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4 Hidden Hotel Costs To Watch Out For When You Travel


kevgardner83

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Who doesn't love staying in a nice hotel when you're on vacation or traveling for business? Soft pillows, luxury showers, and a range of other amenities, not to mention cleanup service, are all excellent benefits. There is one major problem when it comes to staying in hotels, though. Many of them charge hidden fees that make your stay more expensive than you anticipate. The next time you're traveling, keep an eye out for these hidden hotel costs.

 

1. Parking Fees

While a lot of hotel chains offer free parking lots, many boutique hotels, bed and breakfasts, and other privately owned hotels do not. Even chains that usually offer free parking may not if you're staying in a downtown location in a large city. If you're using a hotel that has a valet, you'll be expected to pay a fee for the service as well as to tip the valet drivers. Even if you self-park, you can expect to pay $25 a night or more in some garages. The best idea is to ask the hotel what its parking policy is or to stay at an option such as Island Cay at Clearwater Beach, which makes its fees known upfront.

 

2. Early Check-In Fees

If you plan to arrive at your hotel early in the day, it is a good idea to ask if it charges a fee for early check-in. Most hotels have a check-in time of around 3:00 p.m. While some are happy to accommodate people who want to check in early as long as they have advance notice, others will charge a fee. If you don't want to pay extra, or if you show up early unexpectedly and your room isn't ready, ask your hotel if it will hold your bags until you do check in. Many are happy to do so, leaving you free to explore or grab lunch while you wait for your room to be ready.

 

3. Internet Fees

If your hotel's website doesn't explicitly say that the wireless internet is free for guests to use, it is a good idea to ask what the specific policy is. Many hotels charge either a one-time flat fee or a daily fee for guests to use the WiFi. Consider how you're booking the room as well. A hotel's website may say it provides free internet access but that may be limited to guests who book through the site itself. Those who use third-party booking websites may not receive the same perk.

 

4. Resort Fees

If you're staying at a resort during your vacation, you might find that you need to pay resort fees. Typically, resorts charge these fees nightly on top of what your advertised room rate was. They could be anywhere from a few bucks to nearly $100 extra dollars per night. While they are typically used to maintain spas, workout facilities, and other high-end amenities, that doesn't necessarily mean that you should have to pay them.

Ask the resort about its fees in advance and whether you'll need to pay fees for services that you don't use. If the answer is "no," be sure to check your bill thoroughly for discrepancies when you're leaving. Don't think you're in the clear if you aren't staying at a resort, either. An increasing number of chain hotels and motels are charging "resort fees" for services you probably won't even use, such as making phone calls or reading newspapers.

 

If you're like most people, you've saved and budgeted for your vacation to ensure you have the best time possible. Don't let hidden fees ruin your good time. Always read the fine print when you're booking your accommodations, and never pay your hotel bill without reading over an itemized list of what you're being charged for first. This helps to ensure that you aren't met with any unexpected costs.

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