Whether traveling for business or pleasure, there is a common pitfall that we always tend to forget until it’s too late. We’re talking about sneaky hotel fees, of course, and when they show up on the bill, they can ruin your day.
Thankfully, you can avoid some of the more common ones. You need to know where to look and what to ask for. Let’s talk about how to avoid hidden hotel fees so that you’ll only pay the bill that was advertised!
Check their websites directly and call the Hotel
Hotels get creative with their bills all the time, and it’s hard to keep up with. Of course, we know that they do this on purpose. But by the time you get your bill, you want to get to your room, so the typical reaction is to sign it and leave.
Check the hotel’s website first.
Often, they’ll list additional fees where you can see them so that when you go through a booking site that doesn’t mention them, the hotel can claim they were posted on the site.
If you don’t see any fees here, don’t be afraid to call and ask for your final bill.
If someone promises you no extra fees, get their name and keep that information. You might not need it, but it can give you a lot of leverage if they try to bill you for something extra anyway.
Ask about WiFi fees
Many popular booking sites will list ‘free WiFi,’ but you find out it’s $10 – $20 per night when you get to the hotel. They get away with it because it’s a relatively small amount and because everyone needs their WiFi.
- Check in advance if there are WiFi fees. That way you can add those costs to your budget or consider joining the hotel’s premium program if they have one and you use this hotel a lot.
A common benefit is free WiFi with these programs. This might let you get around the fees and even give you a few ‘frequent guest’ perks in the bargain – click here to read more.
Don’t need a safe? You might be paying anyway
Another stealth charge hotels like to get you with is a small fee for the safe in the closet of your room. If you never use the safe, you might want to check if the hotel charges for it anyway – read more from Million Mile Secrets.
It’s a small fee, but these small fees add up quickly, so try to get this one waived in advance if you don’t need a safe.
Make sure those amenities don’t come at a premium
Some hotels offer extra services for the different activities and other perks that come with your stay. They are sometimes presented as “perks,” but they can end up on your bill under the category of “resort fees” – sometimes whether you use them or not.
Check to see if the hotel charges any “resort fees” and if you will be charged if you don’t use them. Again, this is something that you’ll want to know in advance.
Store your bags if there is an early check-in fee
Sometimes to save money on a flight, you’ll end up arriving at your hotel an hour or two early. You’ll check in and later find out that there was an ‘early check-in’ fee that you didn’t know about. To avoid this, ask if there is an early check-in fee and if there is, ask if you can store your luggage for free.
You might be tired from your flight, but checking in your luggage and going to grab some food locally instead of checking in can often save you a pretty penny.
If you are only an hour or two early, it’s generally worth it, too, as early check-in fees are sometimes a little steep.
So, ask about storing your luggage to avoid early check-in fees and grab a bite to eat. You’ll save a little that you can put towards fun, instead of towards fees!
Some closing words
Today, we’ve talked about tips and tricks for avoiding hidden hotel fees. First and foremost, check their website and give them a call – get a name to go with the bill you were promised just in case you need it.
Watch out for those small-but-sneaky minor additions like WiFi and safe fees, and make sure if a hotel advertises special services to get you there that they don’t come with hidden costs. Finally, consider storing your bags if you can to avoid an early check-in fee.
With a bit of due diligence and a small amount of research, you receive what you are supposed to get, the bill you agreed upon.
Photo by Helena Lopes from Pexels.