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Most of you will have seen advertisements for HPB in magazines, and recently on the Silver Travel Advisor website endorsed by Sue Barker and probably wondered what it is all about. Often described as an up-market timeshare, HPB is a very different concept and offers a great deal more, with none of the disadvantages of timeshare.

I have been a member for fifteen years, joining when I was a divorced single parent of grown-up children, looking for quality holidays as an alternative to hotels, where I was tired of paying single supplements and being allocated inferior accommodation.

I attended open days at two properties in Yorkshire, and on the third to Blore Hall in the Peak District, decided this was for me. The minimum investment is currently £5000 and this gives you access to all the wonderful properties in the UK and abroad. Basically, the Bond is an insurance policy, and if you wish you can top-up your contributions to give you more "Points". I have never done so, and found the original sum provides enough choice for my whole family and friends if I choose to let them Use my Points – no way!! You can cash in your investment, which follows the regular stock market, but you should regard the Bond as a source of d fabulous holiday destinations rather than a profit-making investment. Your children can take over your shares, and continue to enjoy the same benefits. There is also a brochure of properties not actually owned by the Bond, but offered points free, and affiliated companies for specialist holidays, especially in far distant places.

Though I was single when I joined, most Bondholders are couples, and a few years ago, a member had the idea to start a club for those who had lost a partner but still wished to travel and enjoy the unique sites. The Bond’s Companions Club now has over a thousand members, and local groups meet to socialise and plan holidays. The photos show five members of the Leeds group at Physkos, the Bond’s property in Turunc, SW Turkey, awaiting the welcome dinner arranged by management at the site.

Though all sites are self catering, ( better kitchens than most of us have at home! )there is usually a good restaurant on site, and locations such as Turunc, Lanzarote and Majorca have a wealth of restaurants nearby, so you can eat out all the time if cooking does not figure as a holiday occupation.

The Bond offers excursions,to be paid for, and plenty of free activities and entertainment on site. There is no obligation even to talk to fellow holidaymakers, but Bond members tend to be friendly people who appreciate the beautiful locations and well-maintained villas, apartments, pools and gardens. Each management team goes the extra mile to make sure your needs are met, and remember names when you return, as you will if you join. There are plenty of photos on the Bond’s own website and once you have seen them, like me, I think you will be tempted.

Gwenda Jones

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