Do people want the option to pay for travel over time?

Eva StewartGlobal Sector Head of Travel & Tourism
February 16, 2021, 2:39 PM UTC

When countries lift restrictions on travel, prospective travellers may be looking for more ways to pay for – and afford – their holiday plans. In order to help consumers pay for travel, several online travel agencies and airlines companies offer flexible payment options for travel purchases through a third-party financial services company or their own version of a buy now, pay later plan. These types of solutions offer travellers the ability to spread out the price of big-ticket purchases such as a hotel stay or an airline booking over a period, often with zero-interest, rather than pay the entire sum at once. 
 
A new YouGov Direct conducted in Great Britain reveals 34% of YouGov Direct panellists say they would be interested in being able to purchase a service in the travel category and paying it off over time. Middle-income respondents in GB (£30,000-£59,000) express the highest rate of interest for buy now, pay later payment options in the travel category (42%). 
 
Pent-up travel demand in the UK has many thinking and dreaming of travel. The latest data from YouGov’s Global Travel Profiles shows 47% of UK adults say they plan to go on a domestic holiday some time in 2021, with 33% planning an international trip as well this year. 
A similar YouGov Direct poll in the US finds a third of Americans say they would be interested in spreading out the cost of their travel purchases over time. And like in Great Britain, middle-income Americans are more likely to express interest in paying off travel purchases in installments. 
 
A broader look at barriers to travel reveals significant proportions of Brits (18%) and Americans (27%) view the price for travel as an obstacle preventing them from travelling, only behind other barriers such as travel restrictions and health risks. 
 
In the UK, another 14% also say the price of accommodations stops them from being able to travel. There are significant differences by income, with those earning less than the median income more likely to point to costs of travel and accommodations as preventing them from travelling (29% and 23%, respectively). Few people with an annual household income of £60k or more cite the price of travel and accommodations as barriers to travel. 
For some travellers, financing a holiday can be a great choice if they’ve got a vacation in mind and the means to pay for it at a later time. Many types of buy now pay later solutions often have a zero-interest fee policy and provides people a way to pay for vacations for a variety of reasons. 
 
Methodology: The two YouGov Direct are based on the interviews of 1,200 adults in Great Britain and 1,926 adults in the US.  All interviews were conducted online on February 2, 2020. Data from Great Britain is weighted according to age and gender in United Kingdom. Data from the US is weighted on age, gender, education level, political affiliation and ethnicity to be nationally representative of registered voters in the United States.