The white sand, blue water, all attract visitors looking for a getaway. But that time away, appears to be chipping away at your budget.
But catching a deal isn’t always easy, thanks to charges, you may not have planned on. “The last four or five years, we’ve seen quite a big increase,” says Bob Diener, who has spent 26 years in the travel industry, and heads up the travel website, getaroom.com. “There’s so much pressure on hotels, car rental companies, airlines, and cruise lines to keep their rates low, they have to find other sources of income so they have to be very, very creative,” Diener says.
Add-on’s, some believe, have become the solution. Charges like the resort fee, which Diener says can be between $25-$35 a night, and covers housekeeping, tips and use of facilities. Towels can be extra, along with access to the gym. If you want to log onto the web, Diener says hotels charge up to $25 a night. And then there’s parking, “it’s not unusual to find parking charges of $30, $40 a night to park your car,” Diener says. Add on those fees to make a call, send a fax or watch a movie.
Diener says you can avoid add-ons by joining the hotel’s frequent stay program, and might even get a free newspaper, breakfast, access to the gym, or other upgrades. Also, opt for using your cell phone rather than making a call from your room phone. The bottom line, always make sure to speak up if there’s a fee for something you didn’t use.