Millions of Americans are skipping their winter vacation. Here's why

Millions of Americans say they won’t be taking a vacation this winter, mostly because they can't afford it.

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A new study by WalletHub revealed that 33 million Americans — roughly 13 percent of adults — won’t be hitting the slopes or beaches these next few months due to the hefty price.

And while cost may be a major factor, roughly 24 million Americans say they aren’t traveling this season solely because they don’t feel like it. Another 20 million indicated they are trying to save money while 9 million Americans say they are saving vacation days.

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And while a number of Americans are holding off on travel these next couple months, experts at Wallethub say the number of people traveling has in fact increased from last year.

"The share of people who plan to travel is 4 percent higher than last year, and 79 percent say they'll spend at least as much as they did in 2018," according to analyst Jill Gonzalez. "These are all indicators of a growing economy. They show that more people are experiencing an increase in their wealth, and are able to budget for vacations."

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Timing is everything when it comes to saving for the holidays. The longer you have to build up cash reserves, plan your budget and buy trips at the right price, the better you can cover these seasonal costs without going into debt.

So starting to save earlier may be the key.

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However, a separate survey conducted by NerdWallet indicated that those who are hoping to travel this holiday season are still inundated with bills from 2018 holiday travel expenses.

Nearly two-thirds of Americans — or 65 percent — who spent money on flights and/or hotels during the 2018 holiday season say they spent more than they planned to. According to the study, 17 percent took cash from their savings and 27 percent used their credit card to cover the additional costs.

About one in 12 Americans who put 2018 holiday travel expenses on a credit card — or 8 percent — still haven't paid off their balance.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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