• Jacqlyne Mba-Jonas

Easily Afford That Much Needed Vacation With a Travel Agent

Updated: Oct 3

If you're in desperate need to unwind and take a vacation, but don't have enough saved to pay for it all at once, a travel agent can still make that vacation happen for you. Part of an agent's goal is to strive to make travel more accessible, affordable and rewarding for our clients. One of the ways we do this is by offering clients as much flexibility as possible when it comes to paying for their dream vacation.


Free Payment Plans Through a Travel Vendor


When you work with an agent well in advance of a planned trip (at least 3-4 months), we are often able to secure your vacation for a small deposit made towards your reservation. The required deposits can vary in range, anywhere from $50 per person on the reservation, to 10% of the total vacation cost. Upon confirming your reservation with a deposit, the remaining balance will typically have to be paid no later than 45 days prior to the start of the trip. In between the initial deposit and balance due date, there may or may not be a set payment schedule. So often times you are free to make payments towards your vacation at anytime and in any amount you choose, as long as it is all paid off by the due date. When a payment schedule is set, it will often be the remaining balance, divided into equal monthly payments. You can pay this off quicker than the set schedule if you choose.


Such payment plans are possible for mostly packaged vacations like cruises, Disney, Universal Studios and any other form of a vacation package where two or more travel elements (flights, hotel, excursions) are purchased together through a single travel vendor. These plans are free to utilize, have no fees, accrue no interest and no credit checks are necessary.


Payment Plans Through Travel Only Financing


Now what if you decide to book a trip just 2 weeks before departure and need a flexible payment option? What if you are booking well in advance, but need to book different travel elements through different vendors? What if you did take advantage of a free vendor payment plan, but need more time to pay off the $800 balance due 45 days before your trip? This is where travel financing can become useful to you.


I am a certified travel finance specialist with Uplift. I use their service to provide a simple, clear, no hidden fees, budget friendly finance option to clients for travel related products only. With Uplift you can finance a minimum of $500 to a maximum of $15,000 of your vacation cost. Compared to vendor payment plans, financing can be secured through Uplift as late as 11 days before the trip departure date. So uplift allows you to go on your vacation and enjoy it while still making low monthly payments for up to one year.


Interest does accrue on the amount borrowed, but it is typically much lower than that of a credit card. Moreover, the APR is applied as simple interest and not compound interest like credit cards. Simply put, you’ll only be charged interest on the amount you borrowed, not the interest and fees that have accrued during the loan period. So with each payment you make, your interest decreases. And if you pay off the loan early, you will pay less interest, and not be charged an early payment penalty.


Eligibility and loan terms are based on multiple factors including your credit profile. Checking your rate will have no impact to your credit score. To be eligible, you must be a US resident (by law residents of IA and WV cannot use this service), over 18, have a US cell phone, and a valid form of payment (bank account/debit card). Eligible clients must also be on the original travel itinerary and can have no more that two active Uplift payment plans at a time.


Conclusion


Both flexible payment options discussed above are not always easily accessible by regular travel consumers. While it is possible to find a travel financer like Uplift integrated into the checkout process of a few major travel vendors, it is still not directly available through all travel vendors. Most importantly, the free, no interest payment plans offered by travel vendors is not commonly provided directly to consumers.


As an Independent Travel Agent, I can offer one or both of these options to my clients for every single booking if they need it. If you haven't worked with a travel agent before, why not give one a try for your next vacation? I'll appreciate the opportunity to work with you on your next trip and hopefully many more to come. Check out the Services I offer, and reach out to me when you're ready to make that dream vacation a reality. Thanks for reading!


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