Five Hidden Costs That Can Annihilate Your Vacation Budget
1. CRUISES: Tipping. Everyone gets a tip from cabin stewards to wait staff. It is automatically added to your bill and can add up to $300 for a 10-day cruise (on average). Knowing this allows folks to add this into their budget so they are not shocked at their final tab. Or opt for a cruise where tipping is included, such as Holland America Cruise Lines.
2. HOTEL AND RESORTS: Taxes. These can be as much as 18%. There is nothing you can do but be prepared and budget accordingly. Another thing that can get patrons is beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic). Margaritas and sodas are pricey and can add up quick per diem.
3. CRUISES: Port charges and excursions. Port fees average $500pp and are often not included in the advertised rate.Neither are excursions that are not included in the package.
4. FLIGHTS: Surcharges, Surcharges, Surcharges. Airlines call them anxilliary fees and they include security fees, airport taxes, aisle seats, extra legroom seats, baggage fees, early boarding, etc. Be sure you understand the FINAL cost of your ticket. This can easily add an extra $100 or more to your ticket cost.
5. CAR: Parking. There is a fee for airport parking and for parking in the lots or garages at most hotels in major cities or resort areas. The rate for hotels is generally $10 – $20 a day plus tips (never opt for valet parking as it is double the self-parking rate) and airports vary according to the city and whether you choose long term or satellite parking. Satellite parking will cost half of what parking at the airport will cost and there is a free shuttle that runs from the parking lot to the airport. Another option is to leave your car at an airport hotel. If you stay at least one night in a nearby hotel, they will often let you leave your car in their garage for a week or two at a rate that is usually much cheaper than airport parking.
By capping these “hidden costs,” you’ll be able to splurge on souvenirs and mojitos.