Don’t Forget these Costs When Budgeting for VacationJuly 13, 2020 | By Leah Freeman-Haskin
When it comes to travel, we often budget for major costs. Flights and hotels top the list, but there are also a handful of smaller fees and purchases many of us forget to consider. Depending on your destination, these costs may impact your overall travel budget. Here are a few items to keep in mind.
Visas & Entry Fees
If you are traveling from the United States, you may need a Visa to enter the country of your destination. This website will help you determine if that’s necessary. Visa fees can range from $20 to $160 depending on the country, purpose, and length of your stay. Since a Visa may be a requirement to enter your destination country, be sure to consider applications and fees when working on your travel budget. This will ensure you can cover the costs and have time to get your Visa approved before taking off.
Vaccines & Medications
Whether vaccines are mandatory or simply offer peace of mind, it’s important to know what your options are and what the costs will be. You can search for your destination on the CDC website for a list of vaccinations. You should contact your doctor and plan to get vaccinated at least one month before you depart. There may also be medications that you’d want to have on hand for malaria prevention, motion sickness, and antidiarrheal. Most health insurance plans do not cover these.
Depending on your destination and length of travel, you may want to purchase travel insurance. For major trips, travel insurance provides peace of mind in case anything happens to your trip, your belongings, or yourself. There are different types of travel insurance. From medical to trip cancelation, the plan you purchase will vary depending on your needs, destination, length of stay, cost of trip, activities, and other factors. For basic travel insurance, you should expect a plan to cost anywhere from 4%-10% of your total prepaid, non-refundable trip cost.
These days or checked luggage, baggage fees are almost a given no matter the airline, making those super cheap flights you found more expensive than you anticipated. Many times, discount airlines will offer amazing prices on your flights and then tack on exorbitant baggage and other hidden fees when you arrive at the airport, for carry-on baggage too! Do the math before you book your flight to determine if you are in fact saving money or if you will end up overspending in baggage fees. Most airlines post this information on their website or you can call the airline directly. Fees usually start around $25 and can go up from there depending on the airline as well as the number and weight of your bags.
Credit & Debit Card Fees
Many major credit and debit cards will charge international fees every time you use them while abroad. Although the charges may be nominal, they can add up quickly if you swipe a lot. Contact your bank before traveling and find out the exact amount of their fees. It may mean limiting the number of card charges you make while traveling, or using a different card with better options.
While on the phone with your bank, you should also ask about ATM withdrawal fees. Banks and credit unions typically charge a flat fee for using an ATM network in another country, plus a percentage of the amount you withdraw.
If budget is a concern when planning your next trip, these reminders can help you develop a more accurate overview of your costs. Being prepared will save time, grief, and money as you’ll have the full picture of what your trip will cost.