Travel is a luxury—flights, hotels, restaurants and other venues and activities cost quite a bit, especially for families and groups. Understandably, unexpected costs can add financial stress when the budget has already been stretched thin on such things. While there will always be unexpected expenses, there are a few common surprise fees that you can anticipate.
Whether you drive yourself to the airport, train station or destination, you’ll need somewhere to park your vehicle. Some major transportation hubs cost upwards of $50 per day. If you leave your vehicle for a week or more, expect a hefty bill when you return. Likewise, street parking can add up in foreign cities; costs can range from change to bills. Thankfully, most hotels offer free parking.
ATM fees sting locally but abroad…they can be a tremendous blow. Transaction fees are bad enough without exchange rates mixed into the equation. Liberal use of cash dispensers can equal several percent of your total spend.
Travellers rarely budget for souvenirs. Furthermore, many people buy unnecessarily overpriced souvenirs from tourist shops, believing these to be the greatest mementos. This is rarely the case. The best souvenirs are those with function and meaning—things not conventionally labelled as travel memorabilia.
If your travel insurance does not cover illness and accidents, expect to spend a fortune on medical attention outside your country of residence.
Most travellers bring their electronic devices everywhere. Although many establishments do offer free Wi-Fi these days, using cellular networks outside a carrier’s domestic coverage can translate into steep roaming charges. Thankfully, carriers do alert you when you’ve left their zone, so you have the chance to disable SMS and data functionality to avoid these fees.