Saturday, August 30, 2014

Hidden Hotel Fees

This week I did a segment on the Morning Extra on Fox 19. We were discussing Hidden Hotel Fees. It's always important to know your total cost when booking a hotel. When you have a good travel agent booking for you, you will know these additional costs and not have to worry about surprises. When you book online, however, you need to know about several ways you could get nickeled and dimed . Below are my tips and a video from the news interview.

Click for Video: Interview 8/29/2014

Hotel Hidden Fees

1.      Resort Fees- These are especially popular in places like Las Vegas, Miami and Orlando. These fees are typically not in the published price, and not paid at the time of booking. You pay these directly to the resort upon check-in. They can  cover things like gym, pool and sauna access, daily newspaper, Wi-Fi and boarding pass printing.
The cost is typically between $10 per night and $25 – plus tax.
If you are booking something online make sure you find out the total daily resort fee and add that into the price. You may think you are getting a great deal but the resort fee could be adding $175 to your weeklong vacation.

2.      Internet/Wi-Fi Access – This is starting to change for the better lately, with more hotels offering free Wi-Fi, however, many hotels do still charge for it and some that do offer it for free have limits to how many devices you can have. 

These fees can cost up to $19.95 per day, so keep that in mind when booking your hotel. Sometimes you can get this fee waived if you sign up for the hotel’s loyalty program or find special promotions. You can also look  for nearby caf├ęs to visit who offer the service for free.

3.      Misc Charges – You can be nickeled and dimed for just about anything. Charges for your in-room safe, parking, luggage storage, mini-bar restocking fees, (in addition to charges for anything actually taken from the mini bar), late check-out fees, rollaway bed fees and local phone usage charges.

What can you do?
Don’t assume that you are comparing hotel prices side by side on booking websites. You have to take in to consideration the overall costs to really get the best rate.
-          Call the hotel directly to ask about any additional charges
-          Join their loyalty program to have certain charges waived
-          Check out consumer reviews before booking to see if there are complaints about charges

-          Book with a travel agent who will do the necessary research for you. 

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