When planning a trip, most people have an ideal budget they plan to stay within based on their financial situation. They account for food, souvenirs, and places to stay, but what they don't count on are the hidden expenses they were not aware existed. These can sneak up on you or even hit you when you are down to your last dollar, which can really put a damper on any trip.
We have outlined some of these hidden expenses so you can incorporate them into your budget or find ways around them. You want to travel smart and not be caught off guard because you weren't prepared. Keep reading to learn about ten travel expenses you might not consider!
10 Foreign Transaction Fees
Banks charge something called foreign transaction fees when you use your credit or debit card overseas. They usually tack on an extra 3% charge to each purchase, which may not seem like a lot, but these fees can add up. You do have several options to avoid this catastrophe and keep you within your planned budget.
There are some cards available that are fee-free so you never have to worry about this becoming an issue. If you don't want to apply for a new card, then another alternative is to pull out cash. Your bank may charge you a fee for exchanging currency, but at least you don't have to worry about foreign transaction fees!
9 Do You Need WiFi?
You might think WiFi is an international commodity you are entitled too, but you couldn't be more wrong. There are several flights, hotels, and even restaurants that will charge you a fee for using their internet services. This can make for a long plane ride or a boring night in any hotel room unless you want to pay their exorbitant fees.
A good way to pay less than what these amenities are offering is to invest in a portable wifi service. You could choose one through Verizon or Sprint which might be better for month-long stays, while others choose to go with a daily plan. Boingo is one of these plans and only charges $7.95, or first-time customers can sign up for a month-long plan for just $4.98 for the first month.
8 Preparation Budget
A preparation budget is everything you need before leaving for your trip. You might be thinking you have everything you need right at home, but smaller soap bottles, new deodorant sticks, and maybe even some new clothes should be included in this expense.
The dollars can add up quickly, and even more so if you don't have a suitcase or two to hold your personal things. You should always set aside an amount for this purpose alone because it can add up and its always better to be over-prepared.
7 Some Hotels Charge For Safes
It is not uncommon for a hotel to have a safe in the room for customers to use, but recently they have started charging people to use them. Some won't charge you unless you actually use the device, while others include the small fee into your overall bill when you stay with them.
A good way to avoid paying this is to ask the front desk to take it off of your bill because you won't be using it, or bring your own with a way to attach it to something in the room. You will still be protected and your wallet won't be hurt in the process.
6 Cruise Ship Amenities
You pay hundreds of dollars for a cruise and it tells you that your food and drinks will be covered for the duration of the stay, but there are so many hidden expenses. They fail to warn you how expensive alcohol can be, or how any specialty amenities like massages or other activities will cost you an arm and a leg.
Guests are also limited to only a few dining rooms, and eating anywhere else will have them paying out of pocket. This is why you should have an entire fund dedicated to everything you want to do on the cruise ship and how you plan on spending your days.
5 Required Vaccinations
This is really only applicable to international passengers as certain countries require you to have specific vaccinations before stepping onto their foreign soil. The most common vaccines travelers are required to receive are polio, yellow fever, and malaria vaccines due to their highly contagious nature.
You usually only have to worry about these if you plan on traveling to third world countries, but it is an added expense you probably hadn't planned on. It is also important you talk to your doctor before taking any trip as other vaccines might be recommended to help prevent you from becoming sick.
4 Resort Fee
There is something many hotels like to call a Resort Fee, which is a specific amount tacked on at the end of your stay. These fees are usually around 10%, but before you book you should always check to make see exactly what the amount is that they will be charging you.
These can be avoided if you book a hotel using your reward points, or better yet, looking for hotels that don't charge these ridiculous fees. Others say it can be avoided if you tell the front desk you don't plan on using any of the amenities listed and want the fee taken off, but this seldom works even if the items on the list are not available.
3 Cost For Luggage
Luggage is something every airline tries to sneak past its customers to make a few extra bucks. Some include the price of one checked bag in the airline ticket, but others want you to pay for it at the gate. It is important you check the exact weight of the bag you are allowed to bring, as anything over this amount will have you paying double what you had originally planned.
Another tip is to pay for one checked bag online, as this is generally cheaper than doing it the day of your arrival. If you don't necessarily need a large suitcase, you should consider packing everything in your carry-on bag to save some time and money.
2 Car Issues On A Road Trip
If you plan on taking a road trip in your family vehicle, rather than flying across the country, then you should be prepared in case of an accident. It is a known fact that cars have a tendency to break down when we least expect it, and you taking a road trip is the perfect time for it to do so.
You never know what you might need to plan for, but it is always a good idea to have some money set aside in case you do need some emergency maintenance assistance during your trip.
Parking may seem like a no brainer, but if you plan on staying in the city then you should have a fund set aside specifically for parking. The hotel you stay at isn't even safe as some will charge you daily to keep your vehicle in their lot, and the prices aren't always cheap. You should also look into the areas you want to travel and see if there is free parking, or a pricey car garage or valet are your only options.