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Debt Stress Prevents 1 in 3 Americans From Vacationing

By Juliette Fairley

NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- Americans suffering from debt stress are putting off what they most need to help them unwind -- a vacation. About 30% say they delayed a getaway in the past 12 months because of debt, according to a study.

"Debt often forces people to choose between what they want and what they can't do without," says's Erica Sandberg.

The survey focused on plans and purchases consumers delayed because of debt. Nearly 23% of Americans said they delayed buying a car while 18% delayed buying a home.

"When you're worried about debt, adding to it by taking a vacation or upgrading to a new car can be hard to justify," Sandberg said.

Mortgage debt was the most worrisome debt with 19% of respondents saying it caused them the most stress in the past year. Student loan debt and credit card debt tied for second place at 14%.

Among those who said credit card debt was their biggest worry, 47% delayed a vacation.

The report found that as people age, they replace old worries with new ones. For example, 31% of 18- to 29-year-olds say they're most worried about student loan debt and only 7% of them worry about mortgage debt the most. Those numbers flip-flop in the 50 to 64 age bracket: 8% are most worried about student debt while 23% worry most about mortgage debt.

Incorporate the following tips when planning a summer getaway on a budget:

  • 1. Purchase comprehensive travel medical insurance that can help to protect you in the event you need medical care when traveling.
  • 2. Bring a back up form of payment when travelling in the event of a lost credit card or stolen cash. For example, store a debit card or a small amount of cash separately, which you can use in an emergency.
  • 3. Reduce travel costs by using loyalty points to help pay for hotels, rental cars, flights and other travel expenses.
  • 4. Create a spending plan using free budgeting tools such as CIBC CreditSmart. You'll receive alerts if you exceed your budget.
  • 5. Consider mobile banking to maintain awareness of day to day spending while away.

--Written by Juliette Fairley for MainStreet