Beware Hidden (or Not so Hidden) Travel Fees This Summer

Planning a vacation this summer? Envisioning an escape to some far-off, sunny location can be half the fun. Getting unexpectedly high bills afterward, not so much.

There are many ways to cut down on the cost of a vacation and still have an amazing time. One way that gets overlooked is in making sure you avoid hidden – and not so hidden – fees that might accrue while you’re away.

Added Airline Fees

Too often, consumers get financially pinged for traveling through added airline fees. These can be avoided, but it helps to know about them in the first place. Some fees you can avoid simply carefully reviewing the website and examining the fine print before making your selection.

Seat Changes on Flights

Seat changes and upgrades on flights are encouraged – and they used to be free. That is no longer the case. You are likely to be charged if you want to replace that aisle seat with a window seat.

Baggage Fees

Baggage also used to be free, but more airlines are charging for bags that need to be checked, often by poundage. If you want to steer clear of this financial pitfall, find out what is allowed and weigh your bags so you can lighten them if necessary before leaving home.

Charges for Flight Changes

Some charges for making changes to flights were temporarily put on hold during the pandemic. However, travelers can expect to face stiff penalties if they try to change their flights these days. If possible, be sure your plans are set in stone before buying your ticket.

Pricey Snacks

Remember when meals and assorted snacks were included on flights? If you’re anticipating a long flight, pack a few snacks that can be brought through security. Liquids are a no-go, and nuts may be banned due to food allergies. Meanwhile, airport food has become prohibitively expensive for people on tight budgets. Be sure to pack something light and practical that will be accepted onto your flight.

Credit Card Fees and Other Shopping Fees

This could occur anywhere, but travelers are especially susceptible to unexpected charges when making purchases while out of town. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment when you’re on vacation – and there’s nothing wrong with that! A great way to avoid hidden charges while shopping on your trip is by using cash and other payment means that don’t involve late fees or interest rates.

Using a prepaid debit card while out of town can protect you financially in more ways than one. You can still indulge in snacks on the beach and mementos for loved ones back home. But card holders are prevented from going overboard with their spending. Because cash is loaded onto debit cards beforehand, card users can be more aware of how much they have to spend than those who will be charged after the fact.

Hotel and Other Accommodations

Ask your hotel, motel or camping ground about potential fees, as well, particularly if you plan to take advantage of any of their services. For example, if you’re headed to Disney World, your hotel may charge you for luggage or packages delivered there. Anything consumed from a snack bar can cost an arm and a leg. Even camping grounds may charge more than you remembered last time you headed out in your camper.

As you consider your destination, you might find that somewhere closer to home can be just as exciting as leaving the state or country.

Car Rentals

Yet another area where sneaky fees take travelers by surprises is with car rentals. Estimating the amount of your car rental should be straightforward enough, right? But you need to ask about a few things before selecting a car and rental company:

  1. What are the charges for different vehicles?
  2. What if the car you want is no longer available when you arrive?
  3. How much does gas cost where you’re headed?
  4. Do you have to fill up the tank entirely before turning it in?

That last question is crucial, as drivers are typically charged extra if the tank isn’t sufficiently full when they return the vehicle. Finding out about gas locations located near the car rental service can help take the stress out of worrying about these fines at the end of your stay.

Get Finances in Order at Your Nearest Currency Exchange Before Your Next Trip

Vacations are a chance to relax and forget about life, not add to your worries. Stop by your nearest Currency Exchange (CCEA) to load money on your prepaid debit card and use other personal finance services to get your money in order.

Reach out to CCEA any time for a list of financial services available, or just stop by your nearest location!

A person walking away with a rolling suitcase.

With over 350 locations, many open nights, weekends, and holidays (and several stores with 24/7 availability), you can rest easy knowing your financial needs can be taken care of when you need them most. We’re in the heart of every community. Don’t believe us? See for yourself.