|by Danielle Contray||Real Deals||14|
When you hear the word layaway, you probably think about flat–screen TVs or cartloads of holiday gifts. A new site launched by Sears adds vacations to that mix. Through Sears Vacations you can book hotels, cruises, flights, and even European tours. The site has introductory offers of 100 vacations for $399 or less, including Caribbean cruises and hotels around the world, and a "best price guarantee" (alas, this does not apply to flights and rental cars). And you can put them on layaway and pay that trip off in installments.
Of course, putting something on layaway isn't always the best way to pay off your vacation (or a new TV for that matter). According to Time, even a high APR credit card will charge less interest than a layaway program.
How good are the deals? Not knocking our socks off. For a four–day Bahamas cruise on the Carnival Sensation sailing in November, Sears was offering an interior cabin for $179 per person, while Carnival's website had the same cruise and cabin class for $189 (prices for ocean view cabins and suites were the same on both sites). A Pyramid room at the Luxor Vegas was offered for $35 a night in July through Sears, while booking the same room through Luxor's site cost $37 a night for the same time period. A deluxe Tower room was $56 a night through Sears, but a dollar less a night on the hotel's site. For flights, we priced out a non–stop, round–trip itinerary between New York and New Orleans in October, and found the exact same price through both Sears Vacations and Delta's site.
What about you? Would you put a vacation on layaway, or would you rather just put in on your credit card?
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