Inflation Anxieties and Personal Debt Are Not Stopping One-Third of Americans From Planning Travel in 2022 and 2023

Accrue Savings survey reveals consumers are committed to vacation planning and spending after three years of economic uncertainty

NEW YORK, September 20, 2022--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Accrue Savings, the merchant-embedded savings experience that rewards consumers for saving, today released findings from a national survey of over 1,000 consumers about their future travel plans. The results revealed that 36% of respondents are planning to travel and are actively saving for a vacation - overwhelming indications that Americans are committed to fully embracing normalcy and committed to enjoying time off despite ongoing economic uncertainties.

Americans are also committed to spending on vacation travel - but are under-prepared for the surprise costs and FOMO emotions that spring up while on a holiday: While the majority of consumers save for vacations anywhere from 2 months to a year in advance, consumers are under-preparing and overspending when they arrive on a vacation - typically overspending by between $500 and $3000.

The survey was conducted with Decode_M, a momentum strategy firm that uses a diverse range of methodologies and data sets to decode data into action.

People know they want to go:
Even with the incredibly challenging economic environment, consumers are eager to hit the road and to see the sights after three years of lockdowns and pandemic fears.

  • 36% of respondents are saving up for a vacation

    • Of those respondents, 82% are saving specifically for a vacation scheduled within the next 12 months

  • 66% of respondents start saving up for travel plans at least 4 months in advance

  • Most people save for trips by either stashing the cash away (37%) or just leaving extra money in checking / savings accounts (40%) - a less-than-ideal proposition given the tendency to spend what is in a checking account rather than save it.

  • 36% of Boomers don’t save for vacations at all.

How are we paying for our vacations?
Consumers are amassing travel points, cash-back, and other rewards from credit cards and frequent travel - but if we don’t use those rewards, what’s the point?

  • Points - a super-popular handout from credit card companies - only constituted 8% of preferred payment methods, and miles (another very popular giveaway from airlines) - only 6%.

  • Instead, consumers spend money that is already available: Respondents choose debit cards (37%) and cash (36%).

  • One-third of respondents prefer credit cards (32%) to pay for travel

  • Debit card usage increases with younger generations: 45% of Gen Z uses debit cards to pay for travel, compared to 38% of millennials, 34% of Gen X, and 30% of Boomers.

  • On the other hand, credit cards are more popular with older generations: 38% of Boomers, 32% of Gen X and Millennials, and 25% of Gen Z.

…And how are we overpaying?
Consumers have a "treat yourself" mentality on vacation - indulge in drinks, try a new activity, purchase that expensive souvenir: after all, it’s your vacation. A combination of FOMO, hidden costs, under-estimated extras, and more contribute to post-vacation debt:
21% of respondents have gone into debt from a vacation.

  • Men are more likely to have gone into debt from a vacation than women (24% compared to 19%).

  • Gen X is the generation most likely to have gone into debt from a vacation (27%), followed by Millennials (24%), Boomers (17%) and Gen Z (13%).

  • Most (62%) of those who went into debt from a vacation incurred $500-$2,999 worth of debt.

Our finances - and our mindsets - are precarious:
Baby Boomers are recognized as the most prosperous generation, holding 70% of America’s wealth – and they are also most likely to be in credit card or personal debt.

  • 69% of respondents are currently in debt, with 60% of those respondents in what they categorized as "personal/credit card debt."

  • Credit card debt correlates directly with age: 41% of Gen Z reported carrying credit card debt, followed by 57% of Millennials and 65% of Gen X.

Inflation is affecting every generation to varying degrees: Because of increased responsibilities like family expenses, mortgages, education, and more, the older generations surveyed are expecting to be more fiscally conservative in 2023 - and to be unable to save as much money.

  • 48% of Gen X and 46% of Boomers expect their non-essential spending to decrease over the next 12 months

  • Gen Z and Millennials are slightly less affected - only 36% of Gen Z and 39% of Millennials expect the same.

  • 65% of the total sample responded they cannot save as much as they used to, or they are no longer able to save at all.

    • This number rose to 73% among Gen X and Boomers.

Launched in November 2021, Accrue Savings empowers consumers to save for a product or service while earning cash incentive rewards from the brand along the way. Brands can finally reward customers who choose saving over debt by making cash contributions to a customer’s Accrue Savings FDIC account when customers meet milestones on their savings journey. Partner brands where Accrue is available include Aurate Jewelry, Smile Direct Club, American Signature, Poly & Bark, Casper, Tire Agent, Eterneva, Clearcut, Mark Henry, Ettitude, Heli, and Grind.

Methodology

Survey insights were collected via online questionnaire from August 8 - August 10, 2022, among 1,026 consumers in the U.S. ages 18-65+ through Decode_M, on behalf of Accrue.

About Accrue Savings

Accrue Savings is a savings option that rewards customers for saving for the things they want, love and dream to have without taking out short-term loans. When it comes to shopping, customers have endless products to choose from, but limited payment options to purchase those items debt-free. With Accrue Savings, they’re able to save for anything from products to services to travel, on their own terms, while brands encourage their savings efforts with cash rewards along the way. For more information, please visit www.accruesavings.com

Accrue Savings is a financial technology company and is not a bank. Banking services provided by Blue Ridge Bank, N.A., Member FDIC.

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Contacts

Sara Zick
accrue@moxiegrouppr.com