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League Surveys: Vacations Making a Comeback
FARMERS BRANCH, Texas and COLUMBUS, Ohio (5/8/13)--Vacations are starting to make  a comeback among consumers, but travelers still are cost-conscious on vacation spending, according to separate surveys by the Texas, Ohio, and California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues.

A Texas league survey showed 64.4 % of survey respondents say they plan to take a summer vacation (LoneStar Leaguer May 2). However, the league found that even with a predicted growth in travel, some Texans are not planning to spend much more on a vacation. Nearly 45% of respondents' travel plans are identical to last year, the survey found.

Others reported these differences to their 2013 vacation plans:

  • Longer time--15.2%;
  • Shorter time--23.8%;
  • Greater distance--11.4%;
  • Shorter distance--19%;
  • Multiple vacations-- 5.7%; and
  • Different transportation--10.5%.
Credit unions can use this knowledge to help members plan their spending and save for future vacations.

For those seeking to add a vacation back into their budgets, Texas Credit Union Foundation Executive Director Courtney Moran suggested reducing leisure and entertainment expenses throughout the year to offset vacation costs.

"It's also a good idea put money away into savings from each paycheck," Moran added. "Consumers will find great savings products at their local credit union."

A survey of nearly 1,200 Ohioans by the Ohio Credit Union League shows more than 55% percent of respondents say they plan to take a summer vacation (Consider This ... May).

However, like Texans, many Ohioans are not ready to increase vacation spending. Nearly 55% of respondents' travel plans are the same as last year.

Others reported the following changes to their 2013 vacation plans:

  • Longer time--11.9%;
  • Shorter time--10.7%;
  • Greater distance--12.3% ;
  • Shorter distance--8.3%;
  • Multiple vacations--8.3%; and
  • Different transportation--5.6%.
"While we have not seen an increase in vacation loan requests yet this year, the overall feeling seems to be that members are looking for ways to add vacations back into their budgets," said Bill Burke, CEO of Day Air CU in Dayton.

Burke does see a trend toward limiting vacation spending, however. "It seems like the amounts spent on vacations remain scaled back. Instead of two or three trips, they combine them into one less costly trip or a day at local attractions,"  he added.

For those seeking to add a vacation back into their budgets, Burke suggested reducing leisure and entertainment expenses throughout the year to offset vacation costs. "We also advise people to put money away into savings from each paycheck," Burke said.

Also, 55% of Californians and 49.5% of Nevadans say they plan to take a summer vacation this year, according to a survey by the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues.

"People take vacations to get away from everyday stresses," said Tena Lozano, leagues' consumer advocacy manager.  "However, without planning ahead or creating a budget, your vacation may generate debt that can take months or years to pay off, creating more headaches."


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