Attention, attention: Vacations come with credit card debt baggage

  • ANI
  • Updated: Jun 30, 2015 19:26 IST

You just shove them under the pile of things you'll get to eventually, or hope they will disappear don't you? But those credit card statements just don't leave you alone.

The truth is: Vacations are good, but for half of travellers, who jet off without saving enough in advance, they tend to come with a baggage: credit card debt, as per a new study.

Survey by credit data monitoring company Experian Consumer Services found that 46% of people said they paid for a vacation by credit card when they didn't have enough saved, the USA Today reported.

The online survey of 1,000 adults found that 49 percent of vacationers accumulated credit card debt when traveling and 68% go over budget. 52% of Millennials came home with credit card debt and 72% reported going over budget.

The most common sources of credit card debt were hotels and airfare, followed by entertainment and dining. Becky Frost, education manager for Experian Consumer Services, who is planning her own vacation, said knowing the common sources of splurging can help travelers plan better.

The most important thing, said Frost, is to make a payment plan in advance. Otherwise, one risks lowering his credit score by going over his recommended credit utilization (30% of your limit) or missing a payment.

The National Endowment for Financial Education, a non-profit for financial literacy, suggests setting up automatic bill pay to avoid late fees, packing a cooler of snacks and meals for the road and being aware of extra hotel fees.

Mackey McNeill, author of The Intersection of Joy and Money, added "If you've already saved up for your vacation, consider using a travel rewards credit card for your trip, but pay off the whole balance as soon as you return."

She noted "If you're not saving, get started, but rather than pledging to save hundreds per month and setting yourself up for failure, go for setting an automatic transfer into a savings account.

She added that "if you're in debt, set a goal to be debt-free before worrying about vacations."

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