Cheapflights.com’s Guide On How To Save On Hidden Travel Fees This Summer
Reveals Top Charges To Look Out For When Planning Your Summer Vacation
Boston, MA – May 24, 2011 – Cheapflights.com, the online leader in finding and publishing travel deals, knows that nowadays, when it comes to planning and budgeting for a summer vacation, finding a cheap flight is actually only part of the process. Extra charges and hidden fees surface from every direction when you book, pack, fly and travel whether locally or abroad. Cheapflights.com’s advice is to do your homework and know what unexpected costs may be lurking that can bust your budget if you aren’t paying attention. To help keep you on financial track, the experts at Cheapflights.com have created a guide on How to Save on Hidden Travel Fees this Summer with a list of the top charges to look out for when planning your summer vacation.
Below are five of the charges on Cheapflights.com’s list of summer travel budget busters. These charges are ones incurred before you even board a flight. By keeping an eye out and following some practical tips, you can to start save even before you take off on holiday.
Peak travel day fees: Experts contend that every day in June, July and August is considered a high peak day for travel, meaning yet another surcharge from many airlines and another hidden cost to flying during summer vacation. For those willing to do their due diligence, though, deals are out there to be had. Check airline websites for travel terms to pinpoint specific low-cost days to fly. If you’re willing to take off or land on an actual holiday like the Fourth of July, chances are you’ll find a steal. Also consider postponing your vacation days until the end of August. Students are going back to school earlier, summer is coming to an end faster, and peak summer rates are ending much sooner.
Fuel surcharges: With the cost of fuel seemingly on the never-ending rise, it’s important to research different airlines’ gas-related charges. Major airlines have added fuel surcharges to routes where there’s less competition, avoiding the pressure to compete with low-cost airlines. Many carriers, like American Airlines, bundle fuel surcharges in with federal taxes, identifying them together as a generic fare increase. Read the fine print before you book and, if you’re flying domestically – when the charges apply – stick to the carriers that aren’t tacking on cloaked charges.
Travel insurance: Buying travel insurance may be the smartest decision you make on a trip, especially when hurricanes and other natural disasters are involved. Sometimes, though, travelers are covered for insurance or flight reimbursement without even knowing it. Check with your credit card company to see if flights purchased with a particular card are reimbursed if cancelled. Also revisit your health care policy. Many insurance groups cover international accidents, whether you’ve broken a limb waterskiing in the Galapagos Islands or developed malaria while exploring Southeast Asia. There’s no need to double up on expenses, so reacquaint yourself with your coverage.
Baggage fees: First rule of thumb: pack lightly. Typically for international flights, carriers permit flyers to check two pieces of luggage up to 50 lbs. each. Domestically, though, the game is constantly changing – and getting pricier. Some companies, like Southwest Airlines, count on their free baggage approach to lure travelers the discount route, while other companies charge for a second bag or even both at full cost. Factor baggage fees in when booking your trip. If a major airline has a better deal, but you plan to check two bags, the real deal could be finding alternatives. The right credit card could save you, too. Companies like Delta Air Lines offer a free first bag if you book using their credit card, like the Gold Delta Skymiles Credit Card. If you’re going for an extended period of time, consider shipping your luggage – it may prove cheaper than checking it.
Seat assignments: Legroom is everything for some travelers, though now it comes at a cost. As does choice seating and other in-flight preferences. Do research before you fly and factor in what’s most important for you to travel most comfortably. If that means paying for checked baggage but having the option of an emergency exit seat, then choose accordingly. If you’re traveling with family, evaluate if you want to buy a seat for a child. Most airlines don’t charge for children under the age of two to fly, so weigh if you want to hold your child or use an arguably safer car seat on the flight.
The other fees to make the list include charges incurred on the day of travel and while on vacation. These include: getting to and from the airport; food and drink in transit; cell phone charges; ATM charges and rental car charges.