Beware These Hidden Travel Fees | Refresh Financial

Beware These Hidden Travel Fees

Hidden travel fees

There is one inescapable truth about every holiday: you’re going to spend more than you planned. I honestly can’t remember a single trip that didn’t end with me wondering how I had budgeted so wrong. I don’t think you can really budget for every possible expense that might pop up on the road, but you can certainly be prepared for some of them.

Here are some of the most common hidden fees you’ll stumble across when travelling:

1. Luggage - We’re all used to this one by now. Most airlines charge for any checked pieces of luggage these days. Luggage fees can run well into the hundreds of dollars, especially if your luggage exceeds the airline’s weight limits. The Fix: If you can, travel with just a carry-on. If you have to check a bag, read your ticket carefully so you understand what fees are associated with checked luggage, how many pieces you are permitted to bring and what the weight limits are. Be sure to weigh your bags so you don’t go over! Take into consideration those fees when you budget your trip.

2. Tips - In some countries, it’s the custom to add the gratuity for many services right to your bill. Many travellers overlook this, and add a tip to the final total, on top of the included tip, doubling their tip in the end. Make sure you’re always aware of what’s being added to your bill, asking questions when it’s not clear.

3. Phone calls - You many need to use the phone in your hotel room from time to time. Perhaps to book an airport shuttle or to order a pizza to your room. Some hotels charge even just for local calls, so be aware what you’re paying for those seemingly harmless calls.

4. Wifi - Same goes for wifi. If you’re relying on a wifi connection to stay in touch with everyone back home, make sure you know what costs are involved with it. Your hotel may offer free wifi, but it also may not, and at some hotels, the fees can be larger than you think.

5. Laundry - If you’re out of town for longer than a week, you may need to get some laundry cleaned. Familiarize yourself with the costs near or in your hotel, and include that in your budget.

6. Snacks - Whether you’re flying, taking the train or driving, packing your own snacks is always a good idea. Most flights charge for meals and snacks nowadays, and food on the road can tend to get a bit expensive. Throwing a few pretzels in your carry-on can save you a few bones, that’s for sure.

7. In-flight pillows, blankets and entertainment - Yep, it seems like airlines charge for everything these days, so just be sure to bring your own if you absolutely need it. Fill your iPad with movies you want to watch. Bring your own headphones, or maybe just bring a great book. Pack an inflatable pillow if you need one and bring a cozy hoodie in case you get chilly on board.

8. Booking with an agent - Whether you do this over the phone or in person, you’re likely paying a booking fee. Best to speak with an agent first if you need questions answered, then book your flight yourself online.

9. Resort fees - Covering what used to be free, all the little bells and whistles at the resort you’re staying at, could end up as a charge on your final bill at checkout. Familiarize yourself with what you’re paying for, before you book, and always be sure to check TripAdvisor for reviews and reports of hidden fees.

10. Taxis - Depending on where you’re coming from and where you’re headed to, taxi fare could be quite a bit more than you’re used to. Familiarize yourself with the rates factor that into your trip budget.

11. Trip insurance - Some airlines will automatically add trip insurance to your ticket. Always double check the costs on your tickets.

12. Currency conversion - Your credit card is indeed a convenient way to pay, but if you’re in another country, you could be adding a fee to every credit card purchase for currency conversion. Check your credit card’s currency conversion rates.

13. ATM use - Withdrawing money in a foreign currency from your bank account could cost you a few bucks in currency conversion fees as well. Plus, the ATM fees themselves could be higher out of country. Review your bank’s fee structure for such services before you head out of town.

14. Roaming - Turn off your phone! Set it to airplane mode, and then turn on the wifi if you have access to a free signal. Use Skype, Facetime or other free methods of communication. Just having your phone on in another country for a few days can utterly cripple your trip budget.

15. Visitor’s visas - Getting the proper paperwork done to travel legally in your destination country could be costly. Educate yourself about these fees so they don’t come as a complete shock to you.

These are fifteen potentially enormous expenses that people often overlook. Have a stress-free holiday instead by being a smart traveller. You know, instead of travelling like I have, where you come home wondering where all your money went. Now, don’t follow my lead! Learn from my own mistakes and you’ll be a happy and financially stable globetrotter.

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