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Travel a lot in 2022? 3 fees to avoid

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Here’s how to stay away from extra costs.

Key points

  • It is common for travelers to incur certain additional costs in the course of their trips.
  • Choosing the right credit cards and strategically booking your plans could help you avoid those fees or keep them to a minimum.

Many people who travel a lot take the time to plan a budget for each trip. Doing so is a good idea, as it could help increase your chances of avoiding debt.

But there is one thing that tends to trip up travelers: fees. Some travel-related fees are less obvious than others, and incurring too many could break your budget. With that in mind, here are three specific fees worth avoiding whenever possible.

1. Checked Baggage Fees

Airlines have gotten rid of many conveniences over the years, and free checked baggage is one of them. These days, you will normally be charged for the privilege of bringing a bag on board. If you’re traveling for a week or more, that’s pretty much unavoidable.

However, the good news is that there are steps you can take to minimize or avoid checked baggage fees. First, if you’re traveling with a companion, see if you can consolidate the things you’re packing into one suitcase. That way, you’ll be charged one fee, not two.

Second, apply for a travel rewards credit card, and then use that card to book your flights. Many travel rewards cards let you check one piece of luggage for free, and if you’re taking a lot of flights this year, your savings could add up.

2. Cancellation fees

Although hotels tend to have fairly flexible cancellation policies, sometimes allowing you to get your money back as long as you give 72 hours’ notice, airlines tend to be more rigid. This is why you need to book your plans carefully.

Before you enter a credit card number to secure your reservation, whether it’s for a flight or a hotel, check the fine print and see what options you have to cancel or change your itinerary. You can, for example, get more freedom on the airlines by booking a slightly more expensive ticket, but doing so might be worth it if your plans aren’t totally firm.

Additionally, purchasing travel insurance could help you avoid losing money in situations where you have to cancel a flight or hotel stay at the last minute and are not entitled to any refunds because of it. Some travel policies even allow you to cancel your plans for any reason. While you will spend some money to secure that insurance, it could end up paying for itself if you end up needing to pay for your trip.

3. Foreign transaction fees

If you’re used to charging expenses to a credit card, you may want to do so when you travel abroad. But many cards impose foreign transaction fees that could really add up, especially if you spend many days abroad.

The solution? Find a credit card that doesn’t impose foreign transaction fees. You can also try asking your current credit card issuers to waive those fees, but you may not be successful.

The more travel-related fees you manage to avoid, the less money you will throw away and the more you will have available to spend exploring the country and the world. If you have big travel plans this year, make an effort to avoid these pesky fees.

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