With more travel websites, resorts, and airlines than you could possibly keep track of running tempting advertising on the radio, tv, and internet, just about everyone spends at least a few minutes each week thinking about their next vacation…including the people who owe you money.
Here in the United States, taking a summer vacation is considered to be a right rather than a privilege, and we are seeing all kinds of exciting trips and getaways popping up throughout the rest of the year as well.
These trips can have a significant impact on your commercial debt collection efforts, so let’s take a few minutes and break down the five most common ways that vacations can interfere with your current collections.
1. Vacations Limit Communication
Regardless of their financial standing, no one likes to spend their vacation time thinking about things like personal finance. And most people also check out of work mode during their vacation. The combination of these two factors leads to just about everyone being more challenging to communicate with while they are away.
So if you are dealing with a debtor that suddenly decides to head out of town for a week, there is a good chance that you will have a hard time communicating with them while they are away.
2. The “Before and After” Effect
In addition to being difficult to contact while they are away, most vacationers spend the majority of their time leading up to a trip getting ready for that trip.
Between planning, prepping, and packing, getting ready for a vacation can be quite time consuming, which makes things like calling back that collection agency fall way down on their list of priorities.
Returning from a vacation can be just as busy as the vacationer is going to struggle to get caught up after missing work for however long they were away. Once again, the stress of this situation can lead to a “Whoops! I forgot to call you back!”
3. Money Suddenly Dries Up
Not only are vacations time consuming, they are also expensive! No matter how well-off a person might be, we all tend to push the boundaries of what we think we can afford when planning our next big trip.
Between saving for the actual vacation and buying extra things like sunscreen to take on the trip, vacations can cause even the most diligent consumers to overspend their budgets.
4. New Debts Incurred on Vacation
Another way that vacations can impact your collection is by adding a host of new debts onto a debtor’s balance sheet while they are away.
Things like hotels and rental cars that require credit card payments are often brushed off to be worried about later, and many consumers take this same approach with fancy dinners and expensive souvenirs.
For this reason, it is not uncommon for a debtor to come back from a vacation in a far worse financial situation than they left in.
5. Misaligned Priorities
While the first four ways that a vacation can interfere with a current debt collection were direct results of the vacation itself, there is also a more abstract issue to worry about.
Anyone who has an account in collections and is still planning to spend money on a vacation clearly has their financial priorities misaligned.
For that reason, if you find yourself dealing with a consumer who lets a vacation interfere with your collection efforts, you should take that as a major red flag and immediately ramp up your efforts pushing to the next level on your debt collection strategy.