New travel website offers flexible payment plans to Aussies for trips

New travel website offers flexible payment plans to Aussies for trips
Andrew Paykel, CEO of Play Travel

Play Travel is a new OTA (Online Travel Agency) and a result of a partnership between Afterpay and LayAway Travel, that allows Australians the chance to fulfill their travel dreams.

New research by Play Travel shows the key to an Aussie traveler’s heart is planning, preparation, and holidays factoring in social-distancing regulations;

  • Two thirds of Aussies prefer payment plans to bank credit cards
  • Planning and preparation are priorities with travelers focusing on how they are planning during lockdown
  • Savvy budgeters have high expectations opting for top quality accommodation and experiences

With this in mind, Play Travel has opened the doors to new possibilities for travelers, and adopts a traditional layby model so customers are able to pick and book a curated holiday package and pay for it in full or in weekly installments over a 2- to 12-month period, before they travel.

“Play Travel is a direct response to customer feedback. Afterpay’s existing customer base uses installments as an effective budgeting tool, so it’s only natural they should want to pay for travel in the same way,” said Mr Andrew Paykel, Managing Director and CEO of Play Travel.

“Play Travel’s interest free payments open the door for many Australians who want to start traveling again, but also want to be in control of their personal finances and avoid coming back from a trip with debt lag.”

As optimism grows and borders gradually re-open, Play Travel offers a completely unique opportunity for consumers.

The purpose-built website allows customers to carefully budget their travel so they can nominate how much they want to contribute to their ‘holiday fund’ on a weekly basis and assemble a suitable itinerary around their budget.

The complete version of Play Travel, which will launch end of 2020 will give the ability to curate an itinerary that not only meets their budget, but allows them to bundle flights, accommodation and experiences. It’s a one-stop shop for the savvy traveler.

“This unique model has shown us that the market is ready for a new OTA that offers something unique to consumers. From our research, we know that 74% of people surveyed would prefer to book holidays with payment plans over credit and debit cards”, says Andrew Paykel.

What are some of the other interesting findings?

Planning during a pandemic

Whilst some used this downtime to develop a new skill or learn how to perfect a sourdough starter, others could have spent it dreaming and planning their next holiday.

70% of travelers are planned and considered when it comes to co-ordinating a holiday. And while we may be a bit tighter on our purse strings, the survey finds that 63% of travelers are even more conscious and concerned about unexpected expenses when on holiday.

Beaches beats busyness

When it comes to the type of holiday they’re looking for, 65% of travelers would rather travel to a beach than a big city – it seems when it comes to holiday preferences, social distancing is taken into consideration.

The survey also found the trans-Tasmanian bubble is strong, with 60% wanting to visit New Zealand and neighbouring South Pacific over anywhere else in the world.

Budget blues

Holiday planning can also be stressful with 43% of people struggling with their budget pre-holiday, followed by 32% who admit to being frustrated having to trawl through multiple booking websites to book their holiday.

This further validates that Play Travel which launches end of 2020 will be a one-stop inspiration and booking hub that makes budgeting easy.

Pay NOT pay

Paying for your holiday before you travel is hugely appealing to travelers, with 74% opting for a payment plan rather than relying on bank credit cards with high interest charges and debt (8%), and 17% relying on debit cards.

Holiday budgeting is not for the penny pinchers

Just because they’re budgeting doesn’t mean they’re penny pinchers; in fact, travelers surveyed prefer to stay in 4-5 star accommodation (60%) with 79% of holiday activities focused around food and drink experiences closely followed by arts, entertainment and culture (74%).

Holiday frustrations

The photo album may look wonderful and the memories last forever, but when it comes to booking a holiday, 60% say they’re frustrated by poor refund or cancellation policies, with 52% complaining of having to book different elements of their travel (accommodation, flights, experiences) on different websites.