At our PHL parking facility, we know that traveling is exciting, but a nice vacation can be ruined if you run into a slew of travel fees along the way.
Here are some of the most popular hidden fees to look for:
1. Flight reservations
If you’re looking to book a flight, do it online – it saves travel companies money and time. If you call to make the reservation instead, you’ll most likely be charged an extra fee for the personal assistance.
2. Hotel ATMs
Most hotels have ATMs in the lobby, which can be very convenient. They can also be pricey – instead of paying $1.50 or $2 for your transaction, you may be slapped with a $3.50 or $4 fee.
3. Frequent flier miles
If you’ve finally saved up your frequent flier miles and want to use them to go on vacation, make sure you know the details before you do. Some airlines will charge you to book a “free” flight using your miles.
4. Rental car key replacements
If you rent a car while you’re on vacation and lose your rental key, you could be charged a hefty fine (up to $300) to replace it. Be sure to keep the key in a safe (and known) place at all times.
Many budget hotels will offer free wi-fi, but more upscale ones will charge you. Also, if you’re taking a cruise, you’ll most likely be charged for wi-fi since it’s difficult to get a good signal out on the water. Be sure you know the fee situation before you log on.
6. Oversized baggage
Most people know that airlines usually charge for checked bags, but some don’t know that there’s a size and weight limit for the bags. If your bag is larger or heavier than the limit (usually 62″ and 50 lbs.), you’ll end up paying a fee.
7. Hotel parking
Before you book your hotel room, find out what the parking situation is like. Most are self-serve, but some (like hotels in major cities) will force a valet or parking garage fee on you.
If you have a minibar in your room and use it, you’ll pay around $4-$6 for each item, but you may pay even if you don’t use it – some luxury hotels have sensors that will activate a fee if you so much as move the minibar items around.
9. Peak travel days
If you book a flight on a peak travel day (such as the day before Christmas or the day before the 4th of July), you’ll end up paying more. Instead, try flying on the actual holiday.
10. Currency exchanges
Traveling abroad? Convert your money to foreign currency in your home country. If you wait until you reach your destination, you’ll find higher currency exchange fees.