Beware these hidden fees on travel packages

This is the time of year many of us start booking our springtime vacations. And so ads are popping up everywhere for cruises and resort packages.

But beware: A new report says many of those packages come with hundreds of dollars in hidden fees.

A catch with Caribbean trips

Let’s say you saw an ad for a Caribbean getaway for under $500? With our post-election hangover, and winter coming, it might be hard to resist.

A new report in “About .Travel” says you might want to pack some extra money.

It says package deals typically don’t include the:

  • Caribbean arrival tax: as high as $50 in Antigua.
  • Caribbean hotel taxes: as high as 18% in the Dominican Republic.
  • Resort activity fees:  $20 a day at many resorts.
  • And a VAT or Value Added Tax on things you buy: as much as 15% in Jamaica.

Different rules from airlines

And from the “doesn’t that stink” file, the fact that vacation packages are not required to show you all fees upfront, unlike airline fights.

Federal law requires airlines to include all taxes and fees when showing you a flight.  But that is not required for hotels or resorts.  You might say “doesn’t that stink?” if hit by them.

About.Travel says don’t book your trip based on the first price that pops up.

My advice? Did deep in the website’s fine print, or ask the agent, about extra fees before you give your credit card number.

That way you’re not hit with a $300 to 500 surprise and you don’t waste your money.

As always, don’t waste your money.

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John Matarese