3 ways to avoid the sneaky hidden costs of travel
Just when you think you’ve beaten the system and scored a killer deal on your next vacation, you are hit with a Human Fee. That would be a surcharge for talking to a human being on the phone instead of booking online.
Lesson learned: Avoid human contact, whenever possible.
Travel is already expensive enough, and then there are fees for bringing a set of clothes to change into and a toothbrush (baggage fees). Some airlines even charge if you’re carrying a few extra pounds around your waistline.
Beware of these sneaky hidden costs when traveling to assure you really do score a great deal on your next trip:
1. Just book online. It’s the reality of the world we live in. If you talk to a person, that person needs to get paid somehow, and guess who’s footing that bill? You can find much better deals online, plus you can almost always find some kind of coupon code, Cash Back offer or flash discount. Never, ever buy a ticket without a quick search for a discount.
2. Do your homework. Read things. Sounds simple, right? But how many times have you clicked “agree” to terms and services and not even scanned them? A “bargain” vacation deal can quickly turn into a rip-off if you don’t pay attention to where you’re committing your cash.
Some vacation deals don’t include all food, air conditioning, gym access, WiFi, access to a safe or parking costs. Sometimes, your package listing price don’t include mandatory fees on things such as newspapers, the pool or just vaguely “resort fees.” These required extra costs may reach $30 per night, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
In fact, in 2012, the Federal Trade Commission sent a warning to nearly two dozen hotel companies, questioning whether they were using “deceptive advertising” by not giving consumers all of the relevant costs up front. Ask questions. Read. Inform yourself.
3. Re-confirm your agreement when you check in. Make sure the room and amenities the front desk clerk gives you match up with the prices you expect. Don’t be afraid to question any surprise charges.