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Don’t Forget To Factor In These 10 Travel Expenses When Planning Your Next Trip
By Kelsey Marie
Planning and budgeting for a trip is pretty straightforward. You know you’ll need to allocate funds to airfare, accommodations, dining out, fun attractions, and maybe souvenirs. However, it’s the overlooked expenses that tend to add up and blow your budget.
Being able to identify travel expenses that go under the radar will ensure you never go over your budget while traveling.
Here are 10 often overlooked travel expenses:
Depending on which country you’re visiting, you can run into unexpected visa fees. Last November, I went to Rwanda and before I could enter the country, I had to pay a $30 visa fee.
If you’re visiting China, for example, you’ll have to go to a local embassy to get your visa. Not only will you be spending money on a visa, but you’ll also be paying for transportation to and from the embassy.
Getting travel insurance is always wise, especially when taking an international vacation. The good news is that most travel insurance policies can cost less than $100 and save you thousands in case of an emergency.
Foreign Transaction Fees
I am guilty of using my bank card when traveling. It’s just so much easier than carrying cash. I often incur foreign transaction fees and since they’re usually about 25 cents, I overlook them.
The problem is that these fees quickly add up and before you know it, you swiping (or my swiping, in this case) adds up to a significant amount.
Calling your bank beforehand to ask about foreign transaction fees can save you major bucks during travel.
Expensive Airport Food
We know budgeting for food on a vacation is essential but we often forget to budget for meals while en route to our destination.
If you have a long layover or flight delay, it’s likely you’re going to be spending money on food and airport food is costly!
One way to alleviate the stress of expensive airport food is by bringing your own snacks and meals to the airport.
Before departing your vacation destination, head to the local grocery store and pick up a few snacks for your flight back home.
Cell Phone Fees
Of course, you have to stay in contact with your friends, family, and Instagram followers while traveling, but don’t blow your budget to do so.
Prior to traveling, contact your cellphone provider and ask them about the best possible international plans.
You can also put your phone on airplane mode and rely on WiFi to stay connected with your people back home. I personally enjoy purchasing SIM cards in the countries I visit and getting a data bundle.
Sometimes getting an awesome deal on a flight ticket comes with a catch. Last summer I scored a roundtrip flight from NYC to Paris for $300. I was ecstatic until I got to the airport and had to pay $100 for my suitcase. I learned an important lesson that day: read the hidden baggage fees.
Also, if you overpack, expect to pay extra for your overweight luggage.
Ok, you’re now at your destination and find out about all these cool attractions that you didn’t know about prior to arriving. These things cost money but you want to have fun. Make sure to leave a little wiggle room in your budget for spontaneous moments.
There are often additional fees that come with staying in a hotel that may surprise you when receiving your bill. Some hotels have internet fees and room service costs.
Also, remember that the minibar costs money and isn’t just up for grabs.
Sometimes unexpected things happen — even on vacation. If you get sick or injured, expect to dish out cash for medicine or medical assistance. Having enough money set aside in case you have to book a flight home sooner than expected will save you major stress in the long run.
Did you know countries charge you to leave? While most countries include departure fees in your ticket, there are those, like Argentina, who don’t.
To find out departure fees for your vacation destination, the U.S. Department of State has got you.
Kelsey-Marie is an NYC girl who currently lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. You can keep up with her on Instagram at @kelseydashmarie