We have 3 timeshare properties (or Vacation Ownership Properties, as they're called). Initially, I wondered if we'd be able to use them because there really are drawbacks when you have to use an entire week at a time. A lot of our trips are for fewer than 7 days, or the trips are long but not all at one place.
Anyway, it really is working out beautifully -- especially now that the grandkids are old enough to travel so the whole family is able to take advantage of using the properties. Also, the timeshare companies have made huge changes which allow using the week in increments of a few days (although we haven't done that yet).
The reason all of this comes to mind is because we had a week that Scott & Maggie had originally planned to use in Tennessee last summer, but the property turned out to be pretty far from where they wanted to go so we "banked" it and we needed to use it by the end of February 2012. This is the type of scenario that I don't like: the need to use it us or lose it.
Turns out that Mom and Aunt Ethel are going to Florida in a few weeks and I was able to use it for them in a place only 20ish minutes from where Dean lives. Now, they'll have a nice 2-bedroom, 2 bath place to stay all week where they can cook in instead of having to eat out.
Worked out really great!