We recently discovered that Thousand Trails released a new package called the Trails Collection Reciprocal Program. This neat little add-on impressed us so much we wanted to write a quick blog post about its benefits and how we've already put it to good use. If you don't have a Thousand Trails Membership yet check out my post about the different membership options available and which membership would be the best for you!
In short, the Trails Collection can be added to your existing Thousand Trails membership for $199/year and includes 108 Encore Resorts (the list is here). Out of the 108 resorts available, all are free except for 18 (which are only $20 a night with the membership). Encore Resorts average $55/night on their own, so this membership pays for itself if you stay in any Encore Resort for four nights (or one of the $20 Encore Resorts for 10 nights). Let me repeat that… this program pays for itself if you stay in one of the qualified resorts for only four nights! This program was an easy decision for us to make if you couldn't tell.
We've highlighted some of the most important parts of the fine print below.
Trails Collection PROS:
- No other fees will be applied at resorts except for the previously identified 18 resorts that charge the $20/night fee.
- Unlike Thousand Trails first come, first serve policy for the Thousand Trails preserves, the Trails Collection assigns a specific site at the time a reservation is confirmed.
- You can make a reservation 60 days in advance.
- You can start booking at any of the Trails Collections Resorts 24 hours after your purchase.
Now before you call Thousand Trails and say “take my money!”, we wanted to call out the below four items.
Trails Collection CONS:
- Only existing Thousand Trails members in good standing are eligible to become members of Program.
- They do not prorate the $199. Meaning if your anniversary date is coming up but you want the membership now, you will pay $199 now and then another $199 on your anniversary date.
- You may stay at one Trails Collection Resort in a recreational vehicle up to 14 consecutive nights and in a tent up to seven consecutive nights. If you stay at any Trails Collection Resort for more than four consecutive nights, you must wait seven nights before you can stay again at any Trails Collection Resort.*
- There are age restrictions (must be 55+ to stay) on some of the resorts but we can't find a list of them anywhere. Our educated guess is there are no more than 10 resorts with this restriction.
We hope this post helps you decide if the Trails Collection is right for you! We've already purchased this package and booked a total of 8 nights in applicable Encore Resorts over the next three weeks (so yes, it's already paid for itself and then some).
*We wanted to make it very clear that this policy only applies to the other Trails Collection Resorts. If your current Thousand Trails membership allows you to go to park to park then you are able to stay at a Trails Collection Resort and then go straight into a Thousand Trails preserve. You will only have to stay out of the Trails Collection Resorts for seven nights before staying in another one again.