5 Hidden Vacation Costs

Travel is expensive enough these days, well before you add in those last-minute expenses. Just look at the airport: checked-baggage fees, pay-per-view in-flight movies, and pricey airline snacks are just a few of the extras that add up. Before you know it, your vacation just got a bit less relaxing. When planning your next getaway, watch for these common but tricky charges.

Baggage Holding Not long ago, if you arrived at your hotel before check-in or wanted to extend your vacation past checkout most hotels held your bags as a courtesy. Those days are over. Hotels are cashing in on the luggage you leave behind for a few extra hours. Expect to shell out as much as $5 per bag to get the hotel to hold it for you.
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Beach Passes Choosing a cheaper hotel off the beach may not be as penny-wise as you'd think. Private beaches often charge for entry, and non-guests can also incur hefty fees just to use another hotel's pool. Find out if the beaches near your hotel are public or private before booking a room.
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Hotel Fees Hotels are notorious for tacking on fees for everything from bottled water to an extra pool towel. Hotels made $1.75 billion in fees alone last year, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. Didn't use the hotel gym or business center? Carefully review your itemized bill, then ask if they'll remove charges for unused perks.
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All-Inclusive Deals Booking an all-inclusive package means you can relax and stuff yourself silly without worrying about the cost of every meal. But all-inclusive rarely delivers on the promise. It may say drinks included, but omit alcohol from the bargain. Some packages limit you to one dining facility only. If you want to sample the hotel's other cuisine, you'll have to pay for it. Be sure to ask what the all-inclusive deal doesn't include.
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Rental Car Insurance If you're planning on being your own tour guide, you'll probably need a rental car to do it. Most renters agree to the optional car insurance thinking it's better to be safe than sorry. True, but you may be just as safe without it. In most cases, your personal car insurance extends to rental cars as well-check your policy first. No car back home? Then it's a good idea to buy what they're selling.
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How do you keep your vacation costs down? What travel expenses do you watch out for?


Reprinted with Permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.