Pool View from Villa — Marriott’s BeachPlace Towers, Ft. Lauderdale

Marriott recently contacted me and wanted my response to a few questions.  One of them has been on my mind for a few days – “If there was one topic to share with owners to help them improve their Ownership experiences, what would it be?”  WOW – that covers so many aspects of options!  How to MAX the value of your points? How to decide when to go to a particular resort? Finding the best deals available? I could go on and on with different topics that are all important in MAXIMIZING your Ownership potential. 

One topic that is relatively simple and I see owners often falling short on is — Planning and Calendaring.  OK, that could be TWO topics, so I’ll simplify that to just Calendaring.  Just yesterday my husband and I sat down to plan where to go this Fall. Once we identified where and when we wanted to go, we made the reservation and added the trip to our calendar.  Got the flights, reserved the rental car and now we just start anticipating the adventures that await us.  DONE!  COMPLETED! 

NOT!!!!!      Before you put your trip on the “back burner” and you get on with your life, you need to add a very important deadline to your calendar regarding this trip – the 60-day date before your trip begins.  You need to verify you will be going for sure before the 60-day deadline comes up so you can cancel without any penalties (Club Points becoming Holding Points).  And put it in your calendar so it comes up to remind you at the appropriate time.

It’s easy to find that date.  You can do it on the MVC Website “When Can I Reserve?” tab.  Or I just Google “what is 60 days prior to” and then complete the question with the check-in date.  I don’t put the reminder in my calendar on the exact 60-day date.  I put the reminder 5-7 days before that deadline to have time to discuss and verify with all traveling parties that nothing will interfere with the trip.  There have been a number of times that family situations have changed – new job, new baby coming, work project – you name it – and we have decided to cancel our trip.  NO PROBLEM.  No repercussions.  We get our Club Points back and can bank them for next year or simply use them to go another time. 

Too many times, I hear from owners that decided within the 60-day period of travel that they can’t go, and now their Club Points become Holding Points and can only be used within 60-days of travel. Missing that deadline greatly adversely affects their options for future travel using those points.  Many times they could have made the decision to cancel earlier, but didn’t think about it until it was too late to avoid the penalty – sometimes missing the deadline by only a few days.  It’s not hard to add the deadline to the calendar, but it is very important to safeguard your ownership potential.  The more trips you go on each year, the more important it is to be aware of when your deadlines are to be able to cancel each one without any penalty.

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