Avoid Paying Unnecessary Fees When You Travel

Traveling is expensive; there’s no way around it. But that doesn’t mean you have to fall prey to the hidden costs and extra surprise charges. There are ways to avoid unnecessary fees that can come along while you’re traveling, so here are a few ways you can avoid the problem.
When you’re at the car rental agency desk and are asked if you want to buy their insurance, you can politely answer with a confident “no, thank you,” as long as you know that your standard car insurance policy covers rental cars (check with your agent to be sure). Also, some credit cards provide insurance for rental cars as well, like American Express.
Hunger strikes when you’re least prepared, and it seems like the only option available would be the overpriced airport and hotel food. Not true! Since you know you get hungry approximately three times a day, whether traveling or not, avoid that $3 bottle of water by packing your own empty one, and filling it at the water fountain. Better yet, fill it from the bottle-filling stations if available.
Also, snacks purchased from a nearby grocery store or convenience store will still be cheaper than the minibar or airport restaurant. Pick up some trailmix, peanuts, or dried fruit, or even regular fruit, to pack into your carry-on bag.
Another way to avoid a surprise charge is to carefully check your restaurant and hotel bills before you leave. If you find an error, it can be quickly and easily corrected at that moment. Please, be polite when you point out the error.
If you need to withdraw cash from an ATM during your trip, there may be a transaction fee if you’re not a customer of that bank (and a second one from your bank for the same reason). And if you’re traveling internationally, a quick call to your bank beforehand will alert them that you’ll be out of the country. That way, they won’t freeze your account because they think your charges are fraudulent.
A little planning before you travel will help you come home with more money — at least, more of your own.
Do you have other ways to avoid getting nickel-and-dimed while you’re on the road? Share them with us in the comments below, on our Facebook page, or in our Twitter stream.
Photo credit: SkitterPhoto (Pexels, Creative /CC0)