4 Unexpected Hotel Expenses That Can Break Your Vacation Budget
â€œI’ll get someone to help you get your bags to you room, sir.â€ he said
â€œI got it,â€ I said, annoyed.
â€œSir,â€ he said with a very condescending laugh,â€it’s our policy.â€
I waited there for almost 5 minutes until another employee appeared and rode the elevator with us and our cart, and unloaded our things into our room. I slapped a tip into his hand and wished him a good evening with all the fake friendliness I could muster.
I had simply walked from the front door to my room on day one of my vacation and my wallet was already $16 lighter.
I don’t stay in hotels often, and when I do the establishments are usually of the middle of the road variety. This time our stay was in an upscale hotel where they obviously do things a little differently. Over the course of our four day stay, we ran across several fees that we were not used to:
- Help with bags #1: I received unsolicited help getting bags out of the car, onto a cart, and to the guest services desk. I’ve read that an appropriate tip for help with bags is $1 or $2 per bag. During check in I gave the man $8 (even though we had 4 suitcases and a few smaller shoulder bags). But when we checked out I reduced it to $5, since he pushed the cart about 20 feet, then threw our bags into the trunk.
- Help with bags #2: I was extremely surprised on my way to the room that I was handed off to a second person to help me with my bags from the guest services desk up to my room. I saw others decline this service and just pick up their bags, but we had too much to carry ourselves, and apparently it was their policy for an employee to accompany the luggage carts. Which of course results in another tip. Since this person did significantly more work than the guy from #1, he got $8 both ways.
- Parking: In the mainly rural area where I live, I’ve never paid for parking at a hotel. I think this is more of a larger metropolitan area practice. The fee at this particular hotel was $28 per day.
- Valet: I’m well aware that a valet driver should be tipped. The problem I have here is that not only did I not have a choice to pay for parking, but I didn’t have a choice to park and retrieve my own car as well. I had to use the valet. We didn’t use the car during our vacation, so this was a one time $5 tip.
In total, the parking and tips took $146 from our vacation budget. Whether you agree with these charges or not (obviously I have some issues with them), they are real charges that could take a bite out of your available funds. The next time we go out of town, we will call the hotel and ask some questions to become familiar with the fees that we may incur so we can account for them in our travel budget.
What unexpected charges have you encountered during a trip or vacation?
Brought to you courtesy of Brock
Brock is a software engineer by day and personal finance blogger at night. He is a fitness junkie and enjoys grilling and smoking meat. Married with two children, Brock strives to improve his skills as a husband and father, and is always on the lookout to stretch his family’s budget as far as he can.