Hotel Unexpected Charges: Don’t Let it Ruin your Vacation

Posted by Holly Hou on 8/21/20 11:51 AM

We’ve all been there. After a nice stay in a luxurious hotel, where we can come home to fresh sheets every night, order room service, and relax in the spa downstairs, we receive the final hotel bill and see the extra charges section. You find out that you have to pay a fee to actually access the pool and gym. It can be quite a headache trying to figure out what you’re being charged for. To help you manage and understand these unexpected charges, we are sharing some tips on how to deal with it.



Charges you need to keep an eye on:

Resort fees: Often considered the most hated fee charged by properties, resort fees cover the use of exclusive amenities, such as pool, gym, and even phone service. Note that this fee is being charged regardless if you use it or not. If you find it unreasonable, feel free to contest the fee before you check out. You might also find it helpful to visit to see if the property you’ll be staying at charges a resort fee.

Did you know? Resort fees are so unpopular that the issue regarding resort fees was brought to the court in 2019.


Extra guest fee: Your friend wants to join you on your upcoming stay in an all-inclusive resort in Cancun, but you only reserved it for one guest. Though the room is spacious enough to accommodate the two of you, you might still be charged for an extra guest fee. This fee is a common practice from all-inclusive resorts where meals and amenities are included in the rate you paid.

While this fee is most common with resorts, hotels may charge this fee as well. Hotels may charge an extra guest fee if it exceeds the maximum occupancy of the room. You may get an extra mattress or rollaway bed though.


Early check-in/Late check-out: The typical check-in hour is 3 PM while the check out is at 12 noon. Not all flights nor your schedule will fit these hours perfectly most of the time, so you may not arrive at the property as you originally plan. Most hotels charge an extra fee whether you have to check-in early or stay for a few more hours, but it’s worth trying to negotiate with them.


Parking: Room reservation paid. Car rented. Ready to check-in! Can you park your car at the hotel? If so, is that complimentary? Most hotels are now charging guests for parking fees while there are still some room packages that come with free parking, whether it’s self-parking or valet.


Internet: WiFi has been an essential necessity for us just like water and air. Free internet access has been one of the features we consider in booking accommodation, but beware that some hotels still charge a fee for it. 


Minibars & snacks: You might think that the fridge in your room with various drinks and snacks are complimentary. Oops! You’ll be charged for those and note that the fridge has a sensor. We definitely don’t want to be charged for just touching it or moving it slightly.


Gratuities: Tipping is a great way to show appreciation, but it’d be wiser to check with the hotel if gratuities are included in the rate you paid so you’re not unknowingly double-tipping. Here is a Tipping Cheat Sheet by The Points Guy to help you think about how much to tip!



Airport shuttle service: This service is a great ease for travelers and has been a selling point for most hotels. It would save you some extra expenses to check first if they offer it for free.


Cancellation fees: Including early check-out, the hotel may charge you a fee if you  cancel your reservation (especially for last-minute cancellations). If you won’t be able to make it on that date, do inform the hotel immediately and negotiate if they can cancel it free-of-charge.

If you booked your reservation through us, kindly contact NexTravel Support and we will do our best to your advantage.


Telephone Surcharge: Telephone calls may not be of much use now as almost everything can be done with your own mobile phone, but in case you’ll need to use one, expect an additional charge on your bill.


Pet fee: You just can’t leave your best friend alone! Some hotels do have size restrictions for bringing pets while others aren’t pet-friendly. Before you go, check first if the hotel charges extra for bringing your pet.


Taxes and other local charges: Though the room rate may include taxes, please note that depending on your destination, additional city taxes may still be collected.


Tips for Avoiding Hotel Fees


Do your research. If you booked your reservation online, the website usually shows the extra fees that may be collected. It’s safer to check the hotel’s website to make sure we know what to expect.


Before you go you may save some money using public parking in case you have to pay for it at the hotel.


Ask the property. Not all information online is up to date and there might be some conditions that apply. To avoid confusion, feel free to contact the hotel’s front desk directly. Don’t forget to keep the name and designation of the staff for reference.


Be a loyal member! Doing repeat business with a hotel or a chain will give you more chances to enjoy perks such as parking and airport shuttle service for free. Sign up their membership today! 


Prepare your own. Why not bring your own snacks and drinks or buy our own groceries? Instead of using the hotel’s telephone for a fee, you can use your own phone.


Pack beforehand. To avoid late check-out fees, prepare your belongings a few hours before the standard check-out time (12 noon).


Know your rights. If you find a certain charge unreasonable (e.g. a charge in a minibar that you did not consume), do not hesitate to dispute it with hotel management before you leave the property. If that does not work, credit card companies may process a chargeback for a service not rendered. If all else fails, check with your local law if a certain violation takes place.

This blog is not intended to discourage booking rooms with hotels, rather to share common extra fees so you can better understand and avoid them if possible. We value your time and hope this helps a little. As always, feel free to reach out to NexTravel Support if you see any unknown charge or need help with anything else!


Topics: Hotel

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