More Americans are nixing the summer vacation and paying off debt instead

A new Bankrate.com survey about holiday planning reveals a creeping sense of financial strain among some American households. Among the more than one in four respondents who said they definitely won’t take a summer vacation, 60 percent said the reason was that they can’t afford to take one. By comparison, last year that figure was 50 percent.

The findings suggest that income could be one key determinant: Among respondents who earn less than $40,000 annually, nearly 70 percent who don’t plan on a summer vacation say they can’t afford it.

Ted Rossman, credit card analyst at Bankrate.com, said the survey results hinted at a kind of bifurcation in Americans’ financial well-being. “We definitely do see these two camps emerging. People are doing pretty well but others have been left behind,” he said.