Last week, we discussed how airlines are charging fees for almost every aspect of your booking and traveling process. Unfortunately, hotels and rental car agencies are following the same trend and noticing that added fees are an easy source of extra revenue. Here are some top ways that they get you, and how you can avoid them!
- Early-departure Fees – We all know that you will be charged a fee for not canceling a reservation within 24-72 hours of your arrival date. But did you know that they can also charge you a fee if you decide to leave before the end of your booking? Costs vary but sometimes they can range up to the price of a one night’s stay. You can prepare for this by reading the hotel’s cancellation policy and confirm your vacation dates before committing to the non-refundable rates. If you need flexibility in your traveling dates, it would be smart to pay the extra $20 or so for the refundable rate. That cost is usually significantly lower than the early-departure fee if you have to leave early.
- Resort Fees – Resorts, no matter your location, often require a daily “resort fee” of around $10-$25. These fees usually only cover ordinary hotel features such as the newspaper and gym access. These are usually tough to catch during your booking process, especially when booking through third party sites. Sometimes the only way to deal with these fees is just to call the hotel directly and ask if they’re charged. If you are billed for these amenities but you didn’t use them, you can always try and argue your way out of it. It won’t always work, but it is work a try.
- Internet, Parking, & Mini Bar Fees – All of these fees accumulate quickly and can add unexpected charges to your bill. For instance, gaining Internet access during your stay could cost you a charge of around $15. Parking a car at an urban hotel can cost you up to $50 a night if they have mandatory valet. Also, minibars now have electronic sensors that can charge you if you even open the door, move items around, or store your own beverages. The best way to deal with these fees is to do without. Don’t use the minibar, use public transportation, and use free wireless Internet access from the lobby or a local coffee shop.
- Fuel Fees – It is important to return a rental car with the same amount of gas as when you picked it up. Rental companies today are charging up to $10 per gallon in refueling fees. The problem with rental cars and gas is that it is hard to gauge fuel levels and consumption. You’re likely to overpay by either filling the car up too much or by not enough. The best way to deal with this is to ask the agent to look at the gas level and mark it down in your reservation notes. Also, scope out the gas stations around rental car agency and fuel up right before returning the car to limit the amount of gas you will lose in travel time.
These charges are nothing more than a way for hotels and rental companies to make extra money. Although they can’t always be avoided, be cautious and aware that they are out there when making your travel plans! Click here for the entire article.
Have you ever had to deal with pesky travel fees? Comment below! We would love to hear from you!