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Hidden travel charges - your stories

London, United...
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Hidden travel charges - your stories

Hi everyone, its James from the UK TripAdvisor press office here.

MSN Travel are preparing an article on the hidden costs associated with travel - everything from extra charges on flights, hotel booking fees, car hire costs, and credit card charges for use abroad.

They are looking to include people's real-life stories of being stung by these charges, and so we'd love to hear from you about your experience.

Have you ever been stung by large hidden charges? If so, what were they associated with?

Or do you have a tried and tested method for avoiding extra charges? If so, what tips and advice would you give to other travellers to help them do the same?

Cabarete, Dominican...
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for Cabarete
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1. Re: Hidden travel charges - your stories

Tips: never book a foreign airline ticket directly on their website or by phone!

Case in point, dial a US toll free number for Taca Airlines -- not only they won't tell you about their $35 fee for phone booking prior to your making your reservation, but their charge will go to your credit card from a call center in Panama--you'll be stuck with a foreign exchange fee when using most US credit cards. In fact, I even asked if the cost will be the same as booking on Expedia the same ticket. Their answer: of course!

A few credit cards carry no-foreign exchange fees, e.g., Capital One, Chase United Mileage Plus Explorer Card as well as British Airways, Hyatt, and Intercontinental Hotels card; Citibank (Premier and Prestige cards).

Tip: when renting a car overseas, check with your auto insurance company to see if you're covered. Read CAREFULLY your US credit cards auto rental coverage--usually the small print states that Liability is not covered. You don't want to drive abroad without liability!

Elk Rapids, Michigan
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for Lanai
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53 reviews
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2. Re: Hidden travel charges - your stories

Beware of exit taxes when leaving some countries. I know for sure India and the Dominican Republic have them. It is not widely known until you get ready to go and they hold out their hand for cash.

Coral Gables...
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3. Re: Hidden travel charges - your stories

I would mention departure taxes that many third world countries require be paid in cash directly to them at the aiport before you are allowed to leave. First world countries generally include taxes and fees in the ticket price that you pay up front. Often tourists are caught off guard and haven't kept enough currency on hand to pay- it can be a real hassle.

London
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50 reviews
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4. Re: Hidden travel charges - your stories

There has been no exit charge for few years from India. All airport charges included in ticket price.

Although could mention visa charge for India which has now shot up to 92 pounds per person. Always check any visa fees and any vaccinations required.

Edited: 12 July 2013, 18:28
Atlanta, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Atlanta
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96 reviews
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5. Re: Hidden travel charges - your stories

I would mention resort fees that are not always obvious when making hotel bookings, and those pesky $2 newspaper charges that hotels put on your bill unless you affirmatively decline the newspaper.

The one time I've really been stung was a $500+ mobile phone bill from a trip to Buenos Aires, where I just surfed the internet on my phone freely, thinking I was on the hotel's wifi when actually I was using my mobile data plan. I also neglected to close out of apps that constantly refresh, using more data. My carrier agreed to drop the charge once I went through a "reeducation" training class.

Edited: 12 July 2013, 18:42
Ewa Beach, Hawaii
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6. Re: Hidden travel charges - your stories

Lately, car rental companies have added a refueling service fee for cars driven less than, say 50 miles, without a receipt from a station within a mile or two. This is very frustrating for me since I am a member of almost all the loyalty clubs, and do not pose a financial risk to the agencies. However, I prefer to fuel my rental cars at whatever the nearest Costco is (for example, for LAX, there is one about three miles west on Century; SFO is much closer - but Phoenix is about 5 miles away).

Ewa Beach, Hawaii
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7. Re: Hidden travel charges - your stories

*CORRECTION - three miles EAST on Century.

Milford, Ohio
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8. Re: Hidden travel charges - your stories

#2 - I've been in India 5 times and NEVER paid an exit charge. I've always flown out of Bangalore to either Paris or Frankfurt.

9. Re: Hidden travel charges - your stories

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Removed on: 13 July 2013, 12:24
Brooklyn, NY
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for New York City
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10. Re: Hidden travel charges - your stories

Nope, that's legitimately TA Staff. You can tell by the green indicator under the post count.

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