In the months before the holidays, you start hearing the term “layaway” more and more. Every year, thousands of people take advantage of the program that lets you put down a deposit on an item in order to reserve it (and pay for it) later, but while layaway programs are always popular during the holidays, they’ve also become popular in recent years in the travel world.
Many travel agencies have their own type of vacation layaway program, but several major companies have also decided to help families plan and pay off their vacation. Disney created its Disney Vacation Account, which lets you determine your vacation budget, then start saving for it in advance. Sears Vacations lets you put a 20% payment down, then pay off the rest in increments. Sears also offers exclusive hotels, cruises, car rentals, and more for its members.
So is vacation layaway a good choice for you and your family?
Weigh Your Options
To simplify things, there are three ways to pay for a vacation: a layaway program that lets you put down a deposit and pay for the vacation increments, a layaway program that lets you put money aside so you can save for your vacation, and paying for your vacation with a credit card and paying it off afterwards.
Which you choose could depend on many things including interest rates, initial deposits, fees, and more. Instead of simply choosing the first layaway program you find, look into other layaway plans that may have different payment plans. One might be more ideal than another.
One thing to remember when considering a layaway program is that travel costs can sometimes fluctuate with the market. This means that your vacation price may change between the start of your plan and your actual trip. When paying for your vacation with a traditional credit card, you won’t have to worry about market costs.
When it comes to layaway plans, many people use them for vacations they plan significantly in advance. If you choose a layaway plan that requires you to put down a deposit and you decide you’re not going to go, you may be out more money than you thought. It all comes down to if you feel comfortable paying for something in advance. If you do, layaway is a great option – especially for things like honeymoons or retirement vacations.
Some companies offer extra layaway perks that can enhance your vacation. For example, Disney’s Vacation Account offers monetary gift cards for every certain amount of money you spend while on your Disney vacation. And as we mentioned before, Sears offers its members exclusive deals on many travel activities.