If you’ve diligently researched your deals and saved a bundle on your flight and hotel stay, make sure that you don’t end up blowing your travel budget on unnecessary purchases and overpriced goods while you’re on your trip. Here are eight travel budget breakers you need to watch out for:
Goodies in the hotel: You may get the munchies in the middle of the night, and the items in the hotel minibar will suddenly seem oh-too tempting. Don’t pay $4 for a chocolate bar when you can get the same one at a convenient store for $1. Instead, head out to a supermarket during the day (preferably on the first day of your trip) to stock up on snacks, water, and other drinks.
Paid TV on the plane: Several planes are now offering the choice to watch TV for a fee that ranges from $5 to $8. Don’t pay to watch TV on the plane when you’re already paying for it at home or when you can view it for free in your hotel. Listen to free podcasts or borrow a book from the library for the flight.
Magazines and books from the airport: If you’re looking to pile up on books and magazines for the plane, remember not to purchase them from the airport. The prices are often raised. You can also choose to download a couple of free or $1 ebooks to your computer, smartphone, or kindle.
Read on for more travel budget traps to avoid.
Snacks on the plane: Don’t buy the sandwiches and lunch boxes offered by the flight attendants on the plane. Plane food is overpriced and generally isn’t appetizing and nutritious. Prepare your snacks before you get on the plane. Consider boiled eggs, apples, sandwiches, carrot sticks, and granola bars.
Navigator in the rental car: If you opt for the navigator option when you’re getting your rental car, it can cost you over $10 a day. If you’re the type who can’t go without a GPS, invest in a portable navigator for long-term use — something that you can easily detach from cars and carry around. If you’re interested, check out this guide to buying navigators by Consumer Reports. Another option that is more convenient and less costly would be to depend on your smartphone’s GPS system.
Calls from hotel: Be aware that you will be charged when making calls from your hotel phone. Use your mobile phone or Skype when you want to call someone and buy a phonecard if you want to make an international phone call.
Room service: Although it’s nice having breakfast, lunch, dinner in bed, room service is actually quite expensive because hotels tend to overprice their food. Add to that a service fee and a delivery charge. Instead, walk to the hotel restaurant for cheaper eats or, even better, a café or restaurant down the street. You can also choose to take out the food and bring it back to the hotel if you want to enjoy it in your room.
Withdrawing money from the ATM: Taking out money from an ATM machine that’s outside of your network can cost you about $2 or $3, so make sure to do that before you leave for your trip. Make a visit to your bank or a nearby ATM that’s affiliated with your bank so you can withdraw the money you need. Withdraw smaller bills so you’ll have enough cash at hand for tipping.
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