A Whopping 42% of Americans Didn’t Take a Vacation Last Year

Aug 16, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

It’s no secret that vacations can get expensive — between flights, hotels, food, transportation and sightseeing, the costs can add up quickly.

In fact, a recent study from Bankrate claims that 42% of Americans decided not to take a vacation in the last year because of cost. What’s more, 28% of adults said they are less able to afford a vacation than they were five years ago. While we never want to encourage anyone from doing things they truly cannot afford, we can offer some tips on how to responsibly use credit cards to go on a well-deserved vacation.

First thing’s first: Read our beginner’s guide to points, miles, airlines and credit cards. This will help you understand the ins and outs of rewards credit cards, and why you should never use a debit card — as long as you pay your bills on time and in full every single month, and never spend more than you can afford. Using a rewards credit card instead of a debit card for necessary everyday purchases is essentially an investment toward your next trip; by earning points and miles on things that you would have to buy anyway, you’ll be on your way to the airport before you can say “award redemption.”

There are also some solid credit card offers out right now that will get you one step closer to a free vacation. Take Hilton, for example. Thanks to the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, you’ll get 130,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first four months. That’s worth up to $780 according to TPG’s most recent valuations.

You’ll also get a complimentary Free Weekend Night award as part of that welcome offer and you can use it at just about any hotel in Hilton’s umbrella. Top-tier properties, such as the Conrad Tokyo, will run you 95,000 points per night — so even if you want to go the luxury route for one night, you’ll still have some points left over. On the other hand, you can find more affordable options starting at just 5,000 per night, especially if you’re flexible with your date and destination.

Here’s a look at the best Hilton properties in the US for 20,000 points or less and here are top Hilton properties overseas that cost 10,000 points or less per night.

If you’d rather pay cash for your vacation, keep an eye on our Twitter feed specifically dedicated to great deals on airfare (and occasionally hotel rates). Just this week, we found flights to Italy for just $286 round-trip.

Our goal here at TPG is to not just inspire people travel, but also to help them see the world for free. So, if you’re confident you can pay your bills on time and in full every month, it’s time to use the right rewards credit card to start earning points and miles for your next (free) vacation. Then, you won’t have to be part of that statistic counting the number of Americans who forgo vacations due to cost.

Featured photo of Acapuloco by benedek / Getty Images

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.