Are you getting ready to plan your next vacation? Even if you’re looking to splurge a little, you probably want to save as much money as possible. After all, travel can be expensive, so it’s always great when you can cut costs, yet without sacrificing anything. Whether you’re a novice traveler or a globetrotter, it can be easy to overlook the costs of certain things, especially if they appear to be good deals to begin with. From the early stages of the planning process through the actual vacation itself, be alert when it comes to some of the following:
You found an awesome price to a particular destination and you’re ready to book without thinking twice—but not so fast. Just how cheap will that ticket be once you factor in some extras? Every airline is different, so be sure to research what your ticket will (and will not) include. Most people expect to pay for checked luggage, but did you know that some airlines even impose fees for carry-on bags? When it comes to certain things you can’t avoid, you might end up paying a lot more for your airline ticket than you ever expected and could have easily avoided. Additionally, if you have an airline credit card that gives you perks (such as free lounge access, priority boarding or complimentary checked luggage), you might want to just book a ticket through that airline if you plan on paying for those things anyway. And if you travel often, consider applying for a credit card that offers these types of benefits, if you don’t have one already. Not only can you take advantage of some pretty cool perks, but once you rack up enough points, you can redeem them for cheap (or free!) airfare.
Random hotel charges
There is a lot of stuff you could be paying for when you stay at a hotel without even realizing it, and sometimes just booking the cheapest hotel you find won’t actually save you the most money. Wi-Fi, parking, and even strange things like using the air conditioning (no, seriously) can cost you some extra dough. You could be better off booking the better hotel if it doesn’t impose a crazy amount of miscellaneous fees. Read the terms and conditions thoroughly before booking, and if anything seems unclear, contact the hotel directly.
If you’re not really a self-guided traveler and want to spring for the organized tours, that’s totally fine, but just be sure you aren’t overpaying. Pre-booking your tours and excursions on popular travel websites will almost always cost you more. You’re better off waiting until you arrive and booking directly with tour groups in person, depending on where you’re going and what you want to see. Most travel destinations have a specific list of attractions and sights that every tourist comes to see, and there are often tons of tour operators available to accommodate everyone. If you’d rather book in advance, be sure to shop around first and compare prices from several websites. You’re also better off directly booking with a tour operator, rather than a middleman.
This is one cost that can really sneak up on you. Even if you’re not having fancy dinners every night, the smaller meals and snacks can add up quickly when you’re traveling. If you’re on a tight budget, this can be an easy way to overspend, even if you think you’re being careful. There are a few ways to avoid this, though. Depending on where you’re going and how long your stay is, consider lodging that includes a small kitchen, which can allow you to prepare your own food. This can give you a great opportunity to truly experience the local cuisine. Grocery shopping and cooking may be the things you’re looking to escape, but if you’re traveling internationally, it can actually be a lot of fun. Be sure to also bring some of your own snacks and drinks with you from home, which can help you save a lot of money. If cooking just really isn’t your thing, look into meal plans that might be available at your resort, which could make sense financially. Although the expense is bigger upfront, if you take advantage of it, it can help you save in the end. The same goes for all-inclusive resorts, which have rates that include all of your meals and beverages throughout your stay.
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