Maybe this is a familiar scenario: you’ve budgeted money for flights, hotels and transport, and roughly worked out how much meals are going to cost you at your destination, only to get there and find a whole multitude of hidden costs that bog your account down. These annoying costs can get in the way of more important (read: fun) things, but luckily there are ways around them. Here are six of the more bothersome traveling costs, and what you can do to avoid them.
Baggage fees have gotten out of hand in the last decade. What used to be a free service is now a way for airlines to nickel and dime you. The good news here is that you really don’t need a checked bag, provided that you employ , and keep your stuff to a minimum. You’ve probably already heard the advice before (if not here, than elsewhere) that you can save room in your bag by rolling instead of folding clothes, but your bag choice is also important. Choose a bag with a lightweight, non-rigid structure that allows for some leeway in packing. Also, by choosing clothing you can cut down on the amount of clothing needed, since our clothes stay clean, fresh and unwrinkled for a very long time.
Sadly, in this the 2018th year AD there are still some hotels that charge for WiFi. It’s a particularly annoying cost, given that we rely on the internet for a lot of info while traveling, such as routes, hours of operation and restaurant recommendations. If you come up against a stingy hotel, you can always to use its LTE network, or download an app like WifiMapper, which shows you the locations of nearly a half a billion WiFi networks across the world. Failing either of those options, just do what everyone does: find a McDonalds or a Starbucks and leech of their WiFi.
Water isn't always freely accessible in certain parts of the world, nor is it always available past airport security. Avoid having to shell out change for a bottle of water by packing a collapsible water bottle. It will take up very little space, and will be on hand for when you get thirsty. Just make sure to research whether the tap water at your destination is potable.
If you’ve ever been traveling for longer than a week, there’s a good chance you know the misery of having to truck your clothes to a Laundromat. It can get pretty pricey too. As mentioned, Merino wool is the perfect counter-measure here as it needs far less frequent cleaning. Pack a or two, as well a few pairs of socks and underwear and you’re essentially set. You can go weeks without ever having to look at a washing machine. Choose dark clothes like our to avoid visible dust and dirt.
To counteract the exorbitant costs of ATM fees (not to mention money exchange places, which are a whole other class of annoying), take out as much cash as you think you might need at your home bank, where the rate is better and the fees are negligible. If you’re gone for a long time, you may not be able to take all your money out at home, but take as much as you feel comfortable with – oh, and invest in a money belt.
For the very budget conscious, it's wise to research free attractions, museums, parks, etc. in a city before going there. Oftentimes, the main attractions of a certain place can be quite costly, and, frankly, a little overrated. Ask some locals what they would recommend seeing, or check out the city Subreddit (provided there is one) for advice.
Why spend your money on laundry and baggage fees when you could spend it on something more interesting. Hopefully your next trip will be free of these annoying travel costs.