Sunday, August 10, 2014

Unexpected Travel Fees

When you travel what do you budget for?

The obvious of course:

  • Airfare
  • Food
  • Taxi's and Bus Fair
  • Hotels
But we all know that it's not the big ticket items that can rob us blind, it's all of the "Nickles here and Dimes there" and the constant shelling out, it's the little bits here and there that leave our pockets full of nothing more than lint.
Photo courtesy of Google image search on "Travel"

I wanted to share a few of the money pits that I have discovered when traveling.

When renting a car
***When I'm in London, and recently Ireland, I never rented a car. In London I always use public transport because, well... Have you actually tried to find a parking spot in London? Not to mention the congestion charges. Public transport in London is so easy to use and so available, why would you use anything else? Though I have never rented a car overseas, I have rented them here in the States. When you book the car through a travel agent, as a package deal with an airline, there might be all kinds of hidden fees, my advice is to call the rental agency directly to find out what charges they might have, I had an extra $150 deposit when I rented a car in Fort Lauderdale that I was unaware of. Not to mention car rental companies will try to sell you everything under the sun from their own car insurance, to renting a GPS device and prepaying for towing service. If you have car insurance already, chances are you won't have to pay for theirs. Call your insurance company before you pick up your rental and know what deposits you will need. Also be aware that you won't get your deposit refunded back to your credit card for a week or more.

***Don't forget about those toll roads. Especially people like me, even WITH Google Maps I've managed to get myself turned around, so I've paid for many toll roads! (Over and Over, Back and Forth!)

At the Airport
***Do I need to remind you that there are baggage fees on every known airline?
Well Apparently I need to remind myself! I'm so used to flying to other Countries and getting my free bag, that when I recently flew from Texas to Florida I remembered at the last minute about the $50 bag fee, I almost took 2 bags. Yes, I'm cheap.

***Food at the Airport? Don't even go there. Take snacks for goodness sake. It has nothing to do with how much money you have, it has to do with those gouging and taking advantage of you prices!

***It will cost you to store your bags at the airport, if you need or desire that service.

***Don't forget tip money, every shuttle driver that helps you with your luggage (To the airport, to the car rental business, to the hotel) deserves a tip.

***I have been charged for Wi-Fi at the airport before, I think it was the San Antonio airport if I'm not mistaken. It's not always free

On the Plane
I never pay for alcoholic drinks when I'm on a plane, I want to arrive clear headed and alert, jet lag is bad enough without a fuzzy head, however if you so desire, remember, you have to pay for them.

***Oh the glorious in air Wi-Fi fees. And here I was thinking they were free! American Airlines hosts "Go-Go In Air" at $4 for 30 minutes. Or pay for an hour at $8 and get 30 minutes free. I paid it. So I'm not THAT cheap. All day will cost you $10.95

Remember the gouging at the airport? Well order a small can of pringles on the plane and it will cost you $4. A pack of M&M's? $3. They bring new meaning to the words "Convenience Fee". Again...bring your own snacks, especially when traveling with children.

You forgot to pack WHAT?
***Band-aids (Plasters), if you don't pack them, you will inevitably end up buying them on one of your trips, in Florida my son burned his two big toes because the concrete was too hot and he walked bare foot around the pool, my daughter needed her scratched bug bites covered, and me? I always end up with a blister from walking.

***Nausea medication. To my surprise BOTH of my children got a stomach upset on our trip to Florida, I was fine, but whether it was the water or being new to travel, there were a couple of days of toilet issues for the children, I didn't run out and buy any, but I'm sure they would have been more comfortable had I thought to pack some pepto-bismol.

***Sunscreen ... Even in the winter my friends!

***Bug Spray, Why Why Why do I always forget bug spray? Do I not remember what a tasty morsel I am to the bug world? Bug Spray and Sunscreen are expensive in convenience stores!

***All. Of. The. Bottled. Water. My kids are like camels. I pack re-usable bottles that we can refill and take with us, but guess what? We lost one and kept forgetting the other, so I spent a lot of money on water in Florida!

***Shoes. Believe it or not. Shoes. I have had to purchase shoes when site seeing because of blisters, and when in Florida, I wasn't expecting parts the bottom of the sea in The Florida Keys to be so sharp, most of the sea bottom was sandy soft, but some of it was a bit jagged, I had water shoes for the children, but not for myself. Bring the right shoes for your journey or pay up!

***We all know the cost of Room service, but when a hotel in the States says "With Breakfast", it's usually free, The Jury Inn in England charged roughly 12 pounds a person. Same breakfast, different tea! Big price difference.

***If you're going to use the hotel safe to lock up your belongings, it's not always free.

***Here we go with the coveted Wi-Fi again. It's free in some hotels, I paid 10 Pounds a day in a hotel in London... A DAY! That's like $17, and I was there for 6 days. Whoa doggies! Had it not been the Wi-Fi that let me call my kids via Viber for free, I wouldn't have paid it.

***Phone calls. Again, in England I paid 6 pounds for a 2 minute phone call. I kid you not. 2 minutes. Roughly $10, and the person was in the same country!

So that does it...
There's my list.
The things that I have had to pay for, or could have paid for, yet didn't occur to me would be an issue!

Especially when I travel, I always assume there will be something I didn't think of and something I will have to fork out for, but the better I am prepared and the less surprises I have, the more relaxed I am on holiday.

If you have had surprise travel fees, Please share them, as I love to travel and I haven't been everywhere (Though it's on my list :) I'm always looking for tips on what to expect when exploring the globe!

What unexpected fees have you had when traveling?

I hope you have a great upcoming week,
Tammy x


  1. Such great reminders Tammy!!! It is amazing how these little things can add up if you are not careful. Unless a meal is included in the room cost, we almost never eat at a hotel that we are staying in as it is always cheaper to go elsewhere, and nicer too to see more places, and we definitely travel with our own snacks! xx

  2. That's a good list. I always end up with blisters too so I carry plasters in my bag at all times these days.

  3. Good advice, if only I had the opportunities to travel, so many places I'd love to visit *sigh* !!

    Thanks for the birthday wishes and recent comments :)

  4. Good tips, Tammy. We are so cheap that we come in way under Rick Steve's budget travel suggestions. lol I do think that in London at a restaurant you need to specifically ask for 'tap water' if you don't want to pay the prices of bottled water. We too travel with our own water bottles and fill them daily, rather than purchasing water. We've learned that a third story room (and higher) at a hotel, if the windows open, allows you to use the window ledge as a refrigerator (at least in the months of March and November and other cool months.) I really should stop there before you realize just how cheap we are. Also, remember to have your data OFF on your cell phone or you will have sky-high charges when you get home.


Thank you for your positive comments!