Skift Take

Travel remains a top spending priority among younger travelers. We spoke with two millennial travelers to unpack the benefits of vacation ownership and learn why they consider timeshare the best way to enjoy multiple resort vacations a year.

This sponsored content was created in collaboration with a Skift partner.

With economic conditions poised to support further consumer spending in the travel sector, travel brands are paying attention to the motivations and preferences of younger travelers. It’s not just about catering to a specific demographic — it’s about staying relevant in a rapidly evolving marketplace. 

A recent Skift Research survey shows that millennial and Gen Z travelers value flexible travel planning, unique experiences, and accessible destinations. Part of a rising middle class, these younger travelers prioritize travel spending, with 82 percent of millennials and 75 percent of Gen Z taking two or more trips in the past year. 

As they look for cost-effective ways to vacation regularly, many of these younger travelers are gravitating toward timeshare ownership. In fact, according to ARDA, the trade association for the vacation ownership industry, the average timeshare owner is 39 years old, and 57 percent of timeshare owners are either millennials or Gen Z. 

For this passionate group of travelers, the appeal of timeshare is that their vacation is scheduled upfront and already paid for by the time they travel, not to mention that the product provides flexible options to travel more frequently and access a variety of destinations and unique experiences. 

To learn more about what’s driving younger travelers to timeshare, SkiftX spoke with two millennial travelers: Raeanne Villongco, 28, a remote worker who became a timeshare owner with Hilton Grand Vacations at the age of 25 so she could travel more frequently and stay in high-quality accommodations at a lower cost; and Kristi Dosh, 42, who travels with her husband and found timeshare at Breckenridge Grand Vacations to be a good fit for their lifestyle as freelance journalists (Dosh writes about her vacation ownership experiences in her blog). 

An Affordable Way to Travel Frequently 

Raeanne Villongco in Hawaii

“Hawaii is my happy place, but the hotels there are super expensive,” said Villongco, who learned about vacation ownership from her parents’ experience with Marriott Vacations Worldwide. “Because I work remotely, I want to stay for longer than a week when I travel, and it ends up being a lot cheaper using my points with Hilton Grand Vacations. It’s a great way to spend time with my friends.” 

Because Villongco utilizes off-season travel windows, she’s able to maximize her ownership, taking two trips a year for about a month at a time. Hilton Grand Vacations provides their members with two options to book: with points or out of pocket through their open-season period. Often, the open season period allows her to book a larger suite with two beds and a pullout couch so she can invite friends and they can split the cost.

The idea of paying less to travel more frequently also motivated Florida-based Dosh and her husband to explore timeshare. 

Kristi Dosh with husband Chadd
Scott in Breckenridge

“We spent several years trying to buy a condo in Breckenridge, Colorado, but got priced out of the market,” Dosh said. “We both thought there was zero chance we’d buy a timeshare, but now we think it’s one of the best things we ever did. Timeshare offered us a solution where we could spend more time in Breckenridge without becoming full owners of something we couldn’t afford once the market went up.” 

As Dosh attests, the value of owning a timeshare is that owners secure vacation costs at current prices, protecting against future price increases due to inflation. Moreover, timeshare suites provide more spacious accommodations compared to traditional hotel rooms, featuring amenities such as separate living and dining spaces, multiple bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, and an in-suite washer and dryer.

Flexible Options Aligned With Travel Preferences 

Dosh and her husband appreciate the flexibility of their ownership as they don’t have to stick to a specific week and can pick up extra time through Interval, a timeshare exchange platform. 

“Learning how to maximize our ownership through Interval International has been key to our positive timeshare experience,” Dosh said. “I don’t think we would have bought if we were tied down to a fixed week.” 

Timeshare exchange platforms like Interval International (II) and RCI enable owners to trade their allotted timeshare weeks at their home properties for stays at different resorts worldwide within their networks or convert their weeks into points that can be split up and used for multiple trips. 

“Our Breckenridge timeshare is valuable because it offers ski-in and ski-out access,” Dosh said. “We’ve used Interval to stay in all kinds of places all over the country, and we’re planning to use it to book a stay in Nice, France, to celebrate our wedding anniversary.” 

A Range of Unique Experiences

Research supports the idea that younger travelers prioritize experiences over material possessions. According to the 2023 Global Travel Trends Report by American Express Travel, 84 percent of Gen Z and millennial respondents preferred indulging in a dream vacation rather than acquiring a new luxury item. When it comes to vacation ownership, the adventure is often happening right on property. 

For Villongco, the ability to participate in a “bunch of activities” at Lagoon Tower, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club overlooking Waikiki Beach, is priceless. 

“I love taking hula classes, doing morning yoga, and enjoying water sports like kayaking and paddleboarding,” Villongco said. “Some people want to relax while on vacation, but I like being active and adventurous. Even if I want a chill day at the hotel, I can still do something active with Hilton Grand Vacations’  experiences.” 

She also appreciates Hilton Grand Vacations’ off-property restaurant discounts, provided upon check-in: “A lot of them are nice restaurants, some of my favorites in Waikiki. Many other hotels offer restaurant discounts only within the hotel property, so it’s nice to venture out and get a discount elsewhere.” 

Looking Ahead

As millennial and Gen Z travelers, characterized by their quest for unique experiences, flexibility, and value for money, seek to travel in a way that aligns with their lifestyle and budget constraints, the timeshare market has adapted accordingly, promising a future of travel that is as adventurous as it is attainable. 

“My husband and I have joked that if we didn’t have a house and wanted to travel full time, we could live as digital nomads in different timeshares pretty affordably,” Dosh said. “It’s nice to know that dream is attainable if we want it.” 

For more information about the American Resort Development Association, visit

This content was created collaboratively by the American Resort Development Association and Skift’s branded content studio, SkiftX

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Tags: American Resort Development Association, experiential travel, gen z, millennial, short-term rentals, SkiftX Creative Studio, SkiftX Showcase: Hospitality, timeshare, traveler behavior, vacation ownership

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