Survey Shines a Light on Vacation Debt

July 6, 2015 by

Vacation Debt

Everyone looks forward to vacation, but it turns out that not everyone plans to save for that vacation.

According to a new survey by Experian regarding consumer travel spending in 2015, even though 55 percent of people set a strict budget and don’t plan to overspend on vacation, 68 percent of us do.

Vacation Debt Bigger Issue with Millennials

According to the survey, the spending over budget issue tends to be a bigger issue for millennials. Forty percent of people surveyed (and 52 percent of young people) accumulated credit card debt while on vacation.

This is not referring to using your credit card while on vacation and then paying it off. It is talking about incurring debt that carries over to another month or more. In fact, 46 percent of people pay for their vacation with their credit card even though they haven’t saved enough to cover the cost.

When it comes to millennials, they “rely heavily on credit for their vacations” and “they plan to charge about 60 percent of their vacation expenses this summer.”

Tax Refund

Thirty-three percent of us plan to use tax refunds for vacation.

How People Plan to Pay for Their Vacation

The survey shows that 86 percent of us will spend money on vacation this summer. Thirty-three percent of us (and 50 percent of millennials) plan to use our tax refunds with anticipated personal spending around $2,275. However, 35 percent haven’t saved anything in advance and anticipate putting about $1,308 on our credit cards.

Guy Abramo, president of Experian Consumer Services said in a written statement:

“People want to come home from vacation with happy memories, not with unanticipated and unmanageable credit card bills. Racking up excessive credit card debt without a plan to pay it off can put people, especially millennials, in a bind that could affect their financial health and credit status for years to come.”

Ask About Fees Before Booking

The survey also points out that 62 percent of people run into unexpected fees, and some people don’t even make it to their vacation and have to cancel their plans due to budgetary concerns.

Take steps to make sure this doesn’t happen to you. Ask about fees ahead, and find out about extra charges like luggage fees.

Make a Plan and Stick to It

Make a plan for how you’ll save for your vacation and stick to it. If you can’t afford the vacation you hoped for, instead of cancelling your vacation all together, consider a staycation to help save on airfare, hotels, and food and still have fun.

There are other ways to save, too, like booking your vacation during off-peak times, finding coupons through tourism bureaus, and asking about discounts for seniors, students, AAA members, etc.

And if you’re not going to be spending much time in your room, opt for a more reasonably prices hotel that offers clean, comfortable rooms equipped with the basics instead of paying for amenities you won’t be there to enjoy.

Photo credits: Jason Rogers, frankieleon

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