Keeping track: vacation spending

Summer-travel outlay up 40 percent over last year

What's behind a hike in summer-travel spending - despite high gas prices and an economic slump that reportedly has a growing number of Americans falling behind on mortgage payments?

"It may be a little bit of false reality," says Nancy Ness Judy, spokeswoman for Myvesta.org, an online debt-counseling firm. "People may be more willing than they should be to keep spending."

Myvesta's telephone survey of 1,000 consumers found 53 percent planned summer vacations this year, and that 80 percent of those travelers intend to use credit cards to cover vacation costs - up 6 percent from last year. About half plan to pay off the bills when they get them, but Myvesta calls that "wishful thinking" in many cases.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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