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Read Part One Here: Travel Fees and How to Avoid Them
It’s been my experience that frequent flier programs are not all that.
Be careful when it comes to using frequent flyer programs, because they sometimes impose fees on your supposed free flights. These could include a fuel charge, airport fees, and redemption charges when you cash in the miles. #Fail
Whats a fuel charge?
Fuel surcharges are another tricky fee to avoid. They are often tacked onto your frequent flyer miles, and to small children who don’t take up a seat. International flights will be the most expensive. It pays to compare costs carefully. The cheap fare you see may not be so cheap after all if the airline imposes fuel surcharges or other hidden fees.
Most of the so called budget airlines will stick you will a $35 and up bag fee (each way) if you want to bring more than just a carry-on bag. As one of my friends points out this is the “Fly Naked” deal. Its cheap airfare if you don’t need more than a backpack, but if you are spending anytime anywhere your gonna need luggage and you will end up paying for that privilege.
So if you plan on a trip longer than a few days, you will be adding a bag and a charge to the ticket price. But pack lightly, and beware overweight baggage fees. Over the limit fees can be exorbitant!
If you are checking a bag, avoid adding even more fees by making sure you don’t over-pack. Weigh your luggage before you leave to avoid any surprises.
Other fees on budget airlines you may be tempted to opt for are priority boarding and seat upgrades.
Personally being 5’9 I usually buy extend leg room, unless it is more than the ticket, (yes, I’ve seen that). But priority boarding, if I have an assigned seat isn't an issue and can add another $10 - $25 per ticket, depending on the airlines. The only downside is you may not be able to put your luggage in the bin over your seat. But is that worth $25 to you?
Personally I’d rather board towards the end, walk to my seat and take off, rather than sit for 10-15 minutes while people push by. But that’s totally up to you.
Car Rental Fees
When renting a car, check to make sure the fee includes everything, with no added extras. Remember that your credit card will offer travel protection for collisions, so you might not need additional insurance. But it is always wise to call your credit card company before your trip to see if you have limited coverage out of state or out of country.
I was picking up a car at Heathrow (London airport) and witnessed an American woman crying over the fact she thought she was covered until her insurance company found the international loop hole and she was on the hook for an extra $10,000USD in damages from the rental company. #TrueStory
Also beware key replacement, alternate drop-off locations, taxes and fuel surcharges can all be tacked on to the final car rental bill. Picking up a car in one state and dropping off in another usually cost me an extra $200USD. #AlsoTrueStory
And there will also be a charge if the gas tank isn't at the level you picked it up at. It is always more affordable to top it off yourself, rather than opting for them to fill it for you.
Next time we will discuss accommodations and the hidden fees of some hotels and vacation rentals. Think those fees are small? I’ve seen hotel parking in New Orleans for an astonishing $45 a day! Along with holiday house fees you might not know about.
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