Anyone planning to travel – for either business or pleasure purposes – will have to pay for the privilege in some way. Airfare, rental cars, lodging, dining and other incidental expenses all add up. There’s also no reason why you have to pay more than is absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, travelers often find themselves burdened with certain extra fees and surcharges, and these can put a serious, but avoidable, dent in one’s wallet.
While preparing for their next vacation or corporate trip, travelers should take the time to identify common situations in which unwanted fees can arise, and determine whether they can be avoided or reduced.
Credit card and ATM fees
According to Fox News, using credit cards abroad can lead to fees as high as 3 percent per transaction. The specific fees vary by provider, and some card companies or banks offer cards that don’t come with such surcharges. Consulting your creditor or financial institution immediately to review the terms of your fees is highly recommended. Additionally, ABC News reports that ATM withdrawals in foreign countries may come with fees as high as $5 per transaction.
You can avoid this by withdrawing cash in advance and using it for the majority of your transactions, or seeking out an institution that has low or no fees.
Rental car surcharges
Fox News states that some cities levy substantial taxes and fees for renting cars at their airports, sometimes as much as $8 per day, and they can sometimes be hard to find in the fine print of the rental agreement. The best way to circumvent this fee is to choose an agency location within the city you’re visiting, rather than the airport, to pick up the vehicle – somewhat less convenient, but almost certainly cheaper.
According to ABC News, the rates paid to exchange currency vary depending on where you go – and some common choices for travelers can be unnecessarily expensive. The news source points out airports and hotels as having particularly unenviable charges, and even using one’s local bank can be expensive. It may be wise to consider exchanging your money for foreign currency at a local bank within the country you’re visiting, or doing advance research and determining whether ATM withdrawals are more ideal.
As always, be sure to bring international calling cards to avoid unnecessary fees when calling friends and loved ones back home.