Watch out for (hidden) additional costs

It is annoying when hidden extra charges pop up during your well-deserved holiday. For World Tourism Day, ECC-Net explains how consumers can detect and, more importantly, avoid these additional costs.


Additional costs in hotels

Who is not familiar with this situation? After a long journey, one would like to recover in the hotel room immediately. To do so, you sometimes need to check in earlier. However, this is often charged separately. Extra charges for breakfast or parking fees have also become common practice. A local tourist tax is levied in several European countries, such as Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany and Malta.

On top of that, low-cost hotels in particular charge user fees for using safes and TVs in the room. Fast Wi-Fi often costs extra. In Spain, guests are sometimes asked to pay for luggage storage. In the Netherlands, you may have to pay for the use of hairdryers. Also, if you want to borrow a bathrobe in France or Finland, you'll have to pay an extra fee.

Bringing your pet usually costs as well. In some places, a special final cleaning fee is added. Some hotels charge for final cleaning even without pets.

Also, in some countries, the transfer from the hotel to the airport usually is not included, for instance in Germany or the Czech Republic.

Other fees may be added: In Spain, France and Italy, umbrellas and sun loungers cost extra at many public beaches.

Good to know: Before concluding the contract, the vacationer must be informed by the contract or the general terms and conditions which services are included and which are not, and what they cost extra. If additional services are offered at the location (towel rental, use of faster Internet, etc.), there must be a clear indication of the additional costs on-site at the latest.


Tips on how to Recognize & avoid additional costs


  • Read offers carefully and check which services are included before you book. In case of doubt, contact the hotel or the tour operator.
  • Read customer reviews to see if other guests have complained about unexpected additional costs.
  • Ask for the bill before the end of your stay to detect extra charges early on.
  • If you have to pay to be able to check in or out at all, note "Payment subject to reservation" on the invoice. Immediately write to the hotel management or the organizer.
  • Book cancellable rates. These might be a little bit more expensive but may save you high cancellation fees in the end.
  • Before choosing extra travel insurance: Check if the insurance on your credit card is sufficient.
  • If you book "all inclusive" you will have fewer surprises when it comes to food and beverage costs.
  • Book well in advance.
  • Use a less popular airport.
  • Book in the off-season or on weekdays - they are less busy.
  • Instead of using the hotel parking: Switch to free public parking lots.


Were we able to help you with this information?

We are happy that we were able to help you!

It is unfortunate that we were not able to help you.

What is the primary reason for your answer?

How likely are you to recommend our service to a friend?

0 = not likely
5 = most likely
Send feedback