Going past your budget when you're out on a vacation is not uncommon. It's not every day when you escape to somewhere unfamiliar to unwind and explore. Sure, you don’t want to skimp on great food, comfortable hotel room, and other once in a lifetime experiences, do you?
It’s okay to overspend sometimes, as long as you know you’re getting your money’s worth. However, it’s easy to find yourself throwing money on seemingly obligatory yet not-so-pleasurable things - like travel fees.
Airports, airlines, hotels, and other establishments catering to tourists charge certain fees. The good thing is it’s possible to avoid paying for these fees or at least minimize them if you are a wise traveler.
The next time you travel, keep in mind these travel expenses and learn how to get rid of them.
1. Baggage allowance fees
If you’re flying in a low-cost airline, you may be required to limit the total weight of your carry-on items. You’ll be asked to buy additional bag allowance should the total sum of your carry-on weight exceeds the allowance.
That said, it’d be wiser to buy additional bag allowance in advance, at least 24 hours prior the departure or online. You may also invest in a cheap luggage scale so you’ll know beforehand if your baggage is within the allowed limits. It can save you big time in overweight baggage costs. Waiting until you’re at the gate may cause you to pay triple for bag allowance.
2. Fees for pre-paying for your seat
Everybody wants to have the best seating in the house during long-haul flights. You can pre-pay for seat selection, but that would be impractical. When you’re at the check-in counter, you can always ask the agent to place you in a preferred spot.
3. Transportation fees
Fees associated with airport parking or renting a car can be expensive. Ask the hotel concierge if they provide complimentary ground transportation so your cab fees would be waved off. Hotels often have shuttle services from and to the airport. You can also ride a public transportation for a cheaper travel experience.
4. Fees for booking last minute
One of the worst travel mistakes you can make is looking at the last minute. Not only it is stressful but it’s also expensive. Although it feels like you have no other choice, you can still do something to save some money when booking a last minute travel is unavoidable.
Research ticket prices on more than one site.
If possible, travel in the middle of the week or off-season
Snag last-minute hotel deals online
5. International transaction fees
Will you exchange money prior to traveling or use your card to get cash from the ATM when you land to a foreign land? Make sure to do your research in order to get the best exchange rate.
Many credit cards come with international transaction fees. According to hotelier and travel blogger Mokshta Chauhan, you can eliminate them if you use the currency of the country you’re visiting when you run your card. Same goes for taking out cash in a foreign place. Go to banks when exchanging currencies rather than going to conversion centers at the airport. Chances are that they tend to charge large fees.
In addition, many foreign exchange places can buy back your foreign currency when you return home, for free.
6. Hotel resort fees
Additional “resort” fees charged by some hotels are claimed to be for amenities you may or may not use. Having to pay for something you have no intention of using is quite upsetting. As a matter of fact, the use of amenities to make your stay more enjoyable should already be included in your rate.
Opt for hotels which don’t charge such fees. Read the fine print. Pay attention to the asterisks. Ask for certain details your hotel may omit to rob your cash.
Internet connectivity is considered as a basic utility in today’s digitally-driven world. That said, no one deserves to pay for Wi-Fi.
Make sure the hotel you’re staying in provides free Wi-Fi. If you’re staying in a high-end hotel which, unfortunately, charges for Wi-Fi, it may be cheaper to add hotspot capabilities to your phone or go to a coffee shop with free Wi-Fi than paying the hotel to use their internet.
8. Expensive Snacks
Snacks sold at airports, airlines, and hotels are unreasonably expensive. You can save a lot if you pack your own snacks for the road. You can put the money saved to other necessary travel expenses. Don’t forget to bring bottles of water as well, for prices of H2O in airports, airlines, and hotels seem like they’ve been sprinkled with gold dust.
9. Fancy lunch and dinners
Hotels normally have complimentary meals, usually breakfasts. Take advantage of this deal and avoid splurging on expensive meals inside or outside. If the hotel doesn’t offer free breakfast, avoid paying addition. Oftentimes, there are hidden higher prices for early morning menus.
10. Room service and minibar
We love complimentary hotel stuff, like water bottles, toiletries, and stationeries. But keep in mind that not all things consumable which are present in your hotel room are free - like the goodies inside the mini bar. They come with a price - a steep price. Some hotels will even charge you fees for restocking.
A room service is also an expensive way to enjoy the luxury of food and drink in your hotel room. Your creativity can save you if you're on a budget. Mimic the deluxe experience by buying good food and liquor outdoors and plate them nicely using the utensils present in your hotel room.
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is one of the writers for Holiday Inn Parramatta Accommodation, a modern hotel in Western Sydney known for their exceptional accommodation, service, and location, which appeals to travelers in Australia. She has always been passionate about giving in to her wanderlust and collecting mementos from different places.