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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Debit Cards, Cash, and Tech Aid Travelers’ On-the-Road Spending

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Sarah Pereez
Sarah Pereezhttps://lahorelives.com
With almost 3 years of experience in journalism, Sarah Pereez has joined Lahore Lives as a Editor in 2023. She has previously worked as an Entertainment journalist, covering Hollywood & Bollywood news. At Lahore Lives, she tracks news updates, edit articles and write copies for science and technology.

After the pandemic, consumers eagerly embraced the opportunity to resume traveling in the summer of 2023 despite ongoing economic uncertainties and inflationary pressures.

According to a recent study by PYMNTS and i2c, 62% of consumers had summer travel plans, with 30% planning to travel more than they did the year before.

Notably, younger generations, particularly Generation Z and millennials displayed a strong desire for summer travel, with over 70% expressing interest in embarking on such adventures.

The data from this study, which translates into significant summer spending, naturally leads to how consumers financed their summer travels amidst economic instability and inflation.

According to the study, which surveyed approximately 3,400 consumers, credit cards emerged as the favored payment method for leisure travel. Two-thirds of respondents used or planned to use credit cards to cover their summer travel expenses.

Interestingly, the use of credit cards correlated with income levels, with 73% of those earning over $100,000 opting for credit cards compared to 53% of those earning less than $50,000. Regarding demographics, baby boomers and seniors exhibited the highest inclination to use credit cards, followed by Generation X, millennials, and Gen Z.

Intriguingly, younger consumers, particularly Gen Z and millennials, preferred alternative credit products such as “buy now, pay later” (BNPL), with approximately 30% of young travelers opting for or planning to use BNPL for their summer travel expenditures. The desire to control cash flow and obtain favorable payment terms was what drove this preference.

Popular alternatives to credit products include debit cards and cash. Sixty-one percent of this group used debit cards, while 60% used cash to cover their summer travel expenses. These payment methods were favored to avoid interest rates or fees, facilitate easier spending tracking, and exercise greater control over expenditures.

Consumers Turn to Technology for Airfare Savings To address the concerns of travelers looking to manage their expenses, especially the nearly 48% who cited high travel costs as a reason for reduced summer travel compared to the previous year, technology offers a valuable solution.

Google recently announced enhancements to its Google Flights platform, making it easier for travelers to find the most affordable flights. This update enables users to assess whether current flight prices are low, typical, or high compared to historical averages for the same route, as explained in a recent blog post by the company.

For those pondering whether to book in advance or wait for lower prices, Google plans to introduce improved insights based on reliable trend data, assisting travelers in making informed decisions. Travelers can determine the historical lowest price points before finalizing their trip arrangements.

Additionally, Google shared money-saving tips for travelers, which could benefit those planning their next excursion, particularly during Labor Day weekend.

For instance, while opting for layovers and avoiding weekend departures remains an effective strategy for saving on flight bookings, the company noted that trends have shifted for Christmas and U.S. to Europe travel. Early booking, typically around 70 days before departure, yielded the lowest average prices in both cases.

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