The last thing you want while you’re out there being inspired and awed by the wonders of this world is to be faced with expenses, charges and fees you had no idea about!
So today we finish this series with the last items you need to be aware of, to make the most of your money and your experience.
Unexpected travel expenses: Miscellaneous charges
11. Solo travel
I’ve traveled solo, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. Nevertheless, solo travel does have the disadvantage of you having to pay for everything.
When you travel with more people some expenses get divided between the amount of people traveling.
For example, taxis, hotel rooms, excursions or tours, travel guides and personal tour guides.
Cultural Traveler Tip: Read my How to choose the best travel partner article and find the best travel partner you can; then plan your expenses together.
Banks will charge for any transaction you make abroad, anything from $5 to $25 per transaction or more.
Cultural Traveler Tip: Check with your bank before leaving. Ask about ATM withdrawals, credit or debit card usage, traveler’s checks and other unexpected charges.
Customs are different abroad. You may find that a very nice waiter in Paris brings you a gorgeous basket of freshly baked croissants only to find out, that they’re 3 euro a pop when the tab comes!
The language barrier may also cause you to order three courses or go overboard on the lunch buffet.
And let’s face it, some restaurant employees will take advantage of the dumb tourist who can’t speak their language and will be so embarrassed that at the end will pay for all the food.
Cultural Traveler Tip: Research in advance about local restaurant customs and learn some words in the local language so that you’re more a savvy traveler than a dumb tourist.
Tipping practices are different in different countries. Sometimes people who work as bellhops or waiters only receive the money of the tips and have no salary, while in other cases, all employees have salaries and benefits.
Cultural Traveler Tip: Research beforehand about the tipping practices at your destination.
While on travel beware of people offering to help you on the street or to pose with you for pictures. They always expect that tip.
15. Exchange rates
Here’s the deal: If you’re currency is stronger than the one of your destination, your money will go a long way.
On the other hand, if you’re currency is weaker than the one of your destination, things will be a whole lot more expensive.
In any case, beware that you may lose money when exchanging currency, especially if you’re exchanging at the airport or your hotel.
Cultural Traveler Tip: Try to exchange money at home is possible and at the end of your trip, you can use this cool tip to save a bit of money.
16. Clothing mishaps
Has it happened to you that you planned for one type of weather and then it suddenly changed on you?
Can you imagine yourself at the Moscow airport in the middle of winter, using flip flops?
Sometimes Mother Nature can be a B*&%$ch and you may need to purchase some clothing abroad, like a winter jacket or a pair of shorts and a tank top.
Cultural Traveler Tip: Be sure to check the weather at your destination online one week before the trip and pack clothes accordingly.
17. Health issues
Sure, you’ve purchased travel insurance like I’ve advised you to, but many times you just have an upset stomach, a headache or a cold.
Or perhaps you fell from your bike and need some alcohol and gauze.
You’re going to have to go to the pharmacy to get some off-the-shelf medication or supplies. Though you may not end up spending a fortune here, it’s important to know that these expenses may occur.
Cultural Traveler Tip: Make sure you have set aside at least a 10% of your budget for unexpected expenses or emergencies.
So there you go, I’m sure hotels, airlines, airports and countries will still manage to come up with more things to charge you for, but knowing about these 17 unexpected travel expenses will put you on your toes when it comes to managing your budget.
In the meantime, have you encountered any of these situations before?
How much did you have to pay?
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