It's no secret that there are plenty of hidden fees in the travel industry. Whether you're booking a flight, renting a car, or booking accommodation, you can expect to pay a bit extra over the initial price you were given (though some sites now allow you to see the total price upfront). There may even be a hefty holding fee added onto your account that only gets reimbursed after you check out or return the vehicle, provided there aren't any damages.
Saving money while still having a positive experience with your accommodation is obviously a plus when traveling for business. But having to pay unnecessary fees can be frustrating, especially if you're being charged for services you didn't even use. While you may not be able to avoid every fee, here are some fees to watch out for as well as ways business travelers can avoid hotel fees.
RELATED: Take a look at things you should never do in a hotel room:
Shuttle service and parking fees
Depending on the city and location of the hotel, you may be charged to park in the designated lot. You may also be charged for the shuttle service to the hotel. Fortunately, you can usually find out about these fees ahead of time.
Consider ride sharing apps like Lyft or Uber or even public transportation, especially if you'll be working during the day and won't be needing a car. If you do need a car for a few hours, services like Turo (think Airbnb but for cars) can help you get a car for a few hours while avoiding the parking fees. If you really need a car but don't want to pay parking fees, check for surrounding areas that may be cheaper or even free.
Checking-in early or checking-out late
Usually arriving early to a hotel means waiting for a room to be cleared and cleaned before you can check in. And checking-out late is not always available. Hotels may charge for both.
However, hotels that have loyalty programs usually allow members of the program to check-in early and check-out late. But these members usually have a higher-tier status. Consider a hotel credit card that comes with status, especially if you frequent one hotel brand often.
If you've ever gotten to your hotel early and couldn't check in or had a late flight and didn't want to bring your luggage with you until it was time to head to the airport, you've likely used this service that lets you leave your bags with reception until needed. Unfortunately, this convenient service now comes with a price. While it still may be cheaper than storing your luggage elsewhere, these fees are annoying as a guest.
Interestingly, some hotels have begun offering travelers the ability to leave their luggage for a few hours, regardless of whether or not they will be guests at the hotel. While I've so far only seen this convenient service in the U.K., I imagine other countries will start following suit. Consider asking in advance about any fees.
Some hotels add extra fees for housekeeping services as well as grounds keeping and maintenance. They may also add a fee for extra towels or other extras requested. Even the coffee and tea usually found in the room may be added to their fees for restocking.
Check the fine print to learn more about how these fees are broken down. You may also want to double check that gratuities aren't already included.
Having a safe in your room and other extras
While you may never use this, there may be an extra charge for having an in-room safe. Other items that may come with fees attached include internet access, minibars, and telephone access. Some hotels are even measuring how much energy was used during your stay and charging for that.
What you can do
The best way to know what you'll be charged is to contact the hotel directly. Note that these fees vary according to the hotel. So, even if you are staying at a hotel chain that doesn't normally have many hidden fees, the individual hotel itself may differ.
The best way to find out is to contact that specific hotel and ask them if any of the fees can be waived. Be sure to write down any information given. Once you are at the hotel, ask about any items you are unsure of.
You can also use third party sites like Priceline or Google Hotels to get a better breakdown of these fees. You may get a better idea of what to expect.
At the end of the day, a hotel resort fee can cover a variety of items. Fortunately, federal law requires all fees to be listed, usually in the fine print of your reservation. If you are being charged for something that isn't stated, you can ask for it to be removed.