You’ve already paid for most of your vacation. You’ve booked your flights, your hotel rooms and your rental vehicles already. With all of these expenses already covered, your budget should only be going to food, drinks and souvenirs. Right?
Well, that’s not exactly true. There are other expenses that will chip away at your budget while you’re on vacation. Before you head out on your trip, prepare yourself for these surprise expenses.
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Don’t be shocked by your final bill when you finally decide to check out of your hotel room. Your hotel can charge you plenty of fees beyond your room rates during your stay.
One common example of a surprise fee is a resort fee. A resort fee sometimes goes by other names, like a facility fee, destination fee or resort charge. This fee allows you to access the hotel’s amenities that you may have assumed were free, like the gym, the pool and WiFi.
What other surprise fees can your hotel charge you?
- Overnight parking fees
- Airport shuttle service fees
- Early check-in fees
- Late check-out fees
- Safe fees
- Extra guest fees
You might get hit by surprise expenses at the very beginning of your trip — even before you reach your destination. That’s right, you’ll first encounter them at the airport. Airlines are notorious for charging flyers extra fees before they even board the plane. For instance, an airline will charge you a small fee for printing your boarding pass for you. You can avoid this small charge by using a mobile boarding pass or printing it yourself at home.
What other surprise fees can the airline charge you?
- Carry-on luggage fees
- Checked baggage fees
- Seat selection fees
- Reservation change fees
- In-flight amenities (pillows, headphones, extra blankets, etc.)
Car Rental Fees
You might end up spending much more than you anticipated on your rental vehicle. Again, rental companies are known for racking up their customers’ bills with extra charges.
One common charge that rental companies try to convince you to sign up for is insurance. While insurance isn’t a terrible decision, you don’t necessarily need to purchase it through this rental company. You may already have insurance coverage through the credit card you used to book the vehicle. Take a look at your credit card’s coverage for rental vehicle issues — you might get even more coverage than the rental company’s insurance plan, without having to pay a thing.
What other surprise fees can a rental car company charge you?
- Upgrade charge
- Administrative fees
- Fuel charges
- Toll charges
- Early return fees
- Late return fees
- Additional driver fees
Are you traveling abroad? Well, then you need to watch out for surprise bank fees — foreign transaction fees to be precise. A foreign transaction fee is usually 1-3% of the purchase. You will get hit with this fee any time you make a credit card transaction outside of the country.
You will also get it whenever you make an ATM withdrawal with your bank card. In addition to a foreign transaction fee, an international ATM withdrawal can also result in an ATM operator’s fee and an out-of-network fee.
Some credit cards and bank cards do not charge foreign transaction fees. Bring these on your trip if you have them.
There’s no telling when an emergency is going to happen, which means it could happen on your vacation. You could lose your passport and need to get a new one before your departure. Your smartphone could get pickpocketed. Or you could finish your trip and realize that the airline lost your bags.
You can prepare for emergencies by building an emergency fund. If you don’t have enough in your emergency fund to cover this type of surprise expense, you can turn to a website like CreditFresh as a potential short-term solution. Through the website, you can apply for a personal line of credit loan — as long as you meet the eligibility requirements, you’re free to submit an application. With an approved personal line of credit, you can request a withdrawal and use the borrowed funds to pay off your expense in a short amount of time. It’s that simple.
Your trip may be more expensive than you originally thought. Prepare your budget for these surprise fees so that you don’t blow through your vacation budget too early.