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'Layaway' A Great 2014 Vacation With Your Christmas Cash

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Santa Claus good to you this year? Fill your stocking with lots of presents, maybe some gift cards and even cash? If so, there is no better time to lock up your travel savings for 2014 than right now. Minimal down payments book your choice of All Inclusive Mexican/Caribbean jaunts, cruises or even a Disney family vacation!

Here's one of the great "hidden secrets" of the travel industry. Many companies offer a 'layaway' plan. You put a small amount down, and in return they hold your place and allow you time to pay off the remainder. You can pay in multiple installments, or all at once. You just have to have the trip paid off before departure, usually 30-60 days before.

Because payment is rendered before travel, there is no credit check and you don't even need a credit card, although a prepaid debit card will make the process easier. It's even interest free. Some of the current companies offering this feature include:

Walt Disney World & Disneyland - As seen on the 366Deals website, you can book your great Disney adventure for 2014 for just $200 down! Packages are available in all price ranges, and allow you to customize the hotel type, meal plan and ticket options. $200 holds the package with the remainder due approximately 45 days before your visit.

This is a great way for those expecting an influx of cash next year (tax return? gift? inheritance?) to get their name on the roster for a visit with Mickey and friends now. Keep in mind the earlier you book, the better your chance to get in on certain restaurants and special events that sell out long in advance.

Cruise Lines - Most cruise lines allow you to book for around 15% of the total booking cost. If your total cost was a thousand dollars, then around $150 would hold it for you. The main reason for booking now is after Christmas sale prices, but other reasons include increased access to meal times and even shore excursions.

For a look at current cruise deals you might be interested in, click here, or visit Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Disney, Princess, Holland America, Celebrity, or Norwegian direct.

A few items to ask about include Celebrity's 1-2-3 Go promotion, which is offering various room credits and discounts in 2014, and Royal Caribbean's free drink packages on certain Transatlantic cruises in 2014.

Mexico & Caribbean - All inclusive resorts are the norm today throughout this region. You could be booked into a 2014 trip for as low as $75 per person, with many packages including airfare. Locations include Mexico, Punta Cana, Jamaica, the Bahamas or other great destinations.

Many companies are offering charter flights from cities around the country throughout 2014, including Atlanta, Baltimore, Birmingham,Charlotte, Cincinnati, Columbus, Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, Raleigh-Durham and Richmond. Schedules vary by city. A breakdown of each city and service dates is available here. If you aren't located near one of these major cities, then regular scheduled air service is available to all locations.

If you can plan to go, there is probably a travel layaway plan to get you there. Have a great trip!

Follow my Examiner articles on the Cruise Industry, Airlines, Budget Travel and Classic TV and forward them via Facebook, Twitter, G+ or other social media. Visit my daily Disney travel website Mickeyopolis, and follow me on Twitter @BigBlueMan (personal), @Mickeyopolis (Disney travel news & info) or @ELOTravelInfo (travel updates & information).

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