Map out summer travel financing in advance, GCUA advises
April 7, 2015
DULUTH, Ga. (4/8/15)--Summer is synonymous with vacation time, and making summer travel plans in advance can save costs in the long run, the Georgia Credit Union Affiliates (GCUA) advised.
Terry Hunt, branch manager at Georgia Heritage FCU, Savannah, said she's accustomed to members coming in each year to request funds for family vacations and this year is no different.
"When it comes to planning a vacation, it's important that consumers decide early on where they want to go and how much it will cost them," Hunt said. "That way they can determine how much money to set aside each month to save for the trip."
The U.S. Travel Association estimates 1.7 million Americans will travel domestically for leisure in 2015, a 1.6% increase over 2014. That trend is expected to continue through 2017.
Americans are throwing away $52.4 billion each year by opting out of vacation time, according to Oxford Economics, an economic analysis firm that conducted a study called Project Time Off. Accumulated employee vacation time is costing American companies $224 billion in liabilities. The study also revealed that overall, Americans are taking less vacation than they did a decade ago. In 2013, the average worker took 16 vacation days, down from 20.9 in 2000.
Often finances contribute to the decision to opt out of taking vacation time. If that's an issue, Robby Glore, vice president of operations at Georgia Heritage FCU, suggested seeking assistance from a credit union.
"Many times members borrow for vacation and my advice is to keep the term to 12 months," Glore said. "Some members choose to finance vacations for longer than 12 months and a year goes by and they still have the vacation loan--and now they want to finance another vacation. Setting the term to a year ensures the loan is paid off prior to the next vacation."