Money Savers: Hidden travel costs
Heather Shue writes about her money-saving adventures on simplysavemn.com.

"I save money on other things, so I have money for travel and the things that are important to me," says Shue, who is vigilant about tracking her spending, saving where she can, and looking for deals in all areas of her life.

Travel is important to Shue, who travels for fun, but also to see her family. We asked Shue about places to save money when traveling.

Check airports

"I always look at multiple airports. When I go to Pennsylvania to visit family, it costs less to go to another airport and rent a car," says Shue.

She also has to plan for toll roads on her journey and factor that into overall costs when budgeting for her trip.


Getting to the airport often can be costly. Shue recommends off-site parking, but first searching for promo codes as well as any applicable discounts. Several shuttle sites often have points clubs to reward frequent travelers.


Airlines often charge for checked bags, and some airlines charge for carry-on bags. Shue recommends carrying on a bag, but also limiting what you put inside so you can speed through TSA checkpoints. She says to buy plastic toiletry bottles and fill them yourself. 

"It's a couple of dollars at most, but it's way cheaper than buying travel products every time you go," says Shue.

Small fees

Be aware of small fees that are often included in the cost of a trip.

"It all falls under the same theme, you need to be aware," says Linda Snyder, AAA Minneapolis vice president of travel and retail.

She says often travelers don't expect to pay a resort fee at an overseas resort or maybe parking fees at a hotel. Weighing your travel plans should help you determine if it is a fee you are willing to pay. For example, if you don't plan on staying exclusively at a resort, then maybe you want to shop for a place that doesn't include a resort fee on the bill.

Read the fine print

Often people see a super-low price on a trip that doesn't have extra fees or even airfare included.

"If you see these very, very low fares, chances are these aren't the bottom line of what you are going to pay," says Snyder, who also points out that agents should make you aware of any hidden or extra charges.

If you don't have an agent, she says comb through the fine print.

"Any piece of travel there's going to be some extra cost, so you just need to be aware up front so you know what you are getting into," says Snyder. "You don't want to get somewhere and not have the money so you have to limit what you can do."

Shannon Slatton, reporting
on Twitter: @sslatton

March 2, 2016


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