This Is the No. 1 Reason Some Americans Aren't Taking a Summer Vacation — and What to Do If You’re One of Them

The majority summer vacationers are changing their plans, new survey finds.

More than a third of Americans won’t take a summer vacation this year and most say it’s because they can’t afford to. 

Rows of beach chairs and umbrellas line the beach while the waves come in

Pat Boon/Getty Images

Overall, 58 percent of American adults who aren’t going away point to money as the reason, according to a new survey from Bankrate shared with Travel + Leisure. (It's an increase from last year when 48 percent said they're unlikely to take a summer vacation.)

And when it comes to those who are taking a vacation, a whopping 80 percent are still making some money-conscious changes to those plans.

“High inflation and tight budgets make this a perfect time to take advantage of credit card rewards, frequent flyer miles, and hotel points,” Ted Rossman, a Bankrate senior industry analyst, said in a statement provided to T+L. “These represent real value, and too few travelers are planning to redeem them this summer. Your rewards won’t get more valuable over time – use them before you lose them.”

Travelers who do plan to go away are taking steps to save some cash when they do. According to the survey, 29 percent of travelers will save by selecting less expensive accommodations, 28 percent will choose cheaper activities, 26 percent will go away for less time, and 26 percent will choose to drive rather than fly.

Some are simply choosing to stay closer to home with 23 percent of those surveyed opting for a staycation.

Of course, money isn’t the only reason Americans may skip out on summer trips this year. The survey found 11 percent of people surveyed pointed to not being able to take time off work. (The United States does not provide minimum annual leave for employees at the federal level, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Americans do get about 10 days off — beyond what a company chooses to offer — all of which are public holidays.)

“Too many Americans leave unused vacation time on the table each year,” Rossman said. “If nothing else, take some time off to recharge. Consider playing tourist in your local area or just staying home and relaxing. You don’t need to bust your budget to have a good time and break the daily routine.”

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