Now that the summer heat is here, it's time to plan that perfect getaway. But before you book your flights and pack your suitcases, Arizona AAA reveals the biggest hidden travel fees and how to avoid them this summer.
1) Most airlines will charge $200 if a flight had to be changed, plus the difference in fare. If your plans get sidetracked, save a headache and buy travel insurance for your plane tickets. It can help with change fees or fare increases.
2) Most airlines have baggage fee policies and weight limits, usually about 50 pounds. If you're packing heavy, prepay your baggage fees and save money and hassle.
3) Hotels are full of hidden fees. Parking can reach $30 a day and Internet access could reach $20. Avoid these by doing your research and choosing a hotel based on your needs. Choose one with free Internet access if needed and know what your transportation adds up to.
4) When traveling abroad, most credit cards charge a transaction fee of 1 to 3%. Before leaving home, call your company to let them know you'll be abroad and see what fees they charge. If you have multiple cards, use the one with the lowest rate. If all else fails, bring extra cash.
5) Changing currency when you've landed abroad holds different costs as well. Banks are usually less expensive to change money than hotels or exchange counters. If you need to withdraw a lot at once, ATMs sometimes have better rates. But remember you may have to pay double fees- one from the ATM and one from your home bank.
6) If a cruise is your vacation of choice, read your bar tab carefully. The cruise line usually factors in a 15 to 18% gratuity so there's no need for you to tip additionally.
7) Planning an excursion during your cruise? Pre-book through a travel agent or a website other than the cruise line's. Good deals are out there, and finding them beforehand will secure your spot and possibly save a few dollars.