Lynne is keen to book an overseas holiday, but can’t afford the initial layout and wants to know how best to spread the cost.
I’m planning on travelling to Europe for the first time but can’t quite immediately pull together the full cost of flights, hotels, etc. What’s the best way to spread the cost but still secure some of the deals that I’ve seen?
A. Saving is the best way to spread the cost of your holiday, but if you’re keen to book and secure your deal now, then these tips may help.
STA Travel exclusively offers a layby option on airfares. Offered on fares with Qantas, Qatar, Air New Zealand, Etihad, Emirates and Cathay Pacific, the layby option makes it easy to spread the cost. Simply choose the dates and ensure that the quoted fare is on a STA Travel Exclusive Ticket. You are required to put down a $99 non-refundable deposit to lock in your layby, and you’ll need to pay the full balance 10 weeks prior to departure, and then you’re on your way.
Find out more at STATravel.com.au
Qantas also offers a ‘book now pay later’ option for a holding deposit of $25, which is refunded when your flights are paid in full. This is available on selected flights, and how long you have to pay depends on the fare conditions and departure date.
Find out more at Qantas.com
Several hotel booking sites now offer a ‘pay now or pay later’ on hotel bookings, which means you can secure your booking without having to charge the cost of your hotel to your credit card. You may not be able to grab the best available rate at the time of booking, but you will have more bargaining power if the hotel isn’t up to scratch – for example, you can ask for a discount or, if your plans change, you won’t be locked in.
Some travel agencies offer interest-free finance, allowing you to spread the cost of your trip over six or 12 months. However, this does require applying for credit and you should consider carefully if this really is your best option.