Beware of these hidden fees on travel packages

It’s the time of year when many of us start booking our spring break. And so ads pop up everywhere for cruises and resort packages.

But beware: a new report indicates that many of these plans come with hundreds of dollars in hidden fees.

A catch with Caribbean travel

Say you saw an ad for a Caribbean getaway under $500? With our post-election hangover and winter coming, it might be hard to resist.

A new report in “About .Travel” says you might want to pack some extra cash.

It indicates that packages generally do not include:

  • Caribbean Arrival Tax: up to $50 in Antigua.
  • Caribbean hotel taxes: up to 18% in the Dominican Republic.
  • Resort Activity Fee: $20 per day at many resorts.
  • And VAT or Value Added Tax on things you buy: up to 15% in Jamaica.

Different airline rules

And some “it doesn’t stink” file, the fact that vacation packages aren’t required to show you all charges up front, unlike dogfights.

Federal law requires airlines to include all taxes and fees when showing you a flight. But it is not mandatory for hotels or resorts. You might say “doesn’t it stink?” if they are affected.

About.Travel says not to book your trip based on the first price that appears.

My advice? Read the fine print on the website carefully or ask the agent about additional charges before giving out your credit card number.

This way you are not hit with a $300-500 surprise and you are not wasting your money.

As always, don’t waste your money.

“Don’t Waste Your Money” is a registered trademark of Scripps Media, Inc. (“Scripps”).

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