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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Smart Ways to Spot Hidden Fees on Vacation

Sometimes, when you are on a vacation, not everything will likely go as planned. As a matter of fact, many consumers these days spend more than they expected for airline travel and hotel stays. This is because sometimes they were scammed, other times because they didn't read the fine print on a company website.

Some travel companies will try to lure their customers by low-balling prices of hotels, cruises and other travel expenses. According to Gabe Saglie, a blogger for retailer Travelzoo.com, most people are savvy enough to spot the obvious ones, so travel companies are getting better at things that inflate your price and they're becoming much more creative in their marketing. Saglie also added that some companies fail to disclose fees and taxes, or they will advertise a low price on one leg of the trip but charge a higher fare for the return trip.

Meanwhile, when paying for airline travel, extra fees have become part of the deal. Virtually all carriers charge extra for some things like fees for checking baggage but such fees don't appear as part of the base fare when you buy a ticket.

Meanwhile, cruises are another potential minefield for extra charges that add up. Alcohol and shore excursions are typically not included in the price. Those extra fees don't stop even after you reach your destination.

On the other hand, hotels, particularly upscale ones, are taking a page out of the airlines' strategy book and charging a "resort fee." This might be explained as a payment for using the pool and gym, but it's usually not optional. Some hotels also add fees for a second daily housekeeping visit or turndown services while others will charge fees for checking out early.

Some vacationers wishing to avoid hotels are drawn to timeshares. However, unscrupulous operators will contact owners and tell them they've been defrauded by the developer, then offer to help them get out of their timeshares from under their payments. But this is for a fee, of course. So, those are some of the common hidden fees during a vacation. If you are planning to go for a vacation, you know how to spot one.

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