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Expert Advice

A Trip to Europe was Just a Dream Until Vacation Ownership Made it a Reality

One Owner shares how Hilton Grand Vacations timeshare was the best decision for making travel to Europe possible

Sue M
Hilton Grand Vacations Explorer, Sue M., in Scotland on her first trip to Europe.

Like many people, a trip to Europe has always been on our bucket list. But planning and paying for a trip to Europe when you live halfway around the world in Hawaii can be a daunting task.

Just the thought of taking 24 hours to fly to Europe, with multiple connections, the possibility of lost luggage, language barriers, currency rates, plug adapters and ground transport issues made our heads spin — at best. 

Quaint European bay with boats and small town in the background.    

Our friends who had made their dream trip to Europe a reality had chosen a cruise or a group tour, which meant traveling for at least 10 days on a bus with at least 20 other strangers.

Neither option sounded appealing to us, but it was beginning to seem like a necessity if we were to have any chance of making it to Europe one day.

Then in the summer of 2015, we received an offer to attend a Hilton Grand Vacations sales presentation in Las Vegas. We accepted but had already made up our minds that we wouldn't buy anything.

We'd just listen. 

However, during the presentation, I discovered that, overall, the price was very reasonable. Moreover, through vacation ownership with Hilton Grand Vacations, we could get to Europe using our ClubPoints

Having the option to vacation at multiple locations across the U.S. and internationally was very appealing to us, so we purchased a timeshare at the Hilton Grand Vacations on the Boulevard in Las Vegas.

Palm trees illuminated at nighttime outside Hilton Grand Vacations on the Boulevard in Las Vegas, Nevada.    

After returning home, we began learning how the points and reservation systems worked and started to plan our inaugural stay. As part of signing up, we had received Bonus Points as well as Hilton Honors™ points.

So we had lots of points to use in our first year of membership, and I wanted to make the best use of those benefits to stay at Hilton Grand Vacations at Borgo alle Vigne in Italy.

Unfortunately, Hilton Grand Vacations Club at Borgo alle Vigne was at capacity during our preferred travel dates. However, Hilton Grand Vacations at Craigendarroch Suites in Scotland was available.

We waffled a bit because we had never considered going to Scotland. But, as we thought about it more, we decided that visiting a place less traveled for our first European trip might be the best way to ease into visiting far-flung destinations. 

So that's what we did.

Wildflowers on a cliff with mountains in the distance in the Scottish Highlands.    

A little over a year after becoming Members, we landed in Aberdeen, Scotland, and finally made our first trip to Europe a reality.

The Hilton Grand Vacations team was so accommodating and suggested tours and activities in advance of our trip, which helped ease planning tremendously.

We were even able to spend a few nights in Frankfurt, Germany, where we used our Hilton Honors points to stay at a hotel in Mainz.

Oh, and do you remember all the things that we dreaded about planning a trip to Europe? Well, most of those things did happen on our first trip.

From delays getting to Scotland that resulted in 28 travel hours versus 24-hours to losing our luggage and a 24-hour homebound delay in Frankfurt, we experienced it all. 

Despite the mishaps, we returned to Europe in the fall of 2018 to Hilton Grand Vacations at Borgo alle Vigne. And even though we might never have chosen to visit Scotland on our own, we look forward to returning. 

The best part is that our apprehension of traveling to Europe is gone. Knowing the quality of travel to expect from Hilton Grand Vacations, the benefits of vacation ownership and the convenience of using points to travel internationally eased the burden of making our first trip overseas. 

Read Our Bucket List Trip (Plus Things To Do In Tuscany) for more European adventures possible with Hilton Grand Vacations.

Sue M

A Hilton Grand Vacations Club Member since 2015, Sue has already proven herself as a well-traveled jetsetter. Her goal is to visit all 50 of the United States, and she’s already counted 44 off her list so far. Although she’s made her home-away-from-home at Hilton Grand Vacations Club on the Boulevard in Las Vegas, her favorite place to visit is Europe – Germany, Italy and Scotland in specific. “If we weren’t a part of Hilton Grand Vacations Club, we probably never would have thought to visit Scotland!” Whenever she takes off from her hometown of Waipahu, Hawaii, Sue feeds her sense of adventure by trying new foods and exploring off the beaten path. As an HGV Explorer, she looks forward to sharing the treasures she finds along the way, no matter where she lands.

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