You're probably used to being able to put a dress or a gadget on layaway. More and more travel agencies and airlines are beginning to offer the same thing with cruises, vacation packages and flights.
--- Many travel agencies have been offering the service for a while, and others, like Delta, British Airways, and Sears (which began offering cruise and vacation packages in 2012) are starting to offer flight and vacation layaways, as well. The practice allows consumers to plan a vacation and pay for it incrementally without going into debt or using a credit card.
So, how does it work? Unlike some retail layaway plans, most of these new travel-layaway plans don't require you to pay a set amount in increments of weeks or months, but simply ask that you pay it off by a certain time after making a down payment. Committing to a vacation far in advance can be difficult, and cancellation can often mean forfeiting part of what you've paid. However, sometimes that’s a benefit if it gets you to commit to a trip you’ve been wanting to do but keep putting off.
There are also other benefits, such as not having to use credit and being able to pay for a trip in smaller increments instead of one lump sum.
The Travel Tramps write about their treks near and far in City Weekly and host the Travel Brigade Radio Show. Follow them on Twitter @TravelBrigade.