For the 50+ Traveler

Taking a vacation with a ticket price in the multi-thousand-dollar range probably isn’t something you’re going to do every year.

Even if you could just throw it all on a credit card, you'd still need to think about interest and paying off the debt. When you’re cutting expenses from your budget, paying a company to borrow their money likely isn’t something you want to do.

Fortunately, there’s a solution out there for those who don’t use credit cards or who don’t want to put travel expenses on their cards: you can put your vacation on layaway. Here are some of the best ways to pay off your vacation a little at a time.

1. Bamboo

Bamboo sends baby boomers to underdeveloped countries and helps them to give back to those countries. The founders say that it’s “essential that travel in developing countries must be giving back to the communities that it visits.” Their goal is to combine travel with global volunteering and make it as much fun as possible.

Tours range from $2,000 to $3,000 per person, and you can pay your trip off in advance in installments. The company also offers travel vouchers that allow you to secure financing for your trip at a future date.

The company offers tours and volunteer opportunities all over the world in developing countries like Cambodia, Thailand, Nepal, India, Vietnam, Tahiti, Costa Rica, Bali, and Uganda. Participants can explore a destination on their own for a day or two before helping the local community by teaching them English, helping them to build houses, or digging drainage ditches to ensure fresh water.

2. Beaches Resorts

Who wouldn’t want to spend a few hundred dollars a month to take a luxury getaway at a Beaches or Sandals resort? The Luxury Layaway Installment Payment Plan lets you complete your vacation payment over three months up to two years, giving you plenty of time to pay off that ultimate family vacation or luxurious honeymoon.

Beaches resort vacations include fine dining, babysitting services, family activities, waterpark outings, golfing, and other amenities. There are several Beaches locations in the Caribbean, including resorts in the Turks and Caicos Islands, Negril, and Ocho Rios. At Sandals resorts, you’ll find similar amenities, but the resorts are for adults only.

3. eLayaway

If you want to save up for that dream vacation, but you don’t want to put your money in the bank, eLayaway lets you purchase gift certificates that can be used on a variety of vacation expenses, including airfare, cruises, hotels, and even Disney vacations.

Once you download the app, you can set up automatic transfers from your bank account to your eLayaway account. Before you know it, you’ll be taking the grandkids to Cabo. One drawback of the system is that you can only purchase from companies that work with, but those companies include Marriott and a variety of airlines and cruise lines.

4. Westside International Travel

One of the few travel agencies that allows its customers to pay in installments, Westside International Travel can help you pay off your vacation a little at a time.

For a deposit as low as $225 per person, Westside can help you plan your payments and ensure that your vacation is paid off 45 days prior to your departure date. Depending on what is in your vacation package, you may need to pay for parts of the package up front in order to secure bookings, but Westside can give you options to make the package more affordable.

The agency promises to take care of all of the accounting for you, as well as all of the price shopping. In fact, if the price of the cruise or vacation package that you’re in the midst of purchasing goes down, the agency will work with the companies to make sure you get the discount.

5. Loyalty Programs

If you love to travel, why not make the most of your adventures? Many companies, like Intrepid Travel and Go Ahead Tours, will provide you with points toward future adventures. With Intrepid, if you take nine trips, you will receive $1,800 toward your next trip. With Go Ahead, you get points for each person you refer to the company. If you refer a certain number of people, you'll get a free trip.