Unexpected Travel Expenses to Avoid

Travel is a lot of things. It’s fun, exciting, and even educational. Oh, and did I mention it’s often expensive?

It doesn’t matter if you’re planning a weekend in Canada to look at Calgary homes for sale or organizing a month-long vacation in Europe to backpack across the continent: however much you think it’s going to cost you, it’ll probably end up costing more.

Here are five tricky travel expenses to be aware of, lest you want to wind up washing dishes for a bus ticket home.

Airline Baggage Fees

Traveling by air may be quick and convenient, but it can also be pricey and confusing. The farther you’re going, the more likely it is that you’ll have to take multiple flights from multiple airlines. And each of those airlines has different baggage requirements. If your bag is too large or too heavy or if you have too many of them, you could get slapped with higher handling fees. Some budget lines don’t offer any free checked luggage at all, adding one more expense on top of your airfare.

Hotel Amenity Fees

Room and board aren’t free. You know that. That’s why you made sure to find a hotel with a manageable price that you can afford. Except, uh-oh, you didn’t take into account that the hotel in question charges extra for Wi-Fi access, “offers” obligatory valet parking, and doesn’t even come with a complimentary continental breakfast. If you want to avoid falling victim to hidden fees, research where you’re staying ahead of time by reading reviews and paying attention to amenities are and aren’t included with your room.

ATM/Debit Card Fees

What’s the only thing worse than spending too much money? Spending too much money just to spend even more money. If you’re traveling for a short period of time, hit your local ATM before you hit the road and take out as much money as you think you’ll need for your trip, plus a little extra. If you’re traveling for a longer period, consider getting an international travel card to avoid exorbitant withdrawal and purchase fees.

Currency Exchange Fees

Speaking of spending money to spend money, if you’re traveling to someplace that uses a different currency than the one you’re used to, you’ll probably have to exchange some of your cash. This service isn’t free, however, so if you don’t check an online currency converter ahead of time, you might end up paying way too much considering what your money is actually worth.

Cell Phone Roaming Fees

When you’re visiting a new city, state, or country, having a cell phone on you at all times can be a life-saver. If you’re not careful, though, it can also be a bank account-drainer. If you don’t want your jaw to hit the floor the next time your phone bill comes due, turn off roaming and switch to making calls over Wi-Fi. Better yet, if you have an “unlocked” phone, you can buy a sim card at your destination that comes with its own local telephone number and network.