Layaway plans aren’t just for super smart Christmas shopping.
Did you know that you can use this same principle for your next family vacation? In fact, vacation layaway plans are the secret to successfully taking a dream vacation that's less of a hit on your bank account.
By having ample planning, smart budgeting and a savvy travel agent on your side, you’ll be able to live your life to the fullest, all while you save money, keep the stress down and have fun doing what you want to do and being where you want to be.
Here’s how it’s done.
We know that between work, school and everybody’s activities it can definitely be difficult to plan a vacation far in advance, but we promise it’s worth it. Generally, hotels and airlines post their rates and their availability a whopping 300 days in advance – that’s roughly nine months. Are you thinking about cruise lines and theme parks? They typically post their rates even further ahead. What this means is that if you can take advantage of this lead time, you can make it play out in your favor by the time you’re ready to leave. Remember, you’ll need a good, lengthy time span to create the most affordable monthly payments.
Here’s a general cheat list for the best times of year to plan for an advanced vacation:
- For a Thanksgiving/Christmas Vacation: Begin planning around Valentine’s Day
- For a Spring Break Vacation: Begin planning the summer before it
- For a Summer Vacation: Begin planning around the start of the school year
MAKE A DEPOSIT
Deposits are always a smart tool. Most hotels, cruise lines and even Disney require only a small deposit. This fee can be anywhere from $50 per person to a percentage of the total cost of the trip. In fact, you can confirm your upcoming Disney vacation by putting a deposit down for your family’s hotel, park tickets and even a meal plan for as little as $200.
SET UP A MONTHLY PAYMENT SCHEDULE
In general, most destinations require full payment to be made 60-45 days prior to arriving. After making your initial deposit, figure out your remaining balance, divide it by the number of months left before your due date, and pay by monthly installments. You can set up and authorize your payments to be taken out automatically from your credit card.
Here are some helpful answers to typical questions regarding layaway vacation plans:
What about airline tickets? Can those be included in layaway packages?
Airline tickets usually require payment to be made upfront and in full before you take off. What this means is that most airline tickets won’t be included in layaway plans. But, like anything, there are some exceptions. If a flight is included in a layaway plan, it is usually a charter flight that leaves from a specific airport on a specific date. No wiggle room there. But if you are an avid traveler, you can always use your frequent flyer miles or credit card reward points toward your flights to help lower the fare.
How do I set up a vacation layaway plan? Can I do it myself online?
Most major travel booking websites do not allow layaway plans, so this is one instance where you would utilize a travel agent.
What if my trip goes on sale at the last minute?
In most cases, if your planned trip does go on sale, your travel agent should be able to apply the sale price. Plus, many travel insurance plans include “price protection insurance,” so in the event that a last-minute sale does occur, you will be reimbursed the difference.
Should I really purchase travel insurance?
We definitely think you should. Follow the link for an in-depth look as to why we love travel insurance.