How Do You Avoid Paying Hidden Hotel Costs?

Discussion in Travel started by Denis Hard • Feb 28, 2014.

  1. Denis Hard

    Denis HardWell-Known Member

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    Most hotels don't disclose the cost of 'free' services which you may think are part of the deal. Surfing the net, I came across interesting information about additional hidden costs that may not even relate to your stay at the hotel. For example they can include Occupancy/Tourism tax which is dumb since not everyone staying at a hotel is a tourist.

    Are there ways one can avoid paying "full" that is, pay what the hotel bill, minus the stupid extra charges for local tax and stuff?
     
  2. difrancprod

    difrancprodBanned

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    I avoid it by simply really not booking in hotels. I prefer private houses or rooms. Like transient deals.
     
  3. wander_n_wonder

    wander_n_wonderActive Member

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    I always check everything with the hotel front desk upon check-in. I may look very picky, but I really ask these things. I also make sure that I clarify with them how much I need to pay and what are the add ons. A few questions can really save your day from all the hassle.
     
  4. MindyT

    MindyTActive Member

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    I know there would be local taxes, but I am not sure what a tourist tax would consist of. Is this only in certain locations? I do not like it when hotels charge you for parking! That is what makes me mad. I am going there, staying there, and yet, I have to pay for my car to stay on the property?? I paid for gas to get there, paid for the room, and paid for all those lovely taxes you mentioned. Yet, I still have to pay to park my car! That's dumb!
     
  5. katherine25

    katherine25Member

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    I have never heard of a tourist tax but I will definitely be looking for it next time! I also agree that I think its horrible they charge you to park at their hotel, its unfair really but they know there is probably no where else to park and if there is, no one wants to walk with all of their luggage so they can get away with charging to park your car, such a rip off.
     
  6. Theo

    TheoWell-Known Member

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    I always look at the total cost and ask about any other fees like late check out as some charge for this. One hotel I found out (and a posh chain) charged a fee to use credit cards and it was never mentioned until I checked out. That I think is outdated and wrong. These days hotels need to be transparent about their costs and if they are not you can cause a fuss at reception.

    Car parking should be free and places that charge like city hotels should reimburse guests when they leave. I stayed in D.C. once and they ended up refunding the car park fees as I complained.
     
  7. Dora M

    Dora MWell-Known Member

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    I am very diligent when it comes to staying in hotels/motels. I ask a lot of questions, sometimes to a point where the receptionist gets uncomfortable. But it always makes an impression. The staff usually treats me with "extra" caution. I just don't like to get ripped off, that's all.
     
  8. H.C. Heartland

    H.C. HeartlandActive Member

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    The last hotel we stayed at was in a town that had this type of tax. It was interesting to me though because 2 hotels, despite having had the same owner, offered that we only had to pay the tax once whereas the other one said we had to pay it every day. I opted for the cheaper of the two. I also never dip into the refrigerator if they are offering food or beverages. And I am very careful not to view any paid for viewing channels, this is another area where they can get you without you realizing it. Room service is also another hidden cost which once seen can be deadly.
     
  9. rightct

    rightctActive Member

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    What?!? Hidden hotel tax? I've been traveling around the world for a very long time and only had impediments in Thailand with the hotel I stayed at, as it was truly squalid, but nobody mentioned any kind of tourist tax whatsoever.
    I guess now that I'm aware of this, I will be more wary in the future and read more reviews on Tripadvisor, hopefully of people mentioning this specific hidden tax.
     
  10. kitsiks

    kitsiksNew Member

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    If you're booking online, these hidden fees usual come up before the final step on your payment. I'm not sure if you can opt out of the tax fees though, that's if you're booking at somewhere like Hotels.com or Booking.com. Those are automatically added in the system and if you want to remove them from your bill, you have to contact the hotel your booking with directly. Which can be a hassle. You're basically going through two different reservation systems (online site's and the hotel's) at this point.

    I think booking directly with the hotel and asking about the incidental rates or tax fees, prior to guaranteeing your booking (paying a deposit or giving your credit card details). You might be able to ask the reservations agent to remove the fees or give you a local rate (without the Tourist taxes).
     
  11. BrandonScooterman

    BrandonScootermanActive Member

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    Research! I work in the hospitality industry and can tell you there are no "hidden fee's" at any major hotel chains. ALL of the fee's are described somewhere. If you book via an OTA (booking.com, expedia ext) then please take the time to read the fine print. All costs will be described somewhere. Call the hotel and ask the front desk staff they will also give you in the information you need. Whenever someone complains about secret costs I know they didn't take the time to actually read the fine print.
    In my opinion its the really cheap and really expensive hotels that nickel and dime you for things like internet and parking. Pick a major name that's in the middle of the price range and you will be fine.
     
  12. Jessi

    Jessi<a href="http://www.quirkycookery.com">QuirkyCooke

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    If it's a real tax, such as a local or state tax, then you usually can't avoid that one.

    The "tourist tax" is likely a local fee or surcharge, though, and you might be able to get them to waive that.

    Alternatively, you can ask for OTHER discounts instead that can help offset their silly fees.
     
  13. BrandonScooterman

    BrandonScootermanActive Member

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    Oh yes so true. Where I am the "tourist tax" is 100% voluntary. Thing is they do not tell you this unless you ask! So a lot of international visitors think that it is a normal government tax and don't ask for it to be taken off. Best advice is to just ask questions! Know exactly what you are paying for.
     
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