by Stefania Revelli
- Layaway isn’t a new way to pay, but travel hasn’t traditionally been a category associated with the piecemeal-style payment plan.
- Sears has launched Sears Vacations, an online destination where customers can put hotel and travel packages, hotels, cruises and rental cars on hold and pay for them progressively.
- Layaway payment plans differ based on type of trip and package. A $1,499 cruise package, for instance, requires a $149 deposit and $75 monthly rate for 18 months (Sears Vacations, July 2012).
- The site also features 100 prepaid vacation packages under $400 that can be financed over time (MoneyLand.Time.com, 20 June 2012).
WHAT THIS MEANS TO BUSINESS
- Post-recessionary consumers are discovering savvy and creative ways to finance wish lists, without risking the bank. Long-term payment plans offer every consumer the flexibility and opportunity to make their ideal vacation a reality.
- Sears-style layaway plans are not for the whimsical traveler, but for the calculated consumer who can plan far in advance.
- Introducing vacations into a payment system typically associated with big-ticket household items (like furniture or electronics) shifts vacationing into a lifestyle improvement category.