The best sites that will allow you to pay for your trips in installments


Several companies have introduced a “buy now, pay later” service, which allows travelers to pay for their flights, hotels or excursions in monthly payments. In the US, a study by the consulting firm Atmosphere Research Group states that 41% of surveyed travelers expressed interest in using installment payments for trips costing US $ 2,000 (£ 1,562) or more. If you’re looking to spread the cost of your next trip, we’ve rounded up the top sites that allow you to do so.

Various travel sites allow customers to pay for their trip in installments. Image from Getty

Expedia

Reservations of more than $ 200 can be paid through installments on Expedia. It was introduced in 2016 when online lender Affirm announced in 2016 that it would be offering its services on Expedia. Affirm, owned by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, allows customers to purchase products immediately and pay for them in three, six or 12 monthly installments by bank transfer, check or debit card. On Expedia, travelers can find this feature by selecting a flight and hotel package and then selecting the “Monthly payments” tab. See more here.

Thomas cook

Earlier this year, Thomas Cook launched a no-deposit “buy now, pay later” scheme for tourists. Offer effective March 1, 2018 and valid for travel dates between November 1, 2018 and October 31, 2019. Plan applies to a large proportion of Thomas Cook offers. To take advantage, customers must set up a direct debit from their checking account that is billed every month (customers can choose the payment date). The amount of the monthly fee depends on the cost of the vacation and the dates of travel. Final payment must be made no later than six weeks prior to departure date.

Lonely Planet set the price for a vacation at the five-star Sunlight Bahia Principe Costa Adeje hotel in Tenerife, Spain. Departing from Manchester Airport on March 17, 2019, the total cost of flights and one week’s accommodation for two adults, at press time, is £ 1,364 (US $ 1,747). With the ‘buy now, pay later’ scheme it is possible to pay monthly installments of £ 454.66 (US $ 582.18) in December, January and February. See more here.

Two women carrying their surfboards on their heads.
Installment payment plans can ease the burden of costs. Image by © Corey Jenkins / Getty Images

Virgin vacation

Virgin Holidays also allows customers to spread the cost of their trip into monthly payments when they establish a direct debit. Payments are debited from customer accounts on the 1st, 7th, 14th or 21st of the month. Virgin Holidays also allows customers to pay for their trip in parts, meaning customers can pay £ 100 this month and £ 50 the following month, provided the full balance is received 12 weeks before departure. See more here.

Airfordable

Airfordable, a Chicago-based startup, allows customers to pay for airline tickets in installments. Customers submit a screenshot of an itinerary along with trip details, and then Airfordable presents a payment plan. After making an initial deposit, regular payments can be made on the total balance until the departure date. It works with almost any major travel provider, like Google Flights, Priceline, and Expedia. See more here.

Sites like FomoTravel are geared towards millennials and allow them to collectively finance the cost of their trip. Image from PeopleImages / Getty Images

FOMO travel

Aimed at millennials, FOMO Travel or ‘fear of missing out’ is a South African-based company that offers installment payment plans for vacations. Your USP is what the company calls a “social savings model.” It requires recurring monthly payments, but allows users to invite friends and family to contribute towards those payments, essentially financing the holidays through crowdfunding. Clients can go to the FOMO Travel website and select a package according to their budget and departure dates. Your personalized FOMO payment plan and your monthly obligations will be calculated accordingly. The site has several packages, but the trips can be customized. See more here.

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