If you've heard of a destination club, but never really understood what it meant, you're not alone. It's a new concept in upscale vacationing that combines the spaciousness and splendor of a private home with five-star service and amenities.
A destination club offers its members access to a portfolio of luxurious private homes in a variety of locations. People tend to like belonging to a destination club because it has the benefits of second-home ownership, but with more flexibility and choice as to where you travel.
Yet many aspects of owning a second home that can be costly. Besides a considerable down payment, all the underlying obligations can add up, including the time and money that must be put toward maintenance.
Travelers are now looking to destination clubs because often, the same money that was invested in a second home can now be placed in a club membership, where individuals and families can visit multiple locations and enjoy top-of-the-line accommodations.
Personalized service is what many look forward to in their club membership.
This means that someone is there to assist you and your family's needs whether — as in the case at LUSSO, a club with destinations around the world, including Lake Tahoe, Calif.; Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; Manhattan; Hawaii; and the Bahamas — pre-arrival grocery shopping, daily housekeeping, a local concierge available 24/7, airport transfers and a luxury vehicle.
When looking into clubs, be sure to ask if these extras come at an additional cost.
"Destination clubs are becoming popular among affluent travelers because members get all the perks and personal service like at a country club, and they get a variety of choice destinations and usage of incredible homes," according to Kiersten Hegna, director of membership services for LUSSO.
"They are finding that rather than purchasing a second home, or even booking a week at a luxury hotel, destination club membership provides travelers with a variety of benefits not found with other vacation options."
Many clubs are set up at different membership levels. Make sure to check the costs of each one, as well as what the property-to-member ratio is. This could determine how often you are able to utilize your membership.
To learn more, visit: www. lussocollection.com or www. destinationclubs.org. For reports on properties, see www. heliumreport.com.
This column was prepared in cooperation with ARA Content.