Everyone knows that traveling can be expensive. You have to pay for travel, accommodations, dining and activities, and after awhile, it all adds up. When we try and determine our travel budget, we are constantly including the amount of money we intend to spend on gas or airfare, hotels stays, and all the amenities we plan to enjoy. But somehow, no matter how much we calculate our trip and plan out our expenses, we always end up coming home from vacation spending more than what we had budgeted for.
While most of us scratch our head in wonderment trying to determine how we could have been off by so much money, it then hits us—after the fact—that there were things we spent money on that we didn’t plan for. These hidden fees can easily break any budget, and it’s important to start accounting for them before you leave for vacation. The following are five hidden travel fees you should expect.
If you are traveling by car, it’s possible that you may need to travel on toll roads in order to get to your destination. Some toll roads charge you a small amount every few miles while others simply charge you one flat fee when entering or exiting the state. No matter how you’re charged, you’re still being asked to spend money. If you didn’t account for tolls in your budget, you could end up losing a large sum of money just to get to and from your destination.
2. Rest Stops/Gas Stations
When you travel by car, your budget needs to account for gas. But you also need to account for the other expenditures you’ll have at rest stops or gas stations. Grabbing a drink or a bag of chips at every stop will quickly add up to a significant amount of money, so you either need to stick to your “no purchases” policy while stopped or add some extra money into your budget to accommodate for these instances.
3. Baggage Fees
If you are flying, you probably only allocated enough of your budget to go towards the cost of your airline ticket. While this is a large portion of your budget, most airlines today charge you a fee to check your bag, so unless you’re traveling with only carry ons, you need to take into consideration the amount of money you’ll be paying per bag.
Parking is another expense that people tend to overlook. If you are driving to the airport, you will need to park in the airport’s lot, and this costs money. Some hotels even charge you a parking fee, so it’s important that you look into this and rearrange your budget accordingly.
5. Travel Prep
Some people don’t realize the amount of money they spend on items to prepare them for their trip. Oil changes, wardrobes, overnight pet accommodations—all of these items cost money and are usually overlooked when it comes to creating a travel budget. Make sure that you think of everything you will need to purchase before your trip and calculate that into your budget.
Traveling is expensive, but a great way to make sure that you’re not paying more than what you planned is to ensure that you have a thorough handle on all of the hidden fees that you can encounter. This will keep you from breaking the bank while on vacation.
Jessica Brown is a travel agent. She gives helpful advice about travel fees and good vacation spots. She enjoys spending time with her family on their annual Bahamas vacations.