1 in 5 Americans goes into debt to pay for vacations

WASHINGTON — You had a great vacation. You came home with a tan, a T-shirt … and debt.

Just over one in five Americans — 21 percent — will go into debt to pay for summer getaways, according to a survey by credit card comparison and financial advice site MagnifyMoney.

“I think when people end up with debt at the end of a vacation, usually it is because they went into it not knowing what they could afford to spend, and they kind of just went with the flow,” Mandi Woodruff, executive editor at MagnifyMoney, told WTOP.

In other words, many people simply don’t put together a vacation budget.

What is worse is that people who already have some debt are more likely to turn to debt to pay for vacation, especially younger adults. Call it FOMO, or fear of missing out.

“How many of us have been scrolling through our Instagram feeds and seen our friends on cruises and on the beach and haven’t felt that tug or that pressure to be out spending or living the same kind of life,” Woodruff said.

People who already have debt are twice as likely to use debt to cover vacation expenses as people who are debt-free, she said.

The average American will spend $2,936 on their summer vacation this year, according to MagnifyMoney’s survey, but people who will use debt to pay for their vacation will spend nearly twice as much, an average $4,351.

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