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How to Avoid Travel Fees


©iStockphoto.com/hatman12
©iStockphoto.com/hatman12
While traveling, it's almost inevitable you'll have to break into your piggy bank to pay unexpected fees at some point.

While traveling, it's usually not a question of whether you'll get hit with add-on fees, but when. You can be charged for checking a piece of luggage on a flight, drinking a bottle of water in your hotel room and even for using a towel at the hotel pool. Some of these charges are clearly noted, but many others are buried in the fine print. To be a savvy traveler, you need to know where you're likely to find some of these sneaky fees so you can determine whether or not it's possible to avoid them -- and if you even want to.

Why wouldn't you want to avoid an added fee? In these hectic times, time really is money, and sometimes, looking for ways to save cash can squander those precious minutes. Let's say you selected a resort for your family vacation. It's in the perfect location and has all the amenities that suit your family. Then you discover there's a $10 daily resort fee, plus a $5 fee any time you grab a pool towel. Would you rather suck it up and pay those fees, or search online for a similar resort in a similar location with a similar daily room rate, but no extra fees -- knowing it's possible you could spend several hours online and come up empty-handed? Ditto for trying to find the best deal on, say, a rental car or even a flight. Yes, there are sites like Kayak.com and Travelocity.com that compare prices across carriers, but you still have to compare luggage fees, fuel surcharges and more to truly find the best rate.

Of course, some travel fees can be easily avoided. Don't want to pay $25 per day to use the fitness room? Then take a walk instead, or run up and down the hotel stairwell. Already fuming because you don't want to eat overpriced, not-that-great airport food? Then pack your favorite sandwich.

The most important thing is to be aware of where travel fees are lurking so you can decide what, if anything, you want to do about them. Read on to find out how to get around one of the most notorious travel fees.


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