crying over money

Unexpected travel expenses and how to steer clear of them

Are you trying to travel without going over budget? As a traveller, you have probably spent more on your travels than you had anticipated. Besides extra costs spent on buying souvenirs, drinks, and tips, there are other unexpected expenses that most travellers fail to identify and avoid. These expenditures add up to heavy amounts and as a result, you will end up spending more than you had planned. The following are the common unexpected travel expenses and how to steer clear of them.

  1. Roaming Charges

High roaming fees are a common problem among tourists that add to their expenses. These charges can get expensive as they apply to any communications through your phone like calls, text messages, and data usage.

However, using your phone in a foreign place does not have to be costly. To avoid high roaming charges, buy and use a local sim card, avoid turning on data roaming on your devices, and use available Wi-Fi. Using messaging apps like Viber instead of text messages will also help you avoid these unnecessary expenses.

  1. Luggage Fees

Luggage fees, weight requirements, and restrictions vary depending on the airline. Therefore, when packing for a trip, it is crucial that you consider these charges and meet the requirements to avoid additional charges. Also, check whether your airfare is inclusive of the luggage fee as some airlines charge the fee separately.

  1. Currency Exchange Costs

When travelling to a different country you will need to exchange currency through ATMs, and cash conversions at a bank or at an airport kiosk. Conversion rates constantly fluctuate and currency exchange options vary in the amount of fee they charge.

For instance, airport kiosks charge a hefty fee to exchange your currency while ATMs charge multiple fees including a transaction and operator fee. Cash conversion at a bank is a cheaper alternative as they have better conversion rates and low fees.

  1. Credit and Debit Card Fees

Making transactions while travelling can be costly. From bank and card fees to ATM fees and currency exchange costs, these charges can add up and make your trip expensive. Many travellers underestimate the value of these transaction fees only to end up shocked at how much they spent above their budget.

While you cannot completely eliminate all transaction costs when handling money, you can minimise them in a number of ways. For instance, getting a travel card will help you avoid paying high withdrawal and ATM fees in foreign countries. You can also choose to use banks with low or no ATM fees and cards without overseas fees.

It is common for travellers to encounter added hotel fees on their bills during payment. The additional costs may result from cleaning services, luggage storage, facilities such as a gym and pool, and internet.

  1. Hidden Hotel Fees

To avoid or lower these expenses, first ask if the amenities, resort fees, and ancillary charges are included in the room’s rate when booking. Find hotels that disclose information about extra costs on their website to avoid paying more than you had anticipated. Also, avoid paying for amenities that you did not use during your stay.

  1. Cab/ Uber fees

While transportation costs are a must when travelling, it is easy to get overcharged by dishonest drivers as a foreigner. In some destinations, cab drivers target tourists outside hotels and airports and charge them a lot of money for transportation.

If you want to avoid excess transport costs, negotiate the prices first with the driver before boarding or use an Uber or Lyft. Also, research other transportation options available in the country you plan to visit and the rates. You can read reviews from other travellers to know what to expect and the cheapest way to move around in that country. In some destinations, public transportation like buses, trains, and subways is cheap and reliable.


Travellers who do prior research on their destination are better prepared and know what to include in their budget. Therefore, ensure that you gather adequate and relevant information and tips on how to avoid unexpected costs as well as safety tips from locals and other travellers before travelling.