Travel Tip #22: Hidden and unexpected costs on holiday
Monday, July 28, 2014
When planning a trip one tends to incur many additional costs. The Flight-Delayed team had composed a list of hidden and unexpected costs to make sure you are not suddenly unpleasantly confronted later on during your trip.
Additional luggage costs
Since the beginning of 2014 onwards many airlines have begun to charge extra for check-in luggage. This also applies to passengers with only one piece of check-in luggage. Check-in costs vary and depend on the airline. When booking your flight there is always an option of pre-booking check-in luggage. This is definitely recommendable as it is mostly cheaper than at the airport. Make sure to weigh your luggage at home to ensure that you do not exceed the maximum baggage allowance. This avoids unpleasant surprises at the airport as excess luggage can be extremely costly. Again, this also depends on the airline.
Get a visa
Some countries require you to purchase a visa upon arrival. Prices vary, while a visa in Turkey for instance costs around € 20, - a visa for Egypt is about € 13. Make sure to bring sufficient cash as you will have to pay immediately after landing. Some countries however, such as the U.S, require you to apply online in advance. In this particular case you will need a credit card. Make sure to check online on trusted websites for more information about visa and entry requirements.
Paying by card abroad
Withdrawing money abroad often also implies extra costs. Many banks offer free cash withdrawals within the Eurozone. While, travelling outside the Eurozone your bank may charge a “foreign currency fee”. In order to avoid these extra costs make sure to bring cash with you and exchange it in the destination country, or exchange currencies at your local bank before your trip.
If you need cash, make sure that you are using a legitimate ATM. In the case that your card is “swallowed” you should be able to contact the respective bank.
Did you know: Many banks automatically restrict your bank card for use within Europe only. If you are planning to travel outside of Europe, make sure to pay your bank a visit in order to deactivate this restriction.
When it comes to airports it is a common belief that airports carrying the same name as the destination city are automatically in close vicinity. This however is not always the case, especially when it comes to budget airlines that often target airports located further outside the city. What you might save on your flight, you might end up paying in transport costs. Make sure to check the exact distance between the airport and the city centre before you book. Also keep in mind that public transport may not operate during the night or in the early morning hours. Should you decide to take a taxi, make sure to check the rates and distances to avoid being ripped off.
Even if you spend your holiday in your own country you may still encounter unforeseen costs. These come for instance in the form of additional tourist taxes which are usually charged at hotels, hostels and other respective establishments. The tax percentage is determined by each city/municipality and was implemented in cities/areas with high amounts of tourists. The tax is then spent on maintenance for instance the cleaning of streets/ beaches and other areas that are highly frequented by tourists.
The rules for tipping vary from country to country. In countries like the US for instance, salaries depend heavily on tips and it is customary to tip at least 10% of the bill. Every service is rewarded with a tip. Whether it’s the taxi driver or the concierge who assists with your luggage, nothing comes for free. In many restaurants a gratuity fee is automatically added to you bill. In other countries however, tipping can be offensive. Examples are Japan, Vietnam and Singapore.
It would be wise to check the rules of tipping before your trip.
Renting an apartment can turn out to be more expensive than you might have thought. Not only that you have to pay a deposit at the beginning when you arrive or book, you also have to pay cleaning costs. Mostly you have to option to chose whether you want to pay up to 70 € for the cleaning or whether you want to do the work yourself, but landlords are picky and might withdraw a missed spot from the deposit. Furthermore you can pay extra for towels or bedsheets. If you can, you should bring your own.
If an incident happens abroad, this can turn out to be extremely expensive. Before you go abroad you should think about purchasing a travel insurance. If you have to be transported with the ambulance and you stay at a hospital, the costs for that can run up to a few thousand euros. This is why you better check what expenses your insurance covers and what not. A travel insurance can come handy though.
This link allows you to check how good your insurance is: