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Aruba Nights Island Guide
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Thread: Will you change your Aruba booking habits?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Traceyd14's Avatar
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    Will you change your Aruba booking habits?

    I'm curious - how will the pandemic affect your booking habits for Aruba in the future? Will you be hesitant to book a timeshare rental? Will you pay extra for hotel rates that include a refundable option? Will you wait to book airfare? Excursions - will you continue to book in advance or wait till you are on the island? Will you buy cancel for any reason trip insurance?

    My answers:
    We rented a timeshare in early February for the first week of December - with no thought that we might not be able to go. We rented with the assumption that it was non-refundable. I planned to buy trip insurance when our trip got closer, but not cancel for any reason, it costs more than I thought it was worth at the time. I am nervous - the owner has indicated they work with us to some extent - but we will still have some type of loss. I am now asking myself is the timeshare rental price worth this risk in the future and the stress of the unknown and my answer is I don't know, but I don't think it is. I would rather pay a little more to know I can cancel easily and get my money back by booking direct.
    Usually when we find the place we want at the price we want we book. In the future I'm thinking maybe we wait and try not to book more than 4-6 months out.

    Airfare - I will probably always book when I see the right price, that won't change

    Excursions - normally by now I have our days generally outlined and our "big" excursion decided on. This year, we are waiting. There really isn't anything I want to book that I can't walk away from if it's crowded.

    Restaurants - we aren't ones to really make reservations so that won't change for us.

    Cancel for any reason insurance - typically must be bought within a couple weeks of your initial payment and is usually significantly more expensive. Based on the events of this year, I may consider it for future trips that I book far in advance.
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  2. #2
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    the jury is still out with renting from an owner as opposed to renting directly from the resort.
    it is nice saving money, but even better for peace of mind.
    at this point, 4 months out, we too would be booked, we would have a restaurant list and dental appointments lined up.

    as of now we have a timeshare resort that we still owe $1000 on..........airline tickets paid for........dog sitter lined up.

    and our cruise out of San Jan for mid October (a freebie) was cancelled today.




    ​In a world where you can be anything, be kind!
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  3. #3
    Senior Member cpjones's Avatar
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    Guess we'll be booking a lot closer to the trip rather than 6-7 months out....just too many unknowns. Restaurants... no problem, we'll try to book the one or two important ones before we travel.... others are always taken care of day to day. No excursions or activities for us to be concerned about.

    On a side note..... Andrea, sorry about the cruise!
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  4. #4
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    thanks CP
    Quote Originally Posted by cpjones View Post
    Guess we'll be booking a lot closer to the trip rather than 6-7 months out....just too many unknowns. Restaurants... no problem, we'll try to book the one or two important ones before we travel.... others are always taken care of day to day. No excursions or activities for us to be concerned about.

    On a side note..... Andrea, sorry about the cruise!



    ​In a world where you can be anything, be kind!
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  5. #5
    Super Moderator WaltVB's Avatar
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    We won't change anything, but we own there and can deposit our timeshare for later use. We almost always fly on miles/points. We always have trip insurance which can be cancelled or used at a different time during the year. Restaurants are usually day to day as are excursions (except for Black Pearl). Worst part is the $1800 maintenance fee, no refunds on that.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Pegmeister's Avatar
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    We have always been ones to book a resort rather than a timeshare. Given the number of reports regarding timeshare owners that would not refund or work with the renter, I would not be tempted to consider a timeshare. Tom’s sister has rented for the same owner for probably 20 years and the owner is not offering a refund. They are planning to rent from them again. I don’t think I would.

    We’re pretty flexible about restaurants and have not often made reservations. I would rather not make a reservation but I could see a scenario where restaurants start requiring them.

    We always bought travel insurance as Medicare doesn’t cover in Aruba. I also purchased the preexisting condition which is more expensive. I would continue purchasing but I don’t relieve we will plan any future travel until a vaccine is available.

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  7. #7
    Senior Member Traceyd14's Avatar
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    We usually have rented timeshares for the price difference and have gotten great deals. This year we booked for the location and the size of the unit and spent significantly more than we usually do when looking for rentals to be oceanfront with the 2 bedroom wrap around balcony at Playa Linda on a higher floor. We dont need 2 bedrooms, but the balcony and view makes it worth it. It's our 10th anniversary so we figured let's splurge a little. Our thought was that the extra we spent on the unit we would make up by doing a few happy hours on that balcony. Well the year we spend the most, is the year with all the question marks...isnt that always the way??? I think in the future we will save the timeshare rentals for last minute trips or deals that are just too good to pass up.

    I'm with you, Peg. I dont think I would go back to that owner.

    Walt, having that flexibility to deposit your weeks is good. This is just another scenario that makes me think purchasing a timeshare is not for us. I think Jon would buy a resale at the Surf Club in an instant, but I like changing it up more than staying in the same hotel. There are so many things I love about the Surf, Playa Linda, and Costa Linda. Aruba Beach Club made some nice renovations too. I feel so bad for some of the fixed week owners who never joined a trade company because they consistently use their week. I think the Playa Linda owners got hit hard because their occupancy is such that they won't be offered a make up week.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Aruba4ever's Avatar
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    For the last decade we usually book our vacations as soon as Jetblue opens up the dates... now we will wait much, much longer. Rates are out and I wanted to puke at 4500 for the 3 of us to fly I will wait till they adjust and this whole Covid thing settles a bit. It causes me stress just to think about all the what ifs so I won't, lol.

  9. #9
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    WOW that is ridiculous
    Quote Originally Posted by Aruba4ever View Post
    For the last decade we usually book our vacations as soon as Jetblue opens up the dates... now we will wait much, much longer. Rates are out and I wanted to puke at 4500 for the 3 of us to fly I will wait till they adjust and this whole Covid thing settles a bit. It causes me stress just to think about all the what ifs so I won't, lol.



    ​In a world where you can be anything, be kind!
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  10. #10
    Senior Member B Likes To Travel's Avatar
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    My booking style the past visit and the intended next visit was split stays between resorts and I stay for less than 2 weeks. My max has been 8 days. While I have rented a timeshare once for a great rate, it's unlikely that I'd be leaning towards timeshares as much in the future based on my needs.

    I don't think I've ever booked a flight more than 6 months out based on when I visit.

    I'd certainly stick with booking refundable accommodations and will consider "cancel for any reason" insurance in the future. I'd previously relied on my credit cards' insurance for certain coverages (trip delay/cancellation on flight and accommodation)...I always purchased additional trip health insurance, but now I'd want to ensure that I'm fully covered for all issues that would fall under the coverage.

    Restaurants are planned on the fly so that's no biggie.
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