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A credit card-financed vacation: the norm for many Americans

The vaunted American vacation.

Everyone wants to take one, of course, especially during the summer months.

The problem is that not everyone can afford to do so.

And here's an even deeper problem: Many people in Florida and across the country who are a bit too cash-strapped to hit the road opt to do so, anyway, which yields both immediate self-gratification and longer-term worries about mounting debt and repayment schedules.

A clear indication of how dearly millions of Americans hold their vacations is provided by evidence showing that many of them are willing to go into debt to get some time away from work and a bit of stress-free relief from life's daily grind in general.

Experian Consumer Services, an arm of Experian (one of the world's leading credit information companies), recently released the results of a research effort entitled "Summer Travel and Budgeting Survey, 2015.

The findings are eye-opening, and include these core nuggets of information:

  • About 70 percent of survey respondents stated that they spend more than what they had anticipated spending on summer travel
  • About half rack up credit card debt while on vacation
  • Millennials (a comparatively young consumer demographic) are especially vulnerable to card debt, with respondents in this age group having noted an intent to charge about 60 percent of vacation outlays to their credit cards
  • More than one-third of respondents stated that they hadn't saved any money earmarked for vacation outlays

It's easy to see how many consumers can get burned by more than the sun while enjoying down time on their vacations. An executive with Experian notes that piling up card debt without having a firm understanding of how to pare it down in reasonable fashion "can put people in a bind that could affect their financial health and credit status for years to come."

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