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1.29.2014

Travel Club Membership

What is a Travel Club
Those who love to travel may want to check into the benefits of joining a travel club. Though some are started by individuals who love travel and love to arrange packages for others, usually a travel club is a group of business owners and companies in the travel and service industries who form an organization designed to offer vacation packages at deep discounts. These organizations are able to offer such savings due to the benefit of cross advertising of each others' services. Many travel clubs cater to specific segments of the population, such as singles, senior citizens, cruisers and groups of individuals with certain interests, such as in photography or deep sea diving.

How They Work 
First find a travel club that fits your budget and interests. Once you join, you'll probably fill out a profile detailing your interests. Depending on the type of club you join, you may receive offers on up-coming trips or earn points that are redeemable for full vacations packages. Some are free to join, with the cost of the services being picked up by the member companies, some require the purchase of a yearly membership and some offer monthly membership dues. You can find travel clubs through travel agencies and all over the Internet.

Benefits
The benefits of joining a travel club are the ability to visit the places you've always dreamed of traveling to, great discounts and free accommodations, meals and fares, the chance to meet others who share your interests and the ability to experience new places and cultures.

Caveats
While there are a lot of freebies and discounts involved, there will always be some part of the trip that requires payments. For instance, you may get free airline, tickets, but pay for accommodations and meals. In some cases, you may also have a limited choice in your destinations; most packages are arranged within the circle of companies and hotels that organize or sponsor the clubs. Make sure to read the fine print on any contract, as well as the FAQs and Terms of Service before you join.

The Royal Holiday Club is an example of a travel club that's backed by a big name in the industry. Membership in this club provides its members with many perks. This club offers it's members a choice of destinations from more than 180 villas, resorts and condominiums world wide. Membership is represented in 52 countries, an expansion since the inception of the club several decades ago, which only featured cruises to popular resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean.

Membership is available at different levels, beginning with the Bronze level that nets its members a starting amount of 5,000 points. The highest level is the Royal level, which offers VIP packages and 60,001+ credits. These credits are redeemable for vacations that range from a 4,427 point four-day Mexican cruise with a studio cabin to a 127,000 point luxury balcony suite aboard one of their premier ships and other amenities at the ports of call. All memberships are lifetime memberships, and there are optional extras available at all membership levels; unused points roll over and accumulate in the following calendar year, so they never go to waste.

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