone who may or may not have COVID.
Brought Linens and Pillows
Prior to arriving at our Marriott timeshare, I called and arranged for the staff to remove the comforter and leave only sheets on the bed. Upon arriving, I put our own fitted sheets over the Marriott’s clean sheets and topped the bed with our own blanket and pillows.
I brought Clorox spray, rags, sanitizing wipes, and laundry detergent. Upon arriving at the timeshare, I immediately wiped down all the surfaces and door handles. (I also cleaned the outdoor furniture on our deck.) That being said, everything looked very clean before I wiped it down.
We went to a destination that was south of where we lived, so there were lots of outdoor dining choices. Unlike past vacations, we chose casual meals and made reservations at off-peak hours when few patrons were at the restaurants. (Early bird dining was great for our wallet and our weight too.) Although we did not use them, grills were available, but they needed to be reserved in advance and were unlocked, as needed.
Our primary activity was golf. We scheduled our tee times in the afternoon because most people prefer to play in the morning. Although there were only two of us, we were never paired with another twosome. We went to the pool once, but we spent a lot of time on our balcony too.
Marriott's Social Distance and Safety Travel Precautions
The timeshares' safety precautions focused on maintaining safe social-distancing and sanitizing.
One Person in Registration Office Per Party and Masks for All
Marriott recommended one person per party entering the registration lobby. This made it easy to be socially- distant while registering. All the employees wore masks, and the employee who assigned our room explained the COVID rules that were in place. Guests were required to wer masks when they were not at the pool or beach.
Signs permitted only one person or family in an elevator at a time. A sanitizing dispenser was mounted to the elevator wall, so guests could immediately sanitize after pushing an elevator button. (We observed guests using their elbows to press elevator buttons while they were waiting for the elevator to arrive.)
Plentiful Wipes and Antibacterial Soap
Although Marriott timeshares always provide laundry and dish detergent, a travel-size package of sanitizing wipes was also in our room. Sanitizing wipes were also by the carts for those that wanted to use them to transport luggage to and from their rooms. There was also a sanitizing dispenser in other common areas.
Sanitized Pool Chairs
Each pool chair had a sign attached to it indicating whether it had been recently sanitized. Guests were encouraged to turn the sign to ‘needs sanitizing’ when they were finished using it. The signs had different colored backgrounds, so it was easy to tell which chairs were safe to use. Employees seemed quick to clean and sanitize chairs that needed cleaning.
In addition to the precautions we took and the ones Marriott put in place, using a timeshare for vacation made us feel safer than vacationing at a hotel because we had laundry facilities. Although nothing can guarantee a safe holiday, our experience at a Marriott timeshare was favorable in this COVID environment.
No or Limited Scheduled Activities
There were virtually no on-site scheduled group activities, which helped guests maintain social distancing. (Those familiar with timeshares know that there are often scheduled games and other activities in non-COVID times.)
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Abby Slutsky
Abby Slutsky (author) from America on October 21, 2020:
Thanks for taking the time to read. I appreciate your comments.
Sp Greaney from Ireland on October 21, 2020:
I think if you're smart and take precautions, then you can travel. It seems like you planned for everything and they also seemed to have had good procedures in place for the safety of their guests.
Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on October 21, 2020:
Abby, I am impressed with all of the things you thoght to do for a safe trip. This article is full of great advice for anyone traveling over the holidays.
Abby Slutsky (author) from America on October 21, 2020:
Thank you for reading. I think there may be a lot of people sturggling with whether it is a safe, but you do have to use good judgment.
Liz Westwood from UK on October 21, 2020:
It is good that you were able to get away safely. You give some useful tips. We went away in the UK soon after hotels reopened to see family. It felt safer than I expected. I ended up writing an article about the experience.