If you’re planning a trip and cost is the primary factor when you pick your accommodations, you may be inclined to choose the cheapest option you see. However, sorting results by price and picking what is listed as the lowest price may not always be the cheapest. A lot of hotels these days have fees that are somewhat hidden and not openly advertised, so be sure to look through the terms and conditions before booking so you know just how much you’ll be paying. If it’s unclear whether a certain service or amenity will cost money, ask the hotel directly. You may discover that the cheapest hotel isn’t actually that cheap once you tack on the extras, and you may have been able to book a nicer hotel for less money.
Next time you book a hotel, look out for some of the following extra fees:
Nicer hotels with a lot of amenities commonly charge daily resort fees, which include use of all the hotel’s amenities. This may include things like pool and gym use, sun beds, and so on; resort fees are most common in popular vacation destinations. Hotels that charge resort fees will impose these extra costs to all guests, regardless of whether you plan on using what those costs include. But if you don’t even plan on spending much time at the hotel and just need a place to stay, you may want to find a no-frills option that doesn’t provide these amenities (or doesn’t charge a resort fee).
If you plan on driving to the hotel you’re booking, you may want to avoid hotels that charge nightly rates for parking. In some cities, this may be an unavoidable expense, so you’ll want to compare each hotel’s parking fees when you make your booking decision. This can vary greatly by hotel, and it’s not uncommon for hotels in larger cities to charge anywhere from $30 to $50 extra per night for parking.
This may not be an issue if you won’t need Internet on your trip. But if you’re traveling for business or simply can’t go without Wi-Fi, keep in mind that some hotels will charge either a daily rate or an hourly rate. If you plan on being online a lot in your room, opt for a hotel that doesn’t charge extra for Internet—there are plenty of them out there.
A lot of people travel with their pets, and most major hotel chains these days accommodate travelers by allowing them to bring along their furry friends. But it usually means an additional expense. While rare, some pet-friendly hotels won’t charge extra for pets, or they will charge a deposit that is completely refundable. If you’re planning for an extended stay, this will likely be your best bet. On the other hand, some pet fees at hotels can be very expensive. Depending on how many pets you’re bringing and how long you’re staying, it can easily add hundreds of dollars to your trip cost.
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Nothing above is meant to provide financial, legal, or tax advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.