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Americans Risk Uncertain Financial Future to Pay for Vacations

A new survey by travel firm Tripping has sought to better

understand the American mentality when it comes to vacation time. For too long,

workers in the USA have suffered with far less generous vacation time than in

many other Western nations. Typically countries like Canada, France and the UK

all enjoy more vacation time each year than their American cousins. Now it

seems this lack of vacation time is encouraging Americans to make some

questionable decisions about how best to spend their limited free time.

The survey asked 1,500 Americans about what vacation time

means to them; and more precisely what they would be willing to give up in

order to go away each year. The results make some rather eye-watering reading,

and suggest just how important “getting away” really is to many Americans, no matter

what the longer-term costs might be.

Asked about what they’d be willing to give up in exchange

for their standard annual vacation, many stated they would be willing to forego

their regular “treats”. Over 50% of those Americans surveyed said they would be

willing to give up an everyday vice like drinking or smoking if it meant they

could afford to go on holiday.

Just as many people would be willing to downgrade their

personal technology such as smart phone or widescreen TV if it meant going on

vacation that year. In a world where the cell phone you have is seen as an

important part of your personality by many people, it is intriguing to consider

how many people opted for a week in the sun rather than the latest iPhone.

However this is far from the most extreme compromise that

American holiday-makers are willing to make. The survey found that 12% of

Americans are perfectly willing to delay paying necessary bills in order to

afford a vacation; something that can have a significant effect on their financial

future. Even a single late payment could downgrade their credit rating, either

making it harder and/or more expensive to find credit in the future.

While many people dismiss talk about personal credit, it

should be remembered that it is not just mortgages, loans and credit cards that

can be affected by your credit rating. Even some car insurance firms or

employment agencies will take your personal credit into account when making you

an offer.

Even more worryingly the same survey found that a not-insignificant

4% of the respondents would even be willing to prioritize paying for a vacation

over covering that month’s mortgage or rent payment. Risking getting in trouble

with your landlord or bank seems strangely acceptable when the alternative is a

“staycation”.

It is perhaps worrying just how much importance people place

on being able to head off abroad for a vacation and just how much risk they’re

willing to take with the rest of their year just to secure a week or two in the

sun.

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