Family Vacation Tips

Paying For Family Vacations - Vacation Layaway

[fa icon="calendar"] Jul 15, 2012 2:08:00 PM / by Sally Black

Sally Black

Woman paying her holidays by credit or debit card - isolated over white

Layaway payment plans for family vacations makes SMART financial sense and will save your family money. I enjoyed a good chuckle recently after seeing a reading a CNN Money article about Sears touting their brand new Vacation Layaway program. Kudos to the PR dept and their spin while trying to keep Sears in business. I laughed because we've been offering affordable family vacation payment plans to our parents for YEARS. We just never put out a national press release about it. Perhaps we should have gotten the news out about this sooner?

To book a resort, cruise or airline ticket, travelers are required to place a deposit in order to confirm reservations. The balance of your trip must be paid prior to your departure. Once you've made your initial deposit, Vacationkids can break out your remaining balance into an affordable monthly credit card payments.  This way families can pay by the month while keeping finances focused and on track. I talk about family vacations here but technically this works for any type of vacation. Vacationkids has been around long enough that we find ourselves booking weddings and honeymoons for many of the "kids" that first traveled with us. We seem to be doing more and more honeymoon layaways these days!

 Actually a layaway payment plan will not only help you paying for a family vacation will save your family money in two important ways...

1. By paying for your family vacation with monthly installment payments in advance you can avoid costly interest and fees.  You can kick back and RELAX during your vacation knowing that you won't have to return home to the dreaded stress of opening some HUGE credit card bill.

2.  By booking FAR in advance you will have the BEST choice of availability and you will get the BEST pricing.  Contrary to what you may hear on TV, finding some last minute family travel bargain is about as likely and your kids finding a pink unicorn in your back yard.  Families tend to travel when their kids are out of school. Travel is based on supply and demand so you won't find deals during these peak times. If you still need convincing, you can purchase price protection. For a nominal fee, you will be GUARANTEED the lowest prices if for some reasons prices drop between the time you make your deposit and the time of your no worry or gambling with getting the cheapest a layaway family vacation is a financial win-win in many ways.

One of our Vacationkids travel agents can help you create a layaway vacation payment plan for your next family vacation. Please understand  the fine print is not consistent across the travel industry. There are different deposit and payment rules involved depending on whether you're taking a cruise, staying at a resort or need airline tickets....

Family Cruise Layaway Vacations - Cruises are the EASIEST when it comes to creating a layaway family vacation. Generally cruise lines require a deposit of $100-$300 per person. Often they will run sales reducing the amount of deposit by 50% so this means little up front investment. The cruise lines will post their schedules and pricing about two years in advance and require final payment in full 60 days prior to sailing. This translates into a longer lead time and lower monthly installment payments.

Family All Inclusive Resort layaway Vacations -  Resorts generally require $100-$150 per person deposit and expect final payment about 45-60 days prior to departure.  Rates are usually posted by hoteliers about 1 year in advance.

Airline Tickets- Airlines generally post their schedules and fares about 300 days in advance. This means if you may need to book your resort or cruise first in order to get the best deal and then book your flights to destination or port. Deposit rules differ according to they type of flight you book. Nonrefundable tickets are usually the cheapest but they do require payment in full in order to confirm your reservations. Refundable air tickets cost a bit more but will allow a partial deposit.  Charter flights are independent airlines scheduled usually by a specific tour company. With charters, you can apply a minimal deposit to hold your seats but normally charter flights are only offered from a handful of larger airports.

Vacationkids doesn't charge any fees for setting up a layaway program for our clients. We do insist that  layaway clients purchase a "cancel for any reason" travel insurance policy. When booking far in advance, this will help protect your vacation investment from any unforeseen circumstances that may arise prior to your departure.  We understand that shopping for the best price is important to our families. Please know we can usually match most online prices with a written quote. If we cannot match a particular price, chances are those prices are too good to be true and come with high risk. Contact us for  specific layaway vacation quote for your next family vacation.


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Topics: Affordable Family Vacations

Sally Black

Written by Sally Black

Sally is the Founder of Travel Agency and author of the book "Fearless Family Vacations". She is also the Director of Travel Agent Initiatives and Training at The Family Travel Association.

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