Summer Means More Debt: 8 in 10 Travelers Will Use Credit Cards to Get Away

Summer Means More Debt: 8 in 10 Travelers Will Use Credit Cards to Get Away’s latest survey shows most Americans will use credit cards to fund their summer vacations; many have gone into debt for previous trips.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., June 10, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — When Americans travel this summer, most will put those travel expenses on their credit cards – and more than a quarter (30%) will charge at least $5,000.

A new survey shows 83% will pay for their trip using credit cards.  More than half (56%) say they’ll earn cashback and rewards, while 19% can’t afford to pay cash, but still feel the need to get away this summer.  For many, this is a recurring practice.

Just under 3 in 5 (59%) have gone into debt for summer travel in the past.  That includes 66% of Gen X, 64% of Millennials, 47% of Baby Boomers, and 34% of Gen Z.

One result stands out to President Don Silvestri.

“Nearly 60% have incurred debt for summer travel before,” he says. “That’s a big problem because it means Americans are growing accustomed to vacation debt. This country already has a problem with running up debt over the winter holidays. Are we going to go into debt for every holiday? This concerns me.”

Other key takeaways:

  • Of the summer travelers who will use credit cards to pay for a vacation, 7% plan to charge $15,000 or more
  • Out of the people who will finance their vacation with credit, 25% of Gen X and 18% of Millennials say it’s because they can’t afford to pay cash
  • Of those who have previously gone into credit card debt for summer travel, 66% are Gen X, with 64% of Millennials
  • Of the 46% of respondents who say summer travel debt later restricted their holiday spending, more than half (57%) are Gen X, 47% are Millennials, 46% are of Gen Z, and 22% are Baby Boomers.

“By planning carefully and making smart financial decisions, you can enjoy a memorable summer vacation without the burden of debt,” Silvestri advises, “but the key is planning,”

Advice for a summer vacation that won’t break the bank:

  • Set a Budget: Before planning your trip, determine how much you can afford to spend without incurring debt. Include all potential expenses such as transportation, accommodation, food, activities, and souvenirs.
  • Use Rewards Wisely: If you plan to use credit cards, take advantage of cashback and reward points. However, ensure you can pay off the balance in full when the bill arrives to avoid interest charges.
  • Prioritize Expenses: Identify what’s most important for your vacation experience and allocate more of your budget there. Cut back on less critical expenses.
  • Stay Local: Explore nearby destinations that can provide a great vacation experience without the high costs associated with long-distance travel.
  • Be Flexible: Travel date flexibility can help you find better deals on flights and accommodation. Use fare comparison tools and alerts to get the best rates.
  • Avoid Impulse Purchases: Stick to your budget and avoid spur-of-the-moment purchases. Set aside a small allowance for spontaneous spending, and once it’s gone, avoid further unplanned expenses.

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rt Summer Means More Debt: 8 in 10 Travelers Will Use Credit Cards to Get Away

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