Layby holidays – Too good to be true? Or Sound financial scheme?

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With exciting new packages coming in all the time, travelling is no longer the domain of the rich. Everyone dreams of going on short getaways to pamper themselves and escape from their ordinary workday lives. Now, with layby holidays, travel planning has become a whole lot easier. Layby holiday packages help you plan a payment schedule, where you pay off your travel costs in instalments. For those of us tied to a monthly salary, this is a good way to pay for those expensive travels that we so like so much. But there are some considerations that need to be addressed before you pick a layby package.

Safety
Whether or not it is a layby package, you must always try to pick a package with an agency that has been recognised and accredited by a competent authority. It does not make sense to entrust your money to an agency that might go under any day, especially if you are going to make your payment in advance. If you make payments using credit cards, you may eligible for a refund by your card provider. So that is an additional means of ensuring safety.

Convenience
Layby packages are very convenient when it comes to managing our monthly finances. We can decide how much money to put aside every month and keep a comfortable margin for emergencies, not needing to pay off a huge chunk in one go. Also, some packages offer an interest-free payment period of nearly twelve months, after the trip. That may be a little burdensome for some of us who may lack the discipline to manage payments over such an elongated period, or who may lack a stable job. But overall, not the worst payment plan in the world. Hell, even if you have money, you can keep it safe in the bank where it will earn you returns, while you pay off the travel company in instalments, without interest. This is especially useful if you have money locked up in fixed deposits or something. Such packages are great when you are prone to making last minute travel decisions.

Risks
As discussed above, it is always risky to make advance payments. You never know when a company might go under or if you will get all the services you have been guaranteed. But even the deferred payment system has its drawbacks. There is no way you can back out of payment after you have gone on the trip. Future is uncertain. You may lose your job or may lose out on other income sources you had counted on. But of course, this is only a minimal risk that is associated with all finance ventures. The chances of these risks actually surfacing are very low.

Cost
Now, when deciding on travel packages, it is important to compare the prices with how much it would have cost you if you had gone by yourself. At first glance, layby packages may seem cheaper and more transparent than others. But don’t be fooled. Once you calculate, sometimes laybys are as much as 85% costlier than ordinary packages. You must be especially careful with deferred payments. They may say they are interest free, but what is the point if the interest has already been added to the original cost? Also, the first twelve months may be interest free, but if you look closer at the fine print, you may discover that exorbitant rates are charged from the 13th month.

All in all, laybys are a good option for avid travellers on a budget, only if they are smart and careful about the packages they choose.

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