What to know if you’re planning a trip for 2021

Erica Lamberg, Special to USA TODAY
Published 8:00 a.m. ET Dec. 5, 2020 | Updated 2:08 a.m. ET Dec. 6, 2020


The coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on MGM Resorts.


Remember what travel was like before COVID-19? You didn’t have to wear a mask or get your brain probed by a Q-tip to take that much-anticipated Hawaiian vacation

Unfortunately, one aspect of travel that COVID-19 hasn’t changed is resort fees. These extra charges on your hotel bill, which are supposed to cover amenities, are alive and well. They can run as high as an extra $50 a night at some Las Vegas properties.

Caroline Lupini, credit card and travel analyst with Forbes Advisor, says resort fees typically cover things that hotels used to offer free – especially to elite members of the hotel’s loyalty program.

For example, resort fees will typically cover free Wi-Fi, gym and pool access, pool towels, a daily newspaper or a shuttle, though Lupini says they vary by hotel. 

“These extra services really are not worth the extra cost – resort fees are a way that hotels can get more money by hiding part of the cost of staying at the hotel,” Lupini says. “Of course, if you book a hotel with a pool, you should expect to have access to the pool.”

Understand comparisons can be tricky

Resort fees make it harder to compare costs between hotels. A hotel can look less expensive but then slap the guest with a daily $40 resort fee. It’s not always (or even usually) easy to see these resort fees upfront, especially if you book through an online travel agent like Priceline or Orbitz, Lupini told USA TODAY.

Congress takes on ‘hidden fees’ at hotels and resorts:  Here’s what it could mean for travelers

Become a bit more savvy

Lupini recommends reading the fine print to see if there’s a resort fee when booking a hotel stay. If there is a resort fee, make sure to include that in the cost of booking the hotel. “If it’s unclear whether or not there is a resort fee at a specific hotel, you can call the hotel to verify,” she adds.

Typically, she says, hotels will not waive the resort fee, even if you don’t use the services that the resort fee provides (e.g. pool, gym, Internet). “However, if you don’t use the services or are disappointed in the quality of the services, it doesn’t hurt to ask for a resort fee waiver or a reduced resort fee,” Lupini said.

Learn the lingo

Molly Fergus, travel expert and general manager of TripSavvy, tells USA TODAY that some hotels are now using new terminology instead of the words “resort fee.” Charges such as “destination fee” or “urban fee” are now appearing on hotel bills, she says.

“If you are traveling to a popular U.S. destination, such as Las Vegas, you can look up hotel resort fees before you start searching for a room at ResortFeeChecker.com,” recommends Fergus. “This website provides resort fee and property information for approximately 2,000 hotels.”

Get the most bang for your buck

Be sure to use resort amenities, because you are paying for them. Sara Rathner, travel expert at financial tip site NerdWallet, stayed in a New York City hotel last year and was charged a “mandatory facilities fee” of $36 a day, which covered local and long-distance calls from her room’s phone, unlimited access to the hotel gym, use of the business center, a discount in the lobby bar, plus an extra free hour-long bike rental.

“The more amenities you use, the more you ‘take advantage’ of the resort fee, so to speak,” Rathner says. “Since you’re paying for it regardless, you might as well get the most bang for your buck if you can.”


Show Thumbnails

Show Captions

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/advice/2020/12/05/resort-fees-what-to-know-if-planning-trip-2021/6442895002/

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>