When you're vacationing on a budget, staying at a cheap hotel can save you a lot of money. Unfortunately, some hotels hook in people looking for budget travel with low nightly rates, then tack on a laundry list of hidden fees that quickly raises the price.
Fees may include things like:
- Charges for wireless internet
- Parking fees
- Newspaper delivery fees
- A charge to use the safe
- High rates for making phone calls from your room
- A fee to use pool or beach towels
- Resort fees, which cover whatever the hotel wants to include
You might not even want certain things on the list. For example, most vacationers don't care about reading the local newspaper, or even a national newspaper like USA Today, yet the hotel delivers it to everyone and charges for it automatically. The wireless internet fee might get tacked on your bill automatically, even if you don't plan to use a laptop during your stay. A resort fee might include free local calls and bottled water when you don't want anything to drink and have a cell phone with an unlimited plan.
The best way to avoid extra hotel fees is to read the fine print when booking online or to call the hotel directly before you finalize your booking. Smaller hotels are often willing to drop fees if you complain. Larger chains are more likely to stand firm.
If the hotel won't drop the fee, stay elsewhere. Otherwise, your bargain rate won't be much of a bargain and you'll spend money unnecessarily.
Check out my articles on Orlando attractions in my Orlando Theme Parks column.