Who doesn’t deserve a vacation right now more than nurses, EMTs and police officers? Heroes Vacation Club, a new website that offers incredible travel deals to first responders, medical professionals and their spouses, sells hotel rooms and condo resorts at steep discounts. But you have to be a hero. And a member.
What is Heroes Vacation Club?
Heroes Vacation Club, which launched in November 2020, is a part of Wyndham Destinations (which will be renamed Travel + Leisure following its $100 million acquisition of that venerable travel brand). The site already offers 600,000 hotel rooms at rates that are at least 5 percent below market rates.
But the real value of the membership program for families is the access to incredibly low pricing for condos in resort areas. The resorts are located in popular family vacation destinations in the United States, the Caribbean and nearly 90 other countries. There are resorts in Covid-friendly outdoorsy areas such as mountains and beaches. There are even resorts in Florida close to Disney World and the theme parks of Orlando.
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For one-stop vacation planning, the site also offers the ability to book car rentals, flights and activities, although not at the same steep discounts. Future plans include adding cruises.
What Resorts Are Included?
These condos are timeshares operated by RCI, another division of Wyndham. So they aren’t places you could rent outside of the membership groups like Heroes Vacation Club and AFVClub.com. (That’s another site owned by Wyndham that offers vacations for heroes who are current or former members of the military. Both sites offer free membership for now.)
But do not fear being accosted by timeshare sellers throughout your stay. The word “timeshare” isn’t mentioned on the site and when I stayed in one of the condos in Pennsylvania, no one asked me about whether I was an owner. It was a quiet getaway in a large two-bedroom, two-bath condo. My stay, through Wyndham-owned TripBeat, cost $399 for 7 seven nights. On Heroes Vacation Club, that same property was available for $349 to hero group members for 7 nights in early 2021.
Does it Work for Families?
While there are plenty of hotel rooms available at super-low prices on Heroes Vacation Club, the resorts are the sweet spot for families. They offer lots of room to spread out. My condo was on two floors. The top floor had a full kitchen, dining room, living room, fireplace and huge outdoor deck. The two bedrooms and full bath were on the lower level.
We visited in the fall of 2020, when Covid was in full swing. So the full kitchen was a gift that allowed us to bring our own food and cook in the condo, limiting our exposure to the virus.
For a family, a full kitchen is a gift that helps keep down family vacation costs. Simply eating breakfast in the condo before venturing out for the day can save a family of four $40 or more a day. If you’re traveling with ravenous teens, the savings will be even greater!
Even better, these resorts generally have pools and recreation areas for keeping kids active and entertained.
How to Join Heroes Vacation Club
Eligibility for membership at www.heroesvacationclub.com requires checking a box that says: “I certify that I am eligible to join Heroes Vacation Club because I am a current or former Medical professional, Police Officer, Firefighter or the spouse of one.”
Registration is easy — first and last name, ZIP code, occupation, status (current or former) and organization. That’s it.
Once you’re registered, finding deals is easy. Just plug in your destination and travel dates. Then, click on the links at the top — hotels, resorts, cars, activities, air — to find the deals.
Be sure to read the fine print and the terms and conditions before you book. My October 2020 reservation was not cancellable.