“I need a vacation.”
How many Tuesdays at work have you heard yourself saying those very words?
That’s how Vacation Sooner was born. In 2005, Wayne Nugent and Mike Azcue founded company WorldVentures, which is the parent of Vacation Sooner. The goal was to allow people to pay into a membership each month, then be rewarded with deeply discounted vacations.
The program is still around over a decade later, but it gets mixed reviews. Interested in joining a vacation membership plan? Read on to find out more about Vacation Sooner.
Vacation Sooner Scam
Searching Vacation Sooner scam on the internet will turn back a lot of results. People who didn’t feel the service was worth it, or those who didn’t cash out on their points all refer to the system as a scam. But is it really a scam?
Here’s how Vacation Sooner works. You begin by paying a one time fee of $200. Then, each month you’ll pay around $60 in membership dues. This monthly cost covers you, one other adult, and all of the kids in your household.
As you pay your membership fees each month, you accrue points. Those points can be used against the cost of a vacation package. There is also an online store, and purchases made within these store are worth points, too.
Once you book a trip through Vacation Sooner, you’re covered by a Price Protection plan. Simply put, if your vacation package details are found to be cheaper on another site, like Expedia or others, you’ll be refunded the difference. In some cases you may receive your trip for free.
Sounds good, right? Who doesn’t want a discounted vacation? Well, there are catches to the Vacation Sooner plan, which is why some refer to it as a Vacation Sooner scam.
Vacation Sooner Pyramid Scheme
The first catch, and always the most hesitation-worthy, is that Vacation Sooner operates on a multi-level marketing scheme. You can sell vacation packages to your friends and family, further discounting your own vacations. If you take this option, you’ll be subject to paying another $100 activation fee and a fee of $11 per month.
You’ll earn commissions on each of the packages you sell, but the commission structure is very complicated. It, of course, comes with an earnings cap. You’ll have to find more details in the guide posted online, as it would be impossible to cover them all here.
The commission plan is optional. What is not optional is the other catch. Let’s say you pay the $60 each month for a year. You’ve then paid $720, and each dollar you spend is worth one point. After a year, you’d have 720 points to apply toward your vacation package, right?
Yes and no. One of the biggest complaints in Vacation Sooner reviews is that only a portion of those points can be redeemed. For example, you might only be able to apply 450 points toward your trip. You’re left with a balance of 250 points which is useless unless you book another trip.
Travel clubs on the whole are often the subject of many complaints. Blackout dates, travel limitations and general dishonesty on the part of these companies makes them a business category to be wary of. Vacation Sooner reviews say that the same is true for this club.
Vacation Sooner Reviews
So what are consumers saying about Vacation Sooner? Is the program worth it? In short, not really. Most reviews state that you’ll do better, price-wise, if you either book through a travel agent or find your own fares and rates on kayak, Expedia or another travel site.
The cost of the vacations isn’t really the problem that’s described in these Vacation Sooner reviews. Instead, it’s the fact that the service itself costs almost $1,000 each year. Added to that is the actual cost of the trip you take. So an annual vacation can easily wind up costing you upwards of $1,500.
It’s very, very easy to find a vacation for less than $1,500, and that includes airfare. You’ll have more flexibility in dates if you book on your own, as well as more options as to where you go on vacation. Most people who used the Vacation Sooner plan say that they’ll be booking their own trip the next time around.
Vacation Sooner isn’t’ a scam, per se. The service does offer vacation packages, and those packages are seemingly discounted, You can also take advantage of the commissions offered by the company. You just have to be willing to sell to your friends.
But whether the Vacation Sooner program is worth the cost is up to you. Mathematically speaking, you can come out much better by doing it yourself. But if you’re willing to drop an extra grand on vacation, Vacation Sooner may help you if you’re not crazy about the hassle of making reservations.
Is Vacation Sooner a Scam?
While Vacation Sooner isn’t a scam, there are much easier ways to pay for your vacation. In essence, the service is like a vacation club savings account. You pay toward a vacation goal monthly, and the dollars you spend are converted to points. Later, those points are redeemed toward vacations.
However, there’s that initial $200 that you wouldn’t have to spend were you to open a savings account. That’s a huge investment, and those dollars could better be put toward tickets to Disney or meals while you travel. A basic or vacation savings account doesn’t require this initial cost.
Secondly, when you open a savings account, you’re guaranteed that every penny you invest will be available for use while you travel. That’s not true for Vacation Sooner. You may only be able to use a portion of your points toward your vacation.
An alternative to a savings account is a timeshare. You do pay an annual maintenance fee, and sometimes a monthly charge as well. But you’re guaranteed a week at the resort(s) of your choice, on a designated week each year.
Want to visit Florida the week after Thanksgiving? Get a timeshare for that week. Each year, that condo will be waiting for you. There are plenty of options which will likely work better for you than Vacation Sooner. The Vacation Sooner scam isn’t necessarily a scam, but we think it’s a waste of money.