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Vacation ownership interests: Deal or no deal?

Slew of surprises revealed in timeshare's fine print

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Q: On a recent vacation to the Caribbean, we were approached by a young woman who wanted us to buy into a vacation ownership. According to this salesperson, for the money that we would give them, we would get a number of points, which could be used for vacations in a number of desirable hotels and cities throughout the United States. This was interesting to us, but we did not know enough about the transaction and opted not to buy. Can you provide some guidance on this concept? Is it a good deal? A: One of the major travel books cautions vacationers that in some resort areas, they will be deluged by attractive men and women who want to sell vacations interests. According to the travel writer, while they are harmless, they should be ignored. Many years ago, companies began selling timeshares. Depending on how much money you paid, you theoretically could stay at a large number of hotels all over the United States "free of charge" for a week or two. Many people ...