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How to avoid hidden hotel fees
Published Tuesday, November 27, 2018 6:00AM PST Last Updated Tuesday, November 27, 2018 12:05PM PST
Nothing kills a vacation vibe faster than a hotel bill peppered with unexpected fees. They can range from resort fees to parking fees and even a fee for a safe in the room. But there are ways to avoid these sneaky charges on your next trip.
When Consumer Reports asked readers about their experience with hotel fees, they were deluged with complaints about unexpected fees.
“Hotels know that consumers are shopping for hotel rooms by price. So they try to keep their advertised prices low, but then still make up the revenue on the back end, with fees,” explained Margot Gilman with Consumer Reports.
So, what’s the best way to avoid sticker shock from unexpected hotel charges?
For starters, reach out to the hotel directly, particularly if you plan to book through a third party. Ask about specific, additional charges for anything other than the room and taxes.
If you plan on checking in early or checking out late, it may cost you extra. Parking fees can be another budget buster. Even when you’re parking in outdoor or unsecured lots.
“If you join a hotel loyalty program, something a lot of hotels have, you may find that some of the fees are waived,” said Gilman.
And, don’t be afraid to speak up. When many Consumer Reports’ readers complained, hotels took the charge off the bill.
One, tiny silver lining to these hidden fees, is that occupancy taxes on hotel bills are based on the price of the room, not the total bill, which could mean small savings for you.