Congratulations. You’ve paid for your flight and hotel, and now you’re all set for your vacation. But not so fast, wannabe world traveler — there are plenty of other things for you to consider that could put a dent in your pocketbook while out on your excursion.
The cost of transportation can come in many forms, depending on the type of vacation. If you’re renting a car, the fees are fairly straightforward, but don’t forget to account for car rental insurance.
If you’re not renting a car, the cost of transportation could be something you have to deal with on a daily basis. The most expensive transport will likely be to and from the airport to the hotel at the beginning and end of your trip. Check with your hotel to see if it has a free airport shuttle or discounted pickup service.
Also, unless you plan on walking everywhere, you’ll need to plan for spending money on getting around whatever city you’re in. This could include taxi fares and tips, subway tokens, metro cards or bus fare. Savvy travelers will have a plan in place for how they will move around their vacation destination.
Your money is your money, so it shouldn’t cost you any more money, right? Wrong.
Even when you’re not on vacation you can spend plenty on accessing your own money, and the most common example are transaction fees at ATMs. This is no different while on vacation, so be prepared to pony up for access to cash.
The costs will build even faster if you’re traveling internationally, given the price for exchanging currency. There is an upfront fee for exchanging currency, but it’s often worth it to have cash on hand rather than using your credit card during the trip.
That said, a credit card is always an option, but be sure to check with your credit card company first. There are often international fees for each time you use your card, so see if it makes more sense to use your card for each transaction or if a cash advance for a one-time fee would be better.
Using your cell phone overseas while avoiding over-the-top roaming fees is definitely an art.
First, there’s no doubt you’ll want to share photos from your trip on the likes of Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, but roaming data charges can make your phone bill grow quickly. The key is to do so when your phone is connected to Wi-Fi. This is fairly straightforward while you’re at your hotel, but don’t be afraid to ask for Wi-Fi passwords in other locations such as restaurants or museums.
Texting can also lead to international fees, so try to send your friends and family messages through non-SMS services such as WhatsApp or Snapchat while your phone is connected to Wi-Fi.
Making an actual call can be the most expensive option when traveling internationally, so either pay for an international calling card or see if your device and service provider offer Wi-Fi calling for free calls while connected to the internet.
You know the cost of your flight and hotel upfront, but beware of any extra fees you may encounter along the way. This is particularly true if you’re taking a cruise.
If you’re not taking a cruise, you may still run into resort fees at hotels, even if you’re traveling domestically. For example, many spots in Las Vegas are notorious for charging resort fees that fatten your final bill.
One of the easiest things to forget while traveling internationally is the amount of money it costs to exit the country you’re visiting.
Not all countries have these so-called departure taxes, but many do, so check ahead of time and include the cost in your travel budget. Nowadays many countries work their departure taxes into the cost of airfares, but some do not.
In addition, some countries require you to pay these departure taxes in cash while at the airport, so make sure not to spend every cent you have before heading back for home.