In the past couple of years, some consumers have opted to skip using their credit cards in favor of putting things like school clothes or holiday gifts on layaway.

Now retail giant Sears is offering something else you can put on layaway: vacations.

The newly-launched travel site SearsVacations.com offers travel packages that include flights, hotels, cruises and car rentals, with selected vacations on sale for just $399 until July 31. Your payment options include the regular stuff — credit and Sears store cards, for example — but you can also reserve the trip and pay it off over time.

Sounds like a great idea, but should Sears really be dipping its toe into the travel waters?

“Best of luck; they are going to need it,” said Carroll Rheem, senior director of research at travel research firm PhoCusWright, adding that well-known travel companies like Expedia and Orbitz have spent years perfecting their technology and travel services.

“There’s a lot … of trust [in Sears] but at the same time, they are not travel experts,” she said.

[Chicago Tribune]