Let’s be honest – hotels are expensive. Frugal travelers always try to find ways to reduce their hotel accommodation costs by getting the cheapest room in a booking site or searching for hostels and b&bs. That’s why they’re easily taken in by sneaky low advertised rates without realizing that there’s more to the price than meets the eye.
We’re talking about hidden hotel fees – the sneaky devils that aren’t usually rolled into the cost of a hotel room when booking online. If you’re not paying attention or reading the fine print, you could be surprised when you see your bill upon checkout.
Don’t let the extra hidden charges ruin your vacation. It’s time to learn the hotel fees to watch out for and find out how to avoid or mitigate them.
A resort fee is one of the sneakiest ways to trick hotel guests – it’s mandatory yet it’s excluded from the listed room rate.
Here’s the tactic: You’re on a booking site or a hotel’s website. You book a room for a flat rate because it fits your budget. Then, when you arrive at the hotel, you’re surprised to be charged with extra per night.
Resort fees cover for the services and amenities, including the gym, pool, business center, and housekeeping – which you’re still obliged to pay even if you don’t use them. There’s only one way to avoid this: read the fine print before booking. Sneaky hotels love unsuspecting hotel guests.
2. Extra-person fee
Let’s say you and your friends are too damn broke to book two hotel rooms for the night so you agreed to share the 2pax room for the four of you. Others will just ask for extra linen and pillow and sleep on the floor – no big deal! Just make sure to let the hotel know. You might end up with a surprise on your bill if you sneak someone in.
3. Wi-Fi charges
Today, almost all hotels, especially the ones serving business travelers provide access to high-speed Internet and Wi-Fi services. However, some chains still charge for this necessity.
Whether you’re staying in a hotel for work purposes or you just can’t survive without Netflix and social media, make sure Wi-Fi is included in the cost of your hotel room. Before booking, see the Wi-Fi policy. If you need to pay for it but you don’t want to book somewhere else, you may save cash by connecting in a nearby café with free Wi-Fi.
4. Gratuity fees
Before tipping the housekeeper, make sure the hotel isn’t already adding a housekeeping gratuity fee on your bill. If they do, you may guiltlessly skip the additional tip. You may also ask for the fee to be removed so you can tip at your terms.
5. Telephone bill
Want to call a loved one in the middle of the night? Sorry to tell you but the telephone in your hotel room isn’t free. Hotels charge for local and long-distance calls. Some hotels may even charge you for dialing, even if your call is ever connected. Just use your phone.
6. “Complimentary” drinks and snacks
Before opening the seemingly complimentary bottle of water and chips on top of your table, make sure to ask the hotel staff whether they’re completely free or not. Same goes with the tempting snacks inside your small fridge, a.k.a the pocket-burning “minibar.” These snacks are made of gold and are often twice (or thrice) its original price.
7. Parking fees
Taking your car with you on your trip? Parking it in the hotel may come with a steep price tag. If you can’t afford the hotel parking fees, you better research other public parking lots around the block which offers cheaper rates.
Additionally, see if your hotel charge automatic parking fees, whether or not you’ve used their parking space. Know your rights and ask them to have it removed from your bill.
8. Early check in / Late check out
Checking in earlier than your agreed-upon time or checking out a little late, could land you with a small fee. Again, make sure to read your policies thoroughly and ask.
9. In-room safe
Safes are one of the hotel room staples that many guests seldom use. But believe it or not, some hotels are charging their guests for the privilege of having an in-room safe, even if it’s never opened.
Next, to reading the fine print and asking prior, make sure you know your rights. If you discover fees at the check-out that weren’t disclosed in writing, point them out and ask them to be waived off your bill.
10. Pet bill
It’s not enough that you found a good pet-friendly hotel for your upcoming vacation with your four-legged furbaby. You should also be prepared for any pet-related fees that come with it.
Not all pet-friendly hotels are owner-friendly. Some hotels would ask you to pay a flat cleaning fee even if your pet didn’t make a mess. The good news is plenty of hotels try to appeal to pet owners by removing these extra charges and even offering treats and pet beds.
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is a travel-savvy writer for The Hoban Hotel Kilkenny, a world-class hotel for business and leisure travel, offering exceptional accommodation and dining experiences in Ireland’s historic marble city. When she’s not taking vibrant street photos, you can find her writing articles about travel, food, and lifestyle.