When you think of booking your next vacation, what are the things that you budget for immediately? Obviously flights & hotels are at the top of your list, perhaps ground transportation comes to mind & of course money for food/drinks. But what other expenses are out there that you are overlooking? Additional travel expenses can add up quickly & can easily put a damper on your trip if you are not prepared for them. Here are TL Travel's 5 most commonly overlooked travel expenses as compiled by you; our TL Travelers.
Whether or not a visa is required for your trip will depend on a variety of factors from the country that you are visiting/ the country that you are from, to the duration of your stay & the purpose of your travels (vacation, work, volunteering etc.) Before you book your flights, be sure to check the government travel website for the country of your trip to verify the Visa type (if any) that is required for your stay.
TL Travel Tip: Many countries offer a visa on arrival (VOA) service to save the hassle of securing your Visa before you leave. Be sure to bring with you the required passport photos (in the proper size) for customs, along with the required VOA fee (generally required to be paid in cash.)
While travel insurance may not be at the top of your priorities list ... it probably should be. In the case of a medical emergency, lost or stolen luggage, or any other type of accident or mishap you will be happy that you have it. Failing to purchase an insurance policy could lead to a far heftier bill than the price of the insurance itself & will pay for itself right away with the peace of mind that it provides.
TL Travel Tip: Make sure that you confirm the details of what your travel insurance does & does not cover before you make your purchase. Many policies will not cover high risk activities like sky-diving, rock climbing etc. in their standard policies.
Three to six months prior to your departure it is wise to visit the government-run website for the country of your visit & to make an appointment with your local travel clinic or family doctor. While many countries will not require additional vaccinations (assuming that you are up to date on those required for Canadian or US citizens), some will require additional shots or boosters to be administered before you leave.
TL Travel Tip: Many vaccines need to be administered in more than one dose over the course of a few weeks to a few months. Be sure to start the vaccination process early to avoid missing important deadlines.
ATM FEES & CURRENCY EXCHANGE
Exchanging cash in a foreign country will typically cost you a few dollars no matter where you choose to do it. Combine exchange fees with the inevitable ATM fees that you will acquire pulling out cash abroad & even a few small interactions can add up to more that you'd think.
TL Travel Tip: Do a little investigating to find out if your local bank has any branches in the country that you will be visiting & be sure to do your banking there in order to avoid inter-bank withdrawal fees.
While there are many countries in the world where tipping is not a customary thing, there are others where tipping is absolutely expected ... for everything. Be sure to investigate the tipping customs of the country that you are visiting & factor those tips into your daily food & beverage budget. You may also be expected to tip your taxi drivers, tour guides, doormen .. you name it, so do your research & arrive prepared.
TL Travel Tip: If you are reading this article & joining a TL Travel group trip, tipping is only suggested for local tour guides ($2-$5/ person/ optional excursion). All other tipping has been handled by your TL Travel guide for hotel staff & other included services.