- Personal Finance
Seven Little Known Fees That Can Derail Your Travel Budget
After you might have packed your bags for a vacation you have carefully budgeted for, from the experience of people who travel frequently, your budget can welcome certain surprises. Still, it is quite possible to plan for some unknown and hidden costs you will face if you know what to expect. If you are savvy enough, you may be able to factor into your budget most possible surprises. The following are the surprises that can derail your travel budget.
1 AIRLINE TAXES AND FEES
Domestic flights within the United States require less than $10 in government mandated fees. It is a converse scenario for international flights. Fees, taxes and fuel surcharges for international flights alone can add as much as a hundred dollars to the cost of each ticket. When you pay for airfare, you won’t notice these fees and taxes because they have been included in the amount you are paying as airfare. However, if you score free flights with airline miles that only covers the cost of your ticket, you have to pay these fees separately. This is why you have to watch out for these fees so that it doesn’t derail your budget.
2. CHECKED BAGGAGE FEES:
Be sure to research the airline you are flying ahead of time. Different airlines have different fees for checked baggage. There are some that charge as much as $25 for every bag you check. For a family of four, this will add up to $100. Research your airline policy ahead of time so that your budget doesn’t take surprises.
3. FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEES:
Credit Cards are convenient form of payment when you are travelling domestically, however, this convenience may swiftly become inconvenience if you pick up a credit card that charges foreign transaction fees. If care is not taken, you could be charged as much as 3% for every purchase you make with your credit card. Check with your credit card company before you travel outside the country with your card.
4. ENTRY FEES AND PARKING:
Vacation provides a lot of opportunity for sightseeing. At times, these sightseeing could be costlier than expected. You might be used to visiting state parks and historical sites for free. What you might not have observed is that even the seemingly free attractions could cost you money. You might be required to make a donation to get into a museum or pay a tax on your way out. Some attractions are totally free but the parking fees makes you have a rethink. Do as much research as possible online before visiting an attraction, so that you are not caught unawares.
5. INTERNATIONAL DATA AND ROAMING FEES:
It is very convenient to take your phone on an international trip, on the other hand, it can quickly become inconvenient. Depending on where you visit and which mobile carrier you use, you may be required to pay international data and roaming fees. If you are planning an international trip, you might need to look for the best deal on data and phone service before you go. At the very least, make sure you know your phone provider’s charges for international data and roaming so that you don’t return home to a shocking surprise of an expensive phone bill.
6. CITY TAXES:
It is a fact that most city taxes are already included in your room fee at American hotels and resorts, some cities abroad charge special and extra taxes on tourism. Most times, you wouldn’t be asked to pay these taxes until you check into your hotel or check out and settle the bill. These taxes are usually paid in popular European cities. In Rome for instance, extra city taxes are imposed on each paid night stay and the charges increase based on the quality of the hotel you book. Extra city taxes are unavoidable in places like Rome and Barcelona, this is why you need to plan for them in advance.
7. HOTEL RESORT FEES:
Hotel Resort fees can come as a surprise. This is because hotels aren’t usually required to include resort fees in their advertised rates. These fees includes access to benefits like, gym, pool and Wi-Fi. Most people do not find out about these fees until they scan the print copy of the hotel charges.
Creating a travel budget takes some time and requires diligent research, but it is worth the effort. By planning ahead, you can ensure that your vacation remains affordable and free of any expensive surprises. Always remember that it is difficult to totally eliminate the hidden cost of travel, so always give yourself a money buffer in the event of unexpected expenses.