Are you about to go on a big trip? How exciting! You must be really looking forward to it. The planning of a big holiday can be very frantic and for the less organised of us, it can be a nightmare. There are so many things to consider, and money is a big factor in your decisions and how much you can do.
In all the fun and nervousness of planning, you may have forgotten to factor in a few things – as we know travel costs can really add up. The below are some hidden costs that many travellers forget to budget for and end up out of pocket. Don’t let that happen to you!
We live in a world of free wi-fi yet sometimes, it costs money. You might need to pay in your hotel, on the plane or when you’re at an attraction, so be prepared. It beats having to pay for roaming charges, however.
2. Currency exchange
Typically, exchanging money at the airport before you go is the most expensive way to do it. You should either order your money for a good exchange rate through your bank, or take cash and exchange on arrival. Whatever the situation, be prepared for there to be fees to use your card to convert. Some credit cards charge a foreign transaction fee of up to 3% for charges made abroad so make sure you know the associated costs before you travel.
Additional tax and tourist tax occurs in Europe and USA in particular. You might not have realised but in Venice for example, tourist tax is charged by hotels to all tourists and is a few dollars a day. In the US, they charge tax on pretty much anything purchased – giving you a nasty shock if you plan to only spend what’s on the menu or sticker.
4. International roaming charges
You might not plan on using your phone overseas but you never know when you might need it. Take a global SIM card for cheap calls and data, and free roaming, that way you can ensure if you need to use your phone you won’t be hit with a huge bill. Alternatively, you can scrap roaming altogether and purchase a local SIM on arrival.
5. Getting to and from the airport
Have you considered how will you get to and from the airport? It’s not always very cheap to drive to the airport and park for two weeks, so have a look at the options to see what works best. You could catch a bus or train to the airport, or have a friend drop you off. Also be sure to see if your hotel has airport pick up and if not, arrange for a service to collect you. Taxis can be very expensive in foreign countries!
6. Arrival or departure fees
Most departure fees are included in your plane ticket, right? Wrong… there are quite a few countries that charge a departure fee including Hong Kong, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Indonesia and Colombia, so be sure to check before you go.
If you’re travelling to a country that doesn’t automatically allow you to get a visa on arrival, you will need to organise it before you go. Make sure you get your ESTA for America, for example – it’s $14USD and will save you a long trip home if you don’t have it.
8. Security and cleaning fees
If you are staying in a hotel overseas, it pays to check what the rates for security and cleaning fees will be because they may not be clear at the time of booking.
Withdrawing money isn’t usually cheap in Australia either, but it could end up being very costly when overseas. To avoid exorbitant fees, try withdrawing larger sums of money at once, or changing to a travel money card before you leave.
Tell us, have you ever been hit with some unexpected fees? What were they?