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Would you take on debt for your dream summer vacation?

A recent survey by Nerdwallet found 1 in 5 summer travelers plan to take on debt for their vacation.
Travelers make their way through security at Denver International Airport
Posted at 1:43 PM, Jun 20, 2024

Sometimes those dream trips can come with a high price tag.

A recent survey by Nerdwallet found 1 in 5 summer travelers plan to take on debt for their vacation. This means they plan to use their credit card but won’t pay off the debt within the first billing statement.

A separate survey by LendingTree found 45% of parents with young kids have gone into debt for a trip to Disney.

“Making those dreams come true for a lot of parents is almost a nightmare due to the fact that it's gotten so much more expensive in the last few decades,” said Katy Nastro, travel expert with Going.

So how can you book your dream trip and avoid going into debt?

Start by considering travel rewards and loyalty programs. Budgeting apps can also help you set a travel budget.

“At this point in time, we’re sort of outside of our recommended booking windows, our sort of best time to book, our Goldilocks windows. But that doesn't mean that you can't be a little bit strategic here. Targeting the end of August is actually a really great time to not only take advantage of lower prices when it comes to airfare, hotels are starting to come down, as schools are back in session for some parts of the country,” Nastro said.

She recommends booking domestic trips during the non-peak seasons from 1 to 3 months in advance. For international trips during the non-peak season, 2 to 8 months out is best.

For peak seasons, allow even more time.

“You want to book in the opposite season. So going into the next few months, you want to start looking to book those peak season holiday flights,” she said.

Peak season travel in the summer when school is out and winter holiday months can be a lot more expensive than other times of the year.

Nearly half of Americans plan on taking a trip this summer that requires a flight or hotel, according to Nerdwallet.

The Transportation Security Administration wrote in a press release that the agency is preparing for “the highest passenger volumes the agency has seen at airport security checkpoints nationwide during this summer's travel season.”

“May was the busiest month ever recorded by the TSA,” Nastro said.

@scrippsnews ✈️ About 1 in 5 Americans say they plan to go into debt for a summer #vacation. This #summer is expected be a record-breaking travel season. Would you go into debt for a trip? #traveltok ♬ original sound - Scripps News