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Expert advice

Our Journey Into Hilton Grand Vacations Upgrades

Tales from an "accidental" Owner on why his family continues to choose Hilton Grand Vacations

Derek R
Hilton Grand Vacations Owners visiting Times Square, New York, New York

As with every good vacation, by the end of it, you start plan the next one. Our first year of ownership was like that.

Instead of planning to return to the most recent resort we visited, my wife and I started researching Hilton Grand Vacation properties we might visit next. In the four years following our initial purchase, we took two canal holidays in England through RCI, our reason for becoming Hilton Grand Vacations Owners in the first place.

You might think that was our main reason to consider Hilton Grand Vacations upgrades, but oh, there was more!

We rapidly ticked through the list of other places we always hoped to visit but never imagined we could…until Hilton Grand Vacations ownership opened the opportunity. Some of those destinations included The Big Island of Hawaii for our anniversary; Orlando, Florida; and San Diego, California, with our daughters and grandchildren. 

Hilton Grand Vacations Owner at Disney World with granddaughter    

We visited places we hadn't even considered.

By visiting new locales like Chicago, Las Vegas, Myrtle Beach, and New York City, we were burning points and racking up air miles. Although I can't say "burning" points because every point was well-planned and squeezed for every bit of enjoyment, we could wedge into our busy lives.

But that's not all we were doing. We were also filling SD cards with gorgeous, adventurous photos.

Then it dawned on us that Hilton Grand Vacations ownership is not a sprint. It's (hopefully) a marathon.

We needed to maximize vacation experiences long term — while working, through retirement, and passing on to our children and their children. 

The Decision to Upgrade

To expand the opportunities with HGV ownership, acquire more points. There are two major paths open to us: purchase another property or trade-in and up.  Purchasing another property generates more annual points more quickly, and if your budget and lifestyle can take advantage of that, then go for it!

My wife and I still have a few years left until retirement, so we opted to trade in and up. We wanted to reach that level where we would have enough points awarded each year to travel when and where we wanted. 

Hilton Grand Vacations Owners in Las Vegas, Nevada   

Also, we wanted the option to gift resort vacations to our adult children, all without the annual effort of saving points.

Everyone's Journey is Their Own

We were cautious about our first Hilton Grand Vacations purchase because we were not sure how this new experience would look.

Hilton Grand Vacations Owners in Hawaii   

I imagine many first-time Owners are like that — wondering if they are going to enjoy this way of vacationing. Others may know just what they want to get from their ownership, and they dive in headfirst. 

Whichever type you are, there comes the time you have the happy problem of figuring out how to enjoy resort vacationing and ownership more (and more often).

Each of us will have a different answer.

For my wife and me, we are excited about the myriad ways to enjoy our ownership as well as the prospect of increasing that enjoyment through upgrading our purchase when we see the time is right.

Read “Should I Use ClubPoints, Hilton Honors Points or a Combination of Both?” for more ways to maximize your points.

Derek R

Ask Derek what his favorite vacation destination is and he’ll tell you it’s the next one. When he travels, he’s always on the go: sightseeing, taking walking tours, trying out all the best local restaurants. Somehow, he still finds the time to share his travel insights with friends, family and millions of people around the world. In fact, he’s a level 7 Local Google Guide in Northern Virginia, where he hails from, and his photos have exceeded 3 million views to date! Derek is a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, so he knows a thing or two about seeing the world from different perspectives. While he and his family were stationed in the U.K. and Germany, they caught the travel bug and haven’t looked back since. He and his wife, Linda, are now Members at Elara, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club in Las Vegas. Derek is approaching retirement and planning to spend more time traveling the globe with Linda.

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