Unexpected travel costs & how to avoid them

February 5, 2020

You saved your pennies and bought that cheap flight. Now you’ve got to get to planning the rest. The accommodations, transportation, food, tours etc etc. Maybe you aren’t a mega planner, but when you begin your trip, the costs start adding up and suddenly the only cheap part of your trip is that ticket.

It seemed prudent to list a few areas of travel that may get forgotten in the initial planning but end up piling on extra costs. 


Check your airline so you are super clear on the baggage fees. Some airlines now even charge for carry-ons. We use a credit card that gives us a free checked bag per person, but if you don’t have that, be strategic on how you pack and take a carry on. Packing cubes can help with that! 

*If you want to know more about credit cards, I wrote a blog breaking down the best ones HERE . If you have more questions, shoot me an email and I’ll be happy to share other tips.


Taxis can add up super quickly; Especially in a big city with traffic. 

Depending on where you are and if you want to attempt driving, check car rentals because sometimes you can find a good deal. Places like cheaptickets.com or Costco are good places to check first.

Solution: Take advantage of the public transportation. If public transport intimidates you, ask the hotel or your Airbnb host for help navigating it. 

And also bring your walking shoes. The best way to really get a feel for a new city is to walk it.


Stay away from the places right on the main streets or by the major tourist sites. Another tip is to get take away from a small café for breakfast and/or lunch and then go out for dinner.  Or do brunch and a twofer instead of paying for 3 meals out.

If staying at an Airbnb, try going to a local grocery store so you can eat a few things at the rental.


Do your research. Some places/museums are free and/or have a free day of the month. As for tours, research the tours you want, check for Groupons, look on the city’s official website for specials of the month or tips for the best time to visit a specific location. Some major cities like London, for example, have a pass you can purchase for all the major tourist attractions for way less than buying each individual ticket. 

Tours and expeditions are where you can spend some serious money, but if you take the time to research a little bit, a lot of times you can find a deal. 

What are some of things you feel cost the most when you’re traveling? How do you save money when you’re planning a trip?

Ohhhh yeah, guess what? I created a free printable for you. It’s a vacation budget sheet so you can start planning YOUR dream trip 🙂

Click HERE to have it

comments +

  1. Maggie V says:

    Yes! These are ALWAYS the things that, in our dreamy state of excitement and anticipation, we forget to add into our initial travel budget. Souvenirs can sometimes catch our budgets by surprise, too. While they may be small expenses, they definitely add up!

  2. Shell says:

    Food…it’s always the food! 🙄

  3. Craig says:

    As someone who does travel often, your tips are very useful. In fact, I forgot that Costco offers car rentals. I have a trip soon and will definitely check Costco first. Thanks!!

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