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Holiday thinking...

At the moment I'm pondering whether I've done the right thing...

About six weeks ago I got a phone call from a telemarketer. Unlike a lot of people, I don't just tell them where to go. They've got a job to do, so I'm polite. I listen to what they're pedaling, and if I'm not interested (which is usually the case) I politely tell them no, and that's it.

Now, this telemarketer call was actually interesting. She was representing a company called The Lifestyle Club, and they are a world-wide holiday club. If you come down and listen to their sales blurb, you get a three day/two night stay at Kooralbyn Hotel Resort (midweek unfortunatly).

Now, I like Kooralbyn. It's in a small valley about an hours drive south west of Brisbane, for those who don't know. It's only reason for existence is the Resort. Originally a cattle property, it was bought and turned into the resort in the early 70's. One of the people who worked on the infrastructure for Kooralbyn was my father, who was working for the construction company who built the airport and most of the roads in the area.

So I thought I'd give them a go.

I calculated the drive down would take about an hour, gave myself an hour and a half, and got there in an hour and ten minutes.

Kooralbyn is a beautiful place. A nice secluded valley, it's lovely and peaceful, something I could do with a lot of at the moment. The entire thing was worth it just for the drive down, and the walk around the resort. Beautiful place.

Now the deal with The Lifestyle Club was this: They are part of a world-wide holiday organization called RCI (don't know what it stands for). RCI have agreements going with over 3700 four and five star resorts and hotels world-wide. If you purchase a membership in RCI you get a certain number of points every year to use through RCI. These points can be used on accommodation, car hire, plane flights, entertainment, activities, etc, through any of the RCI partners world-wide.

Points you don't use in a year get added to the next years, and you can borrow points against the next years. A membership lasts for 30 (yes thirty) years, and a member has usually used more in value than the money they actually paid for it within the first two or three years.

RCI have not started in Australia, and are looking at launching within about the next six to twelve months.

As a means of reeling people in they were offering a "Pre-Launch VIP Charter Membership". If you joined up, you got a heap of benefit's for the next two years.

These include:
* 1 week at Kooralbyn for up to six people per year.
* 2 for 1 deal with any Captain Cook Cruise (Great Barrier Reef, Murray River, Sydney Harbour or Fiji Islands)
* 12 rounds of golf at Kooralbyn free
* 10% of all food and Beverages at Kooralbyn
* An additional weekend (2 days/1 night) or midweek (3 days/2 nights) stay at Kooralbyn per year
* A free one week stay in Europe
* A free one week stay in Asia (Bali, Phuket or Pattaya)
* Privileged Rates at selected Resorts in Queensland (for example, $185 for a full week at a five star resort on the Gold or Sunshine Coast)

All this, and more.

It's not cheap. $2970 worth. However, knowing Kooralbyn, two weeks at Kooralbyn for six people cost more than the entire package costs. Also some of those European locations can cost 400 pounds a night (that's English Pounds, approximately $1200 in Aussie currency).

So overall it's a very good value. Plus if, once RCI launch, I join the RCI scheme I get a discount of $2700 on the price (ie: the non-GST component of what I pay).

I signed up.

Why? Simple: I do not take anywhere near enough holidays. The first company I worked for I was at for 18 months. I took some sick-days, but I never took holidays. Same for every other place I worked at up until my current place of work. I never took holidays, just sick-days when required.

At the current place (which I've been at for about three years) I've taken a trip to Melbourne each Easter for a Roleplaying convention, but I don't think that's a real holiday. For the first one I was there for the four days of Easter only, the second one I was staying with Wayne's relatives (it was cheap, but at a cost!), and the third one (this year) wasn't a holiday for other reasons. Plus each time I was actually running things at the convention, so I was still working hard, though enjoying it.

Since moving out of my parents place in January 1992 I haven't had a holiday.

Ugg!

Now, the good thing is they have a three day cooling off period, so anytime up until Wednesday I can cancel, I get my $50 deposit back, and that's that.

However I don't think I will. I'm going to be very, very broke for about the next six weeks, because I'll be paying about $500 a week for it until it's all paid. But I think it's going to me worth it.

I hope so.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
maelwaedd
Jul. 21st, 2002 06:41 pm (UTC)
that sounds uber cool!
*huggles*
omegamorningsta
Jul. 29th, 2002 04:51 am (UTC)
Hi there..
Hi, noticed you'd added me to your friends list. Even after reading your journal, I don't know who you are. I'm sure I know you though. Make sense? Didn't think so.

Anyway perhaps you've already signed up with these people, but just in case you haven't, check out TrendWest. They have a similar deal going but it is much bigger & better I think. Plus they are registered with the Aust Securities Commission so you can't get ripped off. if you are going to invest in one of these travel schemes you should probably check them all out.
halloranelder
Jul. 29th, 2002 05:54 am (UTC)
Re: Hi there..
Well, I added you because, after reading your LJ (which I got to via Amaya (illdrinn)) I noticed Jake and Hannah mentioned, and as far as I am aware I know them, so I thought I'd add you, that way I can keep up with what's happening with Jake and Hannah.

Or at least that's the theory.

Btw: Thanks for the advice about TrendWest. I'll have a look.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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Desert Rose

I dream of rain
I dream of gardens in the desert sand
I wake in vain
I dream of love as time runs through my hand

I dream of fire
Those dreams are tied to a horse that will never tire
And in the flames
Her shadows play in the shape of a man's desire

This desert rose
Each of her veils, a secret promise
This desert flower
No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this

And as she turns
This way she moves in the logic of all my dreams
This fire burns
I realize that nothing's as it seems

I dream of rain
I dream of gardens in the desert sand
I wake in vain
I dream of love as time runs through my hand

I dream of rain
I lift my gaze to empty skies above
I close my eyes
This rare perfume is the sweet intoxication of her love

I dream of rain
I dream of gardens in the desert sand
I wake in vain
I dream of love as time runs through my hand

Sweet desert rose
Each of her veils, a secret promise
This desert flower
No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this

Sweet desert rose
This memory of Eden haunts us all
This desert flower
This rare perfume, is the sweet intoxication of the fall

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