You time your trip when airfares are at their lowest. You scour the internet for the best hotel deals. You forgo takeout for months to save up for the trip of a lifetime. You do all this to ensure your vacation doesn’t bust your budget.
But even the most experienced traveler can make some simple mistakes that end up costing tons of dough. Read on for nine ways you’re wasting your money while traveling.
1. Paying ATM Fees
Even if you plan to use plastic to pay for your purchases along the way, there may come a time when cash is necessary or just more convenient. But ATM fees can be as much as $5, which can really add up. One way to avoid this extra cost is to check out your bank’s website ahead of time, and see if they have ATM or branch locations in your destination city so that you can easily withdraw cash without the extra fee. If you’re traveling internationally, check out your bank’s International Partner ATMs, which may still charge a fee, but are typically considerably less.
Or, better yet, withdraw some money before you leave for the trip and stash it somewhere safe.
2. Not Planning Ahead
If you figure out which restaurants and activities you want to visit before you’re on vacation, you can use sites like Groupon and Living Social to score up to 70 percent off of everything from spa services to meals out to activities like boat rides and entrance to theme parks.
But, if you wait until the last minute and don’t search for these deals, you could end up spending more than you’d like on your trip. Make your goal to avoid paying full price whenever possible.
3. Missing Freebies
You may be surprised to learn that your hotel offers a complimentary happy hour, or that some of the city’s best attractions may be free like certain zoos and museums. Here are 16 freebies you can get from hotels.
Plus, did you know that many local libraries also offer free museum passes and other cool stuff? You should also know that some airports offer free tours that you can take advantage of on long layovers.
There are also tour companies that offer completely free walking tours of cities all over the world. All you pay is the tip! For a two-hour tour by a professional tour guide, that’s a steal.
4. Not Asking For Upgrades
From getting the penthouse at your hotel to scoring a first-class seat on the plane to upgrading your rental car to a luxury model, ask and you may receive. You may be surprised to learn that companies are often willing to negotiate. Some general advice? Just be nice—Monarch Airlines says they give customers upgrades simply for being polite. Mom was right!
Don’t pay for upgrades. Book the cheaper option, then turn on the charm.