18% of Student Loan Borrowers Can’t Afford to Travel This Holiday Season


Student loan borrowers plan to spend $1,977 on holiday travel in 2017, according to a new survey by Student Loan Hero.

Austin, Texas, November 9, 2017 — The average cost of holiday travel is too much for some people with student loan debt; roughly 1 in 5 student loan borrowers can’t afford it.

For those who do plan to travel, the top destinations are:

  1. New York City, New York
  2. Orlando, Florida
  3. Los Angeles, California
  4. Las Vegas, Nevada
  5. Miami, Florida

Holiday travel costs can vary wildly depending on how and where you plan to travel. For example, traveling by air is almost always more expensive than traveling by car. It’s also much cheaper to stay with family or friends than to book a hotel.

The survey found the following regarding student loan borrowers and holiday travel costs:

  • Fifty-five percent plan to fly. More than half of those travelers will spend between $251 and $750 on airline tickets, and 17 percent plan to spend more than $1,000.
  • Forty-three percent will drive a personal vehicle. Two-thirds of these road trippers expect to spend less than $200 on gas.
  • Sixty percent plan to pay for their accommodations, with more than half of those travelers expecting to spend more than $500 on hotel, resort, motel, and Airbnb stays.
  • Sixty-nine percent will spend $500 or less on miscellaneous holiday travel expenses, including food, airport and hotel parking, and rental cars.

“If you’re unsure about whether you can afford holiday travel, rethink your approach,” said Ben Luthi, lead researcher on the survey. “Taking a road trip can save you hundreds of dollars, even if you need to stay overnight along the way.”

For the most part, student loan borrowers with holiday travel plans aren’t paying for the trip using savings. To help deal with the costs, many plan to get creative. Here are the top five actions student loan borrowers are taking to afford the trip:

  • Cutting back in other areas of their budget (21 percent)
  • Opting for a cheaper destination (20 percent)
  • Earning extra cash with a side hustle (18 percent)
  • Selling unwanted items (11 percent)
  • Not buying gifts (8 percent)


Methodology: Student Loan Hero gathered the above results through a Survey Monkey survey completed on October 18, 2017. The survey collected responses from 1,008 millennials and Generation Xers. Less than 1 percent of respondents were baby boomers.

About Student Loan Hero

Student Loan Hero combines easy-to-use tools with financial education to help the millions of Americans living with student loan debt manage and pay off their loans. Student Loan Hero has helped more than 150,000 borrowers manage and eliminate over $3 billion in student loan debt since 2012 and assists over 3.5 million people in becoming more financially healthy every year.

Student Loan Hero offers both current and former students free loan calculators as well as unbiased, personalized advice and repayment plans through an easy-to-use online dashboard.

Founded in 2012 by CEO Andrew Josuweit, who himself had over $100,000 in student loans, Student Loan Hero operates on the belief that all loan help and recommendations should come with honesty and no hidden agenda.

For more information, visit studentloanhero.com.

Interested in refinancing student loans?

Here are the top 6 lenders of 2018!
LenderRates (APR)Eligible Degrees 
Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
2.75% - 7.24%Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit SoFi
2.57% - 6.39%Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Earnest
2.57% - 7.12%Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit CommonBond
2.99% - 6.99%Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Laurel Road
2.58% - 7.26%Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Lendkey
2.89% - 8.33%Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Citizens
Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print, understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.