If you are shopping around for hotels for your vacation this year, watch out for obnoxious fees that are often hidden in the fine print.
Hotels have become experts at being able to hide fees, usually only revealing them in fine print on a website, in the final stages of the transaction, or upon checking out at the end of your stay. These fees are multiplying and include things such as:
- Early check in fees
- Early check out fees
- Cancellation fees
- Fees for using the room sage
- Fees to hold baggage behind the front desk
- Automatic tips for staff
In many cases, however, you can avoid these fees.
Pay Attention to the Fine Print
One of the easiest (although time-consuming) things you can do is read the fine print on the hotel’s website, at check-in, and in the room. When you are comparing hotels, be sure to keep an eye out for things like, “daily resort charges” and “resort charge” in ads and promotions. You can also ask for a list of fees when you check in, but a reputable resort will reveal fees on your final confirmation.
Look for Packages
Many packages may help you avoid fees since they often include fee waivers for things like Wi-Fi and parking. Calling ahead to inquire about such packages could help save you some money. Also, you may be able to negotiate a waiver by informing your hotel at check-in what services you won’t be using, such as Wi-Fi, the gym or pool, that the fees are covering.
Do Your Research
Although many times it is not possible, the best way to avoid fees is to stay away from hotels that charge fees altogether. You might want to use websites to find fees that hotels you are considering will charge you. Choose establishments where rates reflect all charges upfront, like independent hotels or motels and bed and breakfasts, instead of using chains.
Join a Rewards Program
Looking into a loyalty program may be worth your while since they will often provide convenient services at no charge, such as internet access, free early check-in and late check-out, free newspapers or gym access. If you have reward points, some chains or certain hotels will waive fees when you book using your points.
Avoid the Stocked Goodies
Unless you have no other option, it’s best to avoid the convenient snacks and drinks stocked in your room. You’ll be paying exponentially more than what they’re actually worth. Some places even charge a fee for using the fridge in general.
Don’t even open the fridge door; avoiding it altogether is the best way to avoid a fee. If you want to keep your food or drinks cool, fill the ice bucket with ice and keep your treats in there to keep them cool.
Get Your Own Wi-Fi
One last tip is to use your own Wi-Fi hotspot to avoid Wi-Fi charges. You can also see if there is free Wi-Fi in the lobby, or find a local Starbucks or coffee shop to use for your Wi-Fi needs.
Avoid being subjected to hidden fees upon booking a hotel for your stay. See what you can do to avoid these fees and enjoy your stay!