When planning a trip, it’s easy to only think about the big-ticket items, like flights, hotels, and dinners out.
While these are important to pay attention to, there are many other, less obvious costs of traveling that can add up quickly and dent your pocket. You need to budget for these too.
What are these costs? Here they are, along with tips on how to plan for them and maybe keep them to a minimum:
Unless you are going to stay in one place, you will need to move around your destination. You can use a taxi, motorbike, Tuktuk, Uber, Lyft, or any other mode.
As low as these costs seem, they can quickly add up, especially if you move around a lot. Before you start your journey, always budget for these. Of course, the amount you budget depends on how mobile you will be.
To cut costs, use the public transportation system instead of getting a taxi all the time.
It would be cool if your phone could work anywhere in the world without you having to pay extra, right? Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.
Many mobile service providers charge extra for using data outside your country, which can eat up your budget if you aren’t keen.
To cut costs, check to see if your service provider has a plan that works well with travelers before your next trip. You should also research and find a mobile service provider that works well with global data.
Buying a local SIM card when you get to your destination is also a great option to keep you using your phone for less money.
Hotel and airport parking fees
Some hotels let guests park their cars in the lot for free, while others charge for it. To stay on the safe side, research the hotel beforehand and find out how much it costs to park each day.
If you plan to drive to the airport and leave your car there, you will need to pay for it.
To save money, take a taxi to and from the airport, as it might be cheaper than paying the parking fees.
Car repair and maintenance
If you are traveling with your car, you will need to take good care of it so that it’s in top shape all the time. This means that when it breaks down, you will need to repair it. You also need to service it to keep it in mint condition.
Part of keeping your car in top shape is cleaning it. Since you are traveling, your vehicle will get dirty more often, and you will need to clean it more regularly.
Be ready with extra money for car maintenance and cleaning. To find a car wash like Spark near you, you only need to search for a term such as, “car wash near my location.”
Don’t blindly take your car to a location simply because it appears at the top of the search results. Instead, take your time to research and find out whether the car cleaning place is reputable and is known to clean cars professionally.
Airbnb cleaning fees
If you choose an Airbnb over a hotel, make sure you know about any extra fees such as cleaning fees that might be added.
The good thing with hotels is they usually include cleaning in the room’s price so that you can budget accordingly.
Airbnbs on the other hand have hidden charges, such as room cleaning fees, that can quickly add up.
Even if the hosts ask guests to clean up, they often charge extra cleaning fees. Watch out for this.
To avoid surprises, before you check into an Airbnb, always ask if there are cleaning fees or any other charges that you will be required to pay. Of course, if you aren’t comfortable with the fees, don’t check into the facility.
Fees for checked bags
If you don’t pack light, flying with a checked bag can cost a lot. This is because some airlines charge a fee for each bag you check.
Sometimes, you might find yourself paying up to $30 or more per bag each way. This isn’t a small amount especially if you travel a lot.
To avoid the extra fees, always check that your ticket includes a checked bag. You can save even more and have peace of mind by packing light.
Expert travelers recommend that you carry one or two changes of clothes and a few necessities—don’t have bags full of clothes, as they will be stressful to take with you.
Costs to change money
Every time you change money, you will be required to pay a fee that eats into your budget.
To save on this, reduce the frequency you have to change money. It would be preferable if you have the funds on your card and drew them in the local currency of the country you are visiting.
If you have to change money, don’t do it at the airport. This is because airports and places where there are a lot of tourists tend to charge high fees.
You can also check with your bank before you travel to see if you can exchange money there. Remember to do this a few weeks before a big trip in case your bank needs to order the currency.
When you go to a different country, you should also know that you might have to pay extra taxes and fees when you check into your hotel.
For example, many European cities charge a city or tourist tax, usually collected when you arrive at your hotel or home rental, instead of being added to the price you already paid.
So when making reservations, keep this in mind so you can plan for these extra costs.
These are some hidden costs you should be aware of when traveling. To avoid surprises or getting stuck, always plan for your trips ahead. Before you book anything, such as a hotel or Airbnb, always ask whether any extra fees are involved.