When you budget for a family vacation or even just a quick weekend in another city, you might discover that the money you actually need is far more than what you originally planned. Normal travel expenses – such as hotels, rental cars, food and souveniers – are are often just the tip of the iceburg. Keep reading to learn more about hidden travel expenses that you might encounter on the road or in the air.
Hidden Travel Expenses: Restaurants
When you’re traveling, you usually eat out for just about every single meal, which is something you’ve probably already included in your travel budget. However, have you thought of the other expenses that you might incur while eating out? First, there’s the tip, which can often be large for a 4+ member family. You also have valet fees and tips if you are dining at a fancy restaurant. You should also factor in extra money if you plan on drinking alcoholic beverages, which can add significantly to your final bill.
Hidden Travel Expenses: Airports
When traveling by air, you’ll remember to include airfare in your traveling budget, but what about the other costs that you will inevitably have at the airport? First, if one of the airport employees handles your family’s bags, they normally expect a tip. Next, you have parking fees, which are often in excess of $13.00/day if you want to house your car in the airport parking lot. If you use a nearby parking lot (which is cheaper) you will still owe between $2.00 and $10.00 per day, plus a tip for the driver who shuttles you to and from the airport. And don’t even get me started on products and foods you might purchase in the airport lounge.
Hidden Travel Expenses: Hotels
Although you’ve probably considered the price of a hotel, there are other fees you might incur during your stay. If you make a long-distance call home, the cost of that call will be added to your bill, and it is likely higher than the average going rate for long-distance charges. Then you have a concierge service; if you use it, you’ll need to tip the concierge. Room service is another expense if you decide you just don’t want to leave the hotel one evening. The mini-bar will be stacked with goodies that cost an arm and a leg and be careful about renting movies from the hotel’s television service.
Hidden Travel Expenses: Rental Cars
If you’re renting a car during your travels in another city, the rental fees are just the start of the money you might wind up parting with. First, there’s gasoline, which continues to be a major budget-buster. Then, if you happen to inflict any damage on the vehicle, you’ll be responsible for those damages. Parking fees in large cities can be expensive if you are driving to an event or business conference, and remember that some rental car companies require that you drive a minimum distance or risk paying extra mileage costs.
Hidden Travel Expenses: Entertainment
And finally, entertainment while traveling carries its own brand of hidden expenses. Hoping to play a round of golf at the hotel? Don’t forget to add in the cost of the cart, a caddie and golf balls. Looking forward to taking in a play? You’ll need to tip the valet. The kids want to visit the water park? Don’t forget about food, tube rentals and ride prices. Entertainment is packed with hidden expenses you don’t even consider.