Fewer Americans Taking On Vacation Debt

Study finds more people using savings for travel

debt

Low gas prices and cheaper airfares are expected to create one of the busiest summer travel seasons in recent history.

“Several surveys and reports point to a busy summer travel season. This is great news for economies that rely on tourism dollars, as well as for the job seekers hoping to find seasonal employment in these areas,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

While the urge to move is often accompanied by the urge to splurge, a new study by CreditCards.com finds that Americans are less willing to hurt their ‘personal economies,’ and fewer are going into debt to pay for their summer travel.

About 8 in 10 Americans who plan to take a vacation this summer will pay for some of it with savings, according to the CreditCards.com report. 15% said they’re financing their vacation with a credit card and 13% plan on using credit card rewards points or miles.

The study also found that 67% of those vacationing this summer are expecting to pay off their vacation in a month or less. Only 11% said that it will take four months or more.

Other Highlights:

  • Those aged 65 and older are the most likely to put a vacation on a credit card; millennials are by far the least likely.
  • Affluent households (those with incomes of $75,000 or more), and college grads are the most likely to use credit card rewards points to pay for their summer vacations.
  • Midwesterners are the most frugal; 76% plan to pay off their summer vacation in a month or less.

“Most Americans want nothing to do with debt these days,” said Matt Schulz, CreditCards.com senior industry analyst. “With the Great Recession still fresh in their minds, people are watching their budgets more closely and making sure they’re not overspending, even if it means scaling back on vacations — or skipping them entirely. If they can’t pay for the trip quickly, they just won’t take it.”

For those who are looking to take hold of their debt, Schulz recommends creating reasonable budgets and tracking all expenses. He also suggests seeking out 0% balance transfer offers, as well as negotiating lower interest rates on your current credit cards, if possible.