There are still those timeshare owners who have their two weeks or so in a particular resort and are very happy with it, but for many people, becoming part of a holiday exchange club can add an extra dimension to their timeshare experience and allow for more flexibility.
When I was first introduced to timeshare, the premise was that I would pick the unit in the resort that I wanted and go there at the same time every year. There was a limited opportunity for exchange, but this really involved a complex 'like for like' system. This essentially meant there was not too much I could do if I fancied a change. This didn't worry me too much, as I chose my timeshare based on the resort and the country, which I have always loved and would have bought a house in if it hadn't been prohibitively expensive.
But then, after several years of timeshare ownership, I discovered the holiday clubs run by companies such as RCI Holidays. By this point, I had married and we had small children, so the chance to experience other family friendly resorts appealed to us. RCI Holidays runs an exchange club that is incredibly flexible, allowing for a great deal of choice. Timeshare owners 'deposit' their points or weeks into the bank and are allocated a certain number of points. The points allocation is based on the perceived value of the timeshare, with aspects such as time of year, quality of resort and popularity of country being determining factors.
Once the points have been allocated, you can choose to 'spend' them in the year in which you first deposit your timeshare, or you can 'save' them, carrying them over to the next year and adding them to the points you get when you deposit your timeshare again in the next year. This accumulation of points allows you to visit places that would ordinarily be out of your reach, or perhaps to take a prime time holiday (such as in the school holidays) when your weeks are in a lower band.
All in all, there are a great number of benefits to being part of a holiday exchange club and these benefits continue if you decide to sell your timeshare. This is because resorts that are part of the RCI Holidays family, for example, are very popular within the timeshare industry, due to the highs standards expected of each affiliate.