Ready to travel again once the pandemic is under control and the international borders are open? Start planning now, especially if you want to avoid unexpected travel expenses. There’s nothing more annoying and upsetting than having to cut your travels short because you’ve gone over your budget. So what to plan for and how to avoid over-spending?
When booking flights, it’s very tempting to buy cheap using third-party websites. There’s a downside to this, however, especially in the times of Corona: while you may save a little on the cost of the ticket, you may end up paying double if you need to reschedule, cancel, or add baggage. Buy flights with airlines directly, because that way, you’ll be able to negotiate a change, buy extra baggage without spending an astronomical amount, and ask for refund if things go wrong.
Watch Out for Tourist Taxes
In some European countries, Airbnbs and hotels may charge you a “tourist tax” – a fee that’s usually not included in the room or apartment price. And most of the time, you’ll only find out when you get there: I ended up paying an extra 8 euros per night at an Airbnb in Holland recently, all because they weren’t listing the tourist tax on the website. To make sure, always ask before you commit to booking!
Tips Not Included
Another European curiosity: some restaurants automatically add a tip to your bill. While tipping is always good, ask ahead f you don’t want to overspend, and tip on your own terms.
On the one hand, it’s no big deal if you forget your phone charger or a camera battery going abroad; on the other hand, that can cost you extra, so pack your essentials. Electronics, for example, are more expensive in South America because of high import taxes, so if you forget your tablet and buy one locally, it’ll be much more expensive than at home. Cheap chargers may be tempting – but they’ll only last a few days (at this point, I’m spending a few dollars for a new adapter every week in Ecuador). Make a packing list, then stick to it – it’ll save you some cash in the long term!
What are your hacks and tips to avoid unexpected travel expenses? Share them in the comments below!