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For travelers this year the fees can really start to add up. Gas prices are high and food is rising which will effect the restaurants along your way, those are expenses you can budget for but what about the hidden fees? How can you prepare financially for your vacation and avoid getting caught by surprise expenses?
From your airline to your car rental company, its important to read the facts of every agreement and ask questions. You can find a cheap flight as easy as you can find a cheap car rental, but the companies might be making up for the "savings" elsewhere.
This season's most common unexpected fee is going to hit travelers flying with a heavy load. Expect to pay for your first checked bag and even more for your second. The key to avoid shock at the airport is to heed their weight limits and weigh your bags before going to the airport. In nearly every case you're far better off taking more bags that are under then weight limit than paying for an overweight bag.
There are a few ways to save if a car rental isn't enough to get you there and you just have to fly. Some airlines are still offering free luggage. JetBlue and Southwest Airlines don't charge for the first bag checked. You can also save by looking into shipping as a way to get souvenirs home to avoid paying high luggage fees on the way home.
When shipping items from abroad there is often a weight limit where the price greatly increases. Shipping from Costa Rica, for example, packages weighing less than 2 kilos are very affordable, but the price and the paperwork go up from there.
To be continued...