Nail hidden travel costs before leaving for summer vacation

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - Extra fees for checked baggage on airplanes are really adding up.

It's making the airlines billions of dollars, but it's also hitting customers right in the wallet. How can you reduce those baggage fees and avoid other hidden costs that really jack up the costs of your vacation?

Those checked bags earned United and Continental, soon to be one airline, a tidy profit of over $1 billion and totaled almost $8 billion across the board.

But believe it or not, when it comes to extra fees, that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Avoiding those hidden fees is a real trick.

It's almost a case of you name it, there's a fee for it.

We've heard all about baggage. However, some airlines charge extra for a particular seat, for changing a reservation, for amenities like snacks, blankets, pillows, headphones and wi-fi. You'll also pay extra for pets.

"We recommend you go to the actual airlines website and check it out," Evansville Airport Marketing Manger Dianna Kissel says. "Make sure you are aware of everything so you don't have surprises once you get to the airport."

But before you book with an airline, Kissel also suggests going to the website of the airport in which you're flying out of.

It'll link you to over 140 travel sites, and is a quick way to find even better deals.

Over at Ambassador Travel, they try and help customers avoid other hidden fees.

"Of course the first price is the cost of the trip itself," Ambassador Travel President Connie Corbett says. "But there's also prices or costs along the way that can add up significantly."

Some of the unexpected costs include internet access, phone calls, fitness center and towels.

She says sometimes there is even a fee for the pool, whether you use it or not, and it can be as much as $25 a day.

"When our customers ask what that's for, that's really the hotel's way of bumping up their prices just a little bit," Corbett says.  "So if you know that in advance and can plan for it you know what you;re spending before you leave."

If you rent a car, watch for hidden fees for car seats or GPS.

As for cruises, most costs are built in, but there are extra fees for day trips and excursions as well as specialty restaurants.

And if you want travel insurance, you'll buy peace of mind, but pay extra.

There are some other great websites to learn more about hidden vacation surprises.

  • has the latest security and fee changes.
  • If you want to learn how to pack everything into one small carryon to save money, try

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