Americans working to balance student loan repayments and holiday travel, survey says

Student loan payments restart this month after a three-year pandemic pause, and it’s impacting how some people travel.

According to a recent survey by travel deal site, 63% percent of respondents that had student loans said the repayments influenced their holiday travel plans.

That same survey found that 38% said they would be more budget conscious, 17% percent said they would take fewer trips and 7% said they would visit cheaper destinations. Only 1% said the payments would cause them to take a shorter trip.

Katy Nastro, a travel expert with, said for those hoping to score a deal, one option is to search for two cheaper one-way tickets than a more expensive roundtrip ticket. Another way to save, she said, is by expanding airport searches when booking.

“If there was a really fantastic deal out of Newark or Baltimore from the D.C. area, take advantage of that,” Nastro said.

Nastro strongly suggested those who have still not booked Thanksgiving or Christmas travel to do so before the end of October to still get the best deals that are available.

Despite the recent resumption of student loan payments, Nastro said that given recent trends, this Thanksgiving could break travel records.

The Transportation Security Administration said it screened the highest number of passengers ever on June 30, 2023, breaking a previous record set in 2019.

Shayna Estulin

Shayna Estulin is an anchor/reporter for WTOP. She started her career in New York City as a local TV reporter and has since covered foreign affairs and national politics as a Washington correspondent. She also anchored a nightly news show for an international network.

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