Timeshares as a Vacation Alternative

When it comes to what ails you, Mel Borins, M.D., a leading authority on complementary and alternative medicine, is likely to recommend...a timeshare vacation? The author of "Go Away: Just for the Health of It," Dr. Borins is an authority on the medical benefits of vacationing and a foremost proponent of the health advantages of timesharing.

According to recent data, Americans took 10 percent less vacation time in 2003 than they did during the previous year-an average of 8.1 days-which is less than any other industrialized nation in the world.

Results from one study show that women who vacation at least twice a year have 50 percent less chance of dying of heart disease compared with those who don't take vacations. Likewise, men who take more-frequent vacations reduce their risk of dying of heart disease by almost 30 percent.

This alarming trend and compelling research has Americans working toward a health crisis. Vacations of a week or longer can provide both a mental and physical break that doctors believe reduces stress and restores health.

In his role as a staff member of St. Joseph's Health Centre and faculty member of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto, Dr. Borins encourages people to maximize their available vacation time as part of a healthy lifestyle.

"To ensure I use my vacation time," said Dr. Borins, "I became a timeshare owner and joined RCI's timeshare exchange program to help create a structure for vacationing in my life. It ensures that I take at least one seven-day vacation every year."

The top three reasons timeshare vacations are healthier:

Reason #1. Gotta Get Away

As our hectic lives wear us down, it is imperative to take time to recharge our batteries and get off the treadmill of our lives, according to Dr. Borins. Because the commitment has been made up front, timeshare owners are much more likely to take their pre-paid vacations. And research indicates timeshare owners are more likely to take longer and more frequent vacations.

Reason #2. No Surprises!

Unmet expectations can ruin a vacation and add to stress, especially when a vacation is filled with unwanted surprises. The majority of timeshare owners (80 percent) cite the certainty of getting quality accommodations as a prime appeal of vacation ownership.

Reason #3. Home Away From Home

Vacations rejuvenate the body, mind and spirit, but some people may be concerned that eating in restaurants day after day may lead to weight gain. Timeshares offer all the conveniences of home while on vacation, including full kitchens that can accommodate special dietary needs and help people stay on their diets.

"Taking a timeshare vacation is one of the best ways I know to break the pattern of daily stress," said Borins. "Don't wait until you face a serious illness before you reevaluate your life-go away, just for the health of it."

Timeshare resorts like The Fairfield Grand Desert in Las Vegas offer a healthy vacation alternative.

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