Avoiding sneaky summer travel fees

Secret Fees

(CNN/KYTX) -  Memorial Weekend is here, and that means the start of summer travel for a lot of us.  If a hotel stay is on your itinerary, be mindful of what might end up on your bill at checkout.  

Valet parking, internet, breakfast, or in-room movies.  

"We do try to get the free breakfast whenever we do travel to hotels."

Debbie Tarry says she's gotten smart about fees that pop up on vacation.
"If you're a traveler, you find that out real quick."
  
There are fees that can catch guests by surprise at checkout. Like the airline industry, the hotel industry is getting more savvy about the conveniences guests are willing to pay for, even if they've been free in the past. According to New York University, hotels collected an estimated $2.1 billion in fees and surcharges from guests last year- almost double the amount collected in 2000.

"And, they will hide them from you." says Tarry.

Consumer Reports says unexpected charges can include the following:
  • Resort fees for athletic facilities and more, whether guests use them or not.
  • Fees for an early arrival or late check-out
  • Stowing luggage before check-in or after check-out.
  • In-room snacks and water that may appear to be complimentary, until you read the fine print. 
"They do have hidden fees. And, you do have to research that." says Tarry.

In some cases, avoiding fees can be as simple as joining a hotel chain's loyalty program, where perks can include waivers of things like late check-out and in-room snacks. In others, hotels will bundle perks like in-room movies, activity fees, and breakfast as part of special room rates, so look for those packages when booking a stay.

"The economy, the way it is, we look for all ways to save money."

Tarry says that's a lesson she's handed down to her children.
"They've learned to do that. And, you can't be that extravagant in these days. So, it's- it's a good way to live."


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