Jesse Jones

50% Americans will take summer vacation, 36% will charge it to their credit cards

If you are gearing up to take a vacation this summer, it’s likely your travel will put you in debt. According to a new Bankrate survey a surprising amount of us are willing to go into debt for summer travel.

Ted Rossman, Senior Bankrate Analyst says more than half of Americans are planning to travel even if they don’t have the cash to cover it.

“We found that more than a third of summer travelers are willing to go into debt for summer travel, which worries me a bit. Just because credit card rates are near record highs, the average is 20.71%, and more people are carrying more credit card debt for longer periods of time,” says Rossman. He says he fears that could make a bad situation worse.

The Bankrate survey also reveals that it’s the younger generations who are most willing to take on more debt this summer.

Vacation expenses are up 3% from last year. With the average one week vacation for two people costing about $3,000, not including entertainment like concert tickets or museum passes.

But there are ways to save on summer travel:

1. Book in advance

2. Travel mid-week

3. Utilize travel rewards

4. Be flexible

“If you want to go to the beach this summer, but you don’t really care which beach, be open minded, cast a wide net, look at different options, maybe even consider somewhere in the offseason or the shoulder season,” is the advice Rossman gives.

And consider this: Rather than going into debt, start automatic transfers into a vacation fund now. By August you’ll have a good portion saved up and you won’t be paying interest.