Plane tickets for your family of five? Check. Your hotel bill for 3 days? Check. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner expenses? Check. Emergency funds should you lose your wallet during your trip? I bet you missed that one.
When traveling, it’s not uncommon to run out of cash and wonder, “where did I go wrong? Are there any expenses I forgot to budget for?” Avoid these inconvenient travel surprises by planning for these commonly missed travel expenses prior to your much-awaited vacation.
1. Expensive food + Unplanned Dining
Who forgets to include food in their travel budget? Nobody. You may have planned where to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, for the next three days. However, many people fail to budget PROPERLY for food.
What if the restaurant you’re expecting to visit is closed and you end up eating at a more expensive place? What if you have a long layover or flight delay causing you to spend money on costly airport food? Or you’re forced to buy those expensive theme park snacks your children are crying about? A lot could happen, so it’s better to be prepared just in case.
Next to reserving enough cash for these, you can also look for local grocery stores near your hotel to purchase cheap yet healthy food choices.
2. Transportation Costs
Before going to your destination, research how you’ll get around the city and how much public transportation costs. The last thing you’d want to happen is burning your cash for expensive taxi rates just so you can get back to your hotel in Dublin because you don’t know that leap cards for Dublin buses exist.
3. Foreign Transaction Fees
Using your credit and debit cards abroad? You may encounter foreign fees, which can quickly add up if you use your cards a lot. Seasoned travelers suggest using a card with no foreign transaction fees. It’s also necessary to call your bank and inform them beforehand of your traveling plans.
4. Flight and Baggage Fees
Another common situation most travelers fall for: snagging an amazing deal on a plane ticket only to find that they must pay baggage fees.
To enjoy a stress-free trip, check the airline website to see if there are baggage fees so you can pack accordingly. Sometimes it’s nice to have a price tag attached to overpacking so you can pack lightly and smartly. Other fees you may unexpectedly encounter include terminal fees, Wi-Fi costs, and food and beverage purchases.
5. Parking Fees
Fuel costs aren’t the only vehicle-related expense to be concerned about – parking feels can also put a dent on your wallet. If your prospect hotel doesn’t provide free parking, you can either find ones that do OR use Google street view for nearby parking garages that have more affordable fees.
6. Hidden Lodging Fees
Before booking a hotel, always read the fine print. Make sure you have a clear understanding of the things that are included in the hotel rate and the ones you need to pay extra for.
7. Mobile Data Charges
Connectivity, from contacting your family back home to posting about your travel experiences on social media, is a necessity. But what if you’re abroad? If you’re not careful, your smartphone may connect to the local international provider in your destination and you’ll find yourself charged with exorbitant fees.
Instead of paying cellular fees, check your hotel’s Wi-Fi. You can also find cafes, restaurants, and other establishments, offering free internet connectivity.
8. Spontaneous Travel Activities
Spontaneity isn’t cheap. You may be tempted to go and see every attraction for the love of being too adventurous.
Budget properly for amusement or activities. Instead of wasting money on attractions alone, it’s a smart move to balance it out and include free or cheap attractions, like museum passes or free walking tours.
9. Items you forgot to bring
Toiletries, proper clothing, sunscreen, footwear for beach hopping, and goggles rental – you wouldn’t believe how these small items can break your budget, so make sure you double-check your packing list.
10. Souvenir Shopping
Let’s be honest – “I won’t buy tacky souvenirs and other unnecessary stuff” is easier said than done, especially when you come across a local marketplace, selling unique and authentic items. Those small magnets, shirts, bags, shot glasses, key chains, and handicrafts you bought, however, can blow up our budget. Worse, your baggage fees.
11. Emergency Expenses
Expenses for unanticipated, unfortunate events can arise when you’re on vacation. Situations like getting an injury, missing your flight and paying out of pocket for the next, and getting robbed can ruin your supposedly happy vacation. It’s important to leave some wiggle room in your budget for expenses like these, or have different modes of payment, should you run out of cash.
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is one of the travel-savvy writers for IMI Residence Dublin, a modern hotel offering leisure travelers affordable and exceptional accommodation in Dublin Ireland. This frugal young lady believes that traveling shouldn’t be expensive. She loves sharing money-saving hacks on lodging, traveling, and dining.