Summer travel season for some comes with one big catch — a bunch of hidden costs.
It's natural to loosen the purse strings on vacation. Many American travelers rack up about $1,500 in credit card debt, on average, when they are away, according to the Australia-based personal finance site Finder.com.
Considering the high interest rate on that type of debt, which averages over 15 percent, according to CreditCards.com, some Americans' overuse of credit cards on their vacations adds up to about $2.7 billion in interest and fees by the time it is finally paid off, Finder said.
"People splurge when they go on a vacation," said Finder's Michelle Hutchison. "They don't plan their spending when they go away, which makes over-spending really easy."
Finder polled more than 3,000 Americans in April and calculated the compound interest paid based on the amount of credit card debt reported and the time taken to pay the debt off, given an average credit card interest rate of 17.7 percent. (The website also asked the same group about their biggest travel rip-offs; see chart below.)
Even among those travelers on a budget, over half exceed their plan, and 25 percent of those polled said they overspent by as much as 20 percent, Finder said.