Kid Approved, Money Saver, Travel

How to save money at Big Cedar Lodge


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Our kitchen & dining area
Our bed in our room

Why Branson

We just got back from a trip to Branson, Missouri and I wanted to share a few ways I saved money. I’m not an expert on this topic, but I want to let people know how I saved money. Early in the year I decided I wanted to take my family to Branson. I grew up going to Branson a few times a year, because my family had a small cabin on Table Rock Lake, about 30minutes from Branson.

Why Big Cedar Lodge

First I did some research on where we would stay.  I looked at several cabins, because I really didn’t want to stay in a small hotel room. They were all pretty expensive. Next, I looked at resorts and condominiums. I came across Big Cedar Lodge, and loved it!  It had several pools, a beach with sand on table rock, a lazy river, paddle boats, canoes, boats to rent to take on the lake, restaurants on site, hiking, and more.  It was a few minutes from Branson, which I liked, because I really didn’t want to stay on the main strip.  It was my favorite by far, but just a room with 2 queen beds was $235 a night, plus taxes and resort fees!  I wanted a nice vacation, but I didn’t want to pay that much.  I considered doing Big Cedar Lodge for 2 nights, then going somewhere else for 2-3 nights.  Marriott has a nice resort in Branson I was also drawn to for the rest of our nights.  I kept doing research, and I came across this website that had timeshares at Big Cedar.  First, I was not in any way interested in signing up for timeshares, or even hearing their spill for a discount or free nights.

How to get a good price for Big Cedar Lodge Timeshares (without the timeshare sales pitch)

I came across another website that explained how you could rent a timeshare.  I found this interesting.  The site explained how you could rent someone’s time share week/days/points and not listen to the timeshare sales pitch.  The timeshare would consider you the owner.  That peaked my interest.  The site also explained how you could get good deals on Craigslist and Redweek.  Redweek is a site that specifically rents and sells timeshares.  Here’s one of the sites I found good information on, and here is another one.  I knew I would not use Craigslist, because I had no experience with it.  I did some more research on renting a timeshare and came across this article about renting through eBay.  I have a lot of experience on eBay as a buyer and a seller.  I started searching for Big Cedar timeshare rentals.  You can set up a search and get daily alerts by “following” the search.  I had a search set for “Big Cedar Wilderness Club” and “Big Cedar cabins”.  I would “watch” any that were selling for the time I wanted to stay.

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One thing I also looked for was how long the buyer had been on eBay, what their rating & reviews were, and I looked to see if they had rented a timeshare before.  People do scam on eBay, but luckily eBay is very good about refunding you if you did get scammed.  I would never buy from someone who had no reviews, or a new account, or lots of bad reviews.

Cheaper than a nice Hotel Room!

My husband told me he wanted to go in June, before it started getting too hot out.  I had already been watching my search for the last couple of months, just to get an idea how the prices changed, and how quick things sold.  About 2 weeks after that, I saw a good deal on a one bedroom condo, $499 for 4 nights, just over 2 weeks away.  It was the best deal I had seen so far, so I asked my husband if he thought he could get off work, then I asked my step-daughter’s mom if those dates were okay with her to take her on vacation.  Everyone agreed, and I bought it.  They buyer did have all good reviews, and was selling other time shares, but I found no reviews on his sales of other timeshares.  He had been an eBay customer/seller for several years, with 100% positive reviews.  I was just a bit nervous, but also excited and hopeful that we would have a fantastic vacation.  The next day I got a confirmation email that the reservation was changed to my name.  I also called Big Cedar to verify, and all was good.  I was so thrilled to have found this awesome deal!  You would pay that much for a nice hotel room for 4 nights!  Below are photos from my phone showing the condo I booked through eBay.  This will give you an idea what to look for.

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Our vacation was fabulous, and we loved staying at Big Cedar Lodge and can’t wait to go back!!

A little about our stay:

Our vacation was fabulous, and we loved staying at Big Cedar Lodge and can’t wait to go back!!  My 14 year old said her favorite part was the lazy river.  We had a good amount of room to spread out in our condo, the beds were all very comfortable, they even provide laundry detergent and dishwasher soap.  We had all the utensils and pots and pans we needed, plus a coffee maker and a blender!  Many of the comforts of home, plus lots of fun extra stuff too.  We went out on a paddle boat, tried out most of the pools, played in the lake, ate at the snack bar, cooked breakfast in our kitchen and lots more.  We did not try any of the restaurants, mostly because we were away in the evenings and had other plans for dinner.  Next time I would love to try Arnie’s Barn at Top of the Rock.  We did not make it to Top of the Rock either, but that’s just another reason to come back again.  If you have any questions about our stay at Big Cedar, feel free to shoot me an email.  Have you stayed at Big Cedar?  What did you like best?  Did you stay somewhere else you loved?  What’s your favorite thing to do in Branson?  I would love for you to share.

Check out a few other ways we saved money, and at one time just got lucky on a big savings at Silver Dollar City!!

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On the paddle boat

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playing on the beach
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making sand castles
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lazy river
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lazy river
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Lazy River
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one of the kiddy pools
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Playground
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Our patio

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