Janelle has 6 years of experience working in the travel industry as a digital marketer, with the last two specialising in Travel Money. Coming from a background of Journalism and English, Janelle enjoys writing copy for blogs, websites and social media, and has written guest posts for both Cruiseabout and Travel Money Oz.
When you're working out your holiday budget, there are a lot of obvious things you need to include - airfare, accommodation, visas, travel insurance, food and drinks, sightseeing and so on.
But, in some popular holiday destinations, there may also be a few hidden holiday costs that you may not be aware of. Here are 8 things you didn't know you have to pay for overseas.
Ok, so in general, this may be something you are aware of already. But, do you know what the tipping etiquette is for the country you're visiting?
Every country is different in terms of whether tipping is common practice or not, but if it is you also need to know how much to tip, who to tip and when to tip. It pays to do your research because tips are definitely something you should work into your holiday budget.
To start you can read our handy guide "Tipping Etiquette Around the World", otherwise a quick Google search on your holiday destination should give you the answers you need.
#2. DEPARTURE TAX
A lot of people are not aware that a departure tax is charged when a person leaves a country, even if it isn't your final destination. Usually this is payable at the airport - sometimes in cash, sometimes by a prepayment method and sometimes it is charged to the airlines and is then included in the cost of your airfare.
If it's not included, you may need to make sure you have cash on you (in the local currency), because credit cards are not always accepted as payment.
#3. SALES TAX
In Australia, a sales tax (GST) is included in the price of goods and services, so when you go up to the counter to pay for that pair of shoes, you pay the price it was advertised at.
BUT, if you go to America on a holiday, you may suddenly find the price increases when you pay - and that is because in the USA, sales tax is only added at the cash register.
#4. TOURIST TAXES
In many places, tourists are charged various taxes over and above their initial payments - for example:
- Hotel tax: in the USA, you may be charged an extra fee on top of your per night cost at a hotel, and this usually covers the cost of the "free" Wi-Fi, valet service and so on
- Car rental tax: you may find many car hire businesses charge extra fees and insurances that are not in the advertised per day cost
These taxes can be added on as a per day/night flat rate, or as a percentage rate, and sometimes even both.
#5. IMPORT DUTIES
You may already be aware that most countries impose an import tax or duty on certain merchandise being brought into the country, but it will pay off to make sure you're aware of what you will be charged for at your specific destination.
Usually the tax doesn't apply to goods you take into and out of the country - for example, your laptop or camera. But, it will apply to a camera that is a gift. It may also apply to a camera you buy on holiday and then take home. Its best to do a bit of research on what the import duties are that apply to your holiday destination.
#6. PUBLIC TOILETS
No one really wants to talk about, let alone use, public toilets - but when you got to go, you got to go. So, it's worth knowing that some overseas countries - especially European countries - charge you to use public toilets.
It's a good idea to make sure you always have some change on you for those occasions, or if you head to a cafe or restaurant, be prepared to buy something in return.
You would think that in this day and age, Wi-Fi should be free anywhere in the world, but unfortunately this is not the case. In many countries you may need to pay for internet access - sometimes by the minute, and sometimes by the day.
#8. EUROPEAN CAFE CULTURE
If you go to a cafe in Europe, you are likely to pay more for your cuppa if you want to have it sitting down at a table. That's because you're also paying for the table service, the atmosphere and the view.
If you just want a quick cup and don't want to watch the world go by while you're sipping away on your Java, then just order and drink your coffee at the counter.
All countries charge for different things in different ways, and these are just some of the unknown costs you may find on your holiday. To handle these surprises, we recommend building a bit of a buffer into your holiday budget so that these sort of surprise costs don't hamper your holiday fun too much.
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