Hidden Vacation Costs to Keep an Eye Out for When Traveling

Image source, licensed under Creative Commons When we travel, we try to make the most of our money instead of struggling to enjoy the t...

When we travel, we try to make the most of our money instead of struggling to enjoy the trip because of costs. If you're planning a vacation on a tight budget, here are a few hidden costs that many travelers overlook. By making sure to account for these hidden expenses, you can avoid running short of money on your trip.

Airport parking

Driving to the airport? The first cost many people forget about is airport parking. If you have to drive yourself to the airport, you’re best paying for this in advance to get the best rates – there are sites that can help you find the best parking deals nearby such as BWI parking. Anytime I've flown, I've just had someone to drop me off and pick you up so I didn't have to worry about parking at the airport.

Budget airline extras

Budget airlines can seem like a good deal on the surface – and they can be so long as you don’t fall for all the hidden extras. When booking a flight with these airlines, you’ll be asked if you want to pay for priority boarding, airplane seat selection, and a ton of other option that could add on costs. These airlines can also have heavy fees if you go over your baggage allowance or add on expensive on-flight food. All in all, you could end up making up costs just in these extras if you’re not careful. If you want to save money with these airlines, don’t opt for any of the added options, make sure your bag meets weight restrictions and take a packed lunch.

Hotel wi-fi

Some hotels can have sneaky added charges such as fees for wi-fi usage, which is insane to me. Make sure to look this up beforehand if you think you’re going to be using wi-fi a lot when on your trip. Other hidden hotel costs to look out for include hotel parking or required valet, early check-in fees, and late check-out fees.

Car rental insurance

If you’re renting a car on your trip, you’ll likely need to take out temporary insurance for that vehicle. Car rental services can often offer this insurance, but you could be better off shopping for your own deals online. Insurance schemes offered by car rental suppliers also tend to offer very basic coverage, so consider whether you want to be covered for more than simply third-party collisions.

Currency exchange fees

For those going abroad, the cost of converting currency is also something that could easily be overlooked. When converting cash, you should shop for rates online in order to get the best deal. Another option can be to put your money onto a preloaded travel card – you can use this just like a debit card without having to pay exchange fees and it could save you having to carry around cash.

Tax and tips

Two other costs that catch travelers are tax and tips. When going for a meal at a restaurant, it’s easy to look at the menu prices and forget these added costs until the bill comes. These costs may not be as much of a concern abroad, as some countries include taxes in the price and tipping may not always be expected as part of the culture (e.g. Australians generally don’t tip unless it’s exceptional service) – always check this beforehand.

*this is a collaborative post. 

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  1. Loved every single one of your hidden tips-airport parking especially. I'm going to have to disagree with you though on the exchange rate tip. Since you've never left the country, you may not be aware that the best way to avoid exchange fees is to use a credit card as much as possible, BUT it needs to be a travel based card-these do not charge you an exchange rate. So you could do an entire International trip without paying a single exchange rate fee. It's best to exchange as little cash as needed, both for financial and security reasons.

    1. Ooh, thank you for that tip! This is a collaborative post, so the info I tend to share for things I haven't experienced (AKA traveling outside of the country) are things I obviously don't know much about. I appreciate your input so much, because I know you are traveling ALL THE TIME! :D

  2. Now that we are living in a city where we don't know someone we have to either uber or pay for airport parking. Depending on the length of the trip we try to go for the cheaper option. It is definitely one of those things you don't factor into the trip!