Fees Take the Fun Out of Traveling
When you are planning your trip you are excited because you got the super duper money saving ticket, but when you start your trip you realize that your super duper money saving ticket isn't all it's cracked up to be because of all the fees that are imposed when you travel.
#1.) Checked Baggage Fees. Obviously, most airlines now charge twenty to thirty bucks for each bag you check on a domestic flight.
You can avoid it by carrying on, or fly Southwest or JetBlue next time. Southwest lets you check two bags for free, and JetBlue lets you check one. And be careful if you fly Spirit Airlines, because they charge for checked bags AND carry-ons, unless your carry-on fits under the seat in front of you.
#2.) Hotel Room Wi-Fi. "Travel and Leisure" says that hotels charge an average of $24 a day to have wireless Internet in your room. But a lot of the same hotels offer it for free in the lobby.
And if you travel a lot, it might be cheaper to sign up for a wireless card with your cell phone company. Or, some smartphones can plug into your computer and act as a modem. It's called 'tethering.'
Another option is to sign up for the hotel's customer loyalty program. Big hotel chains like Fairmont and Hyatt offer members all kinds of perks, including free in-room Wi-Fi.
#3.) Priority Boarding. First class passengers always board before coach, but for a small fee between $8 and $20, some airlines let coach passengers board too.
But it's basically pointless, because the only real perk is you get first access to the overhead bins. And if you DON'T pay for priority boarding, the worst thing that can happen is your carry-on gets checked. Travel and Leisure has come up with a list of fees, how to watch for them and avoid them.
#4.) Being Charged More for a Better Seat in Coach. Most airlines give you 31 or 32 inches of legroom. But a handful of seats have a few more inches and airlines charge between fifty and 100 dollars extra for them.
Delta's new seats offer four more inches of legroom and cost $160 extra each way. Unfortunately, there's not much you can do about it if you need the extra legroom.
Either pay for it, or check the website SeatGuru.com to look for an airline that offers a few more inches for free.
#5.) Buying Insurance for Your Rental Car. If you already have car insurance, you probably don't need it. And if you use a credit card, that might cover it too.
The one time you DEFINITELY need to pay for insurance is when you're traveling abroad. Regular car insurance usually doesn't cover you when you're outside the U.S. and Canada.
#6.) In-Flight Charges. A lot of airlines charge $8 for a pillow and blanket, and between one to five dollars for headphones. The easiest solution is to bring your own. They'll be more comfortable anyway.