When you're working out your holiday budget, there are a lot of obvious things to consider – airfares, accommodation, visas, travel insurance, sightseeing and so on. But some destinations come with costs you may not be aware of. So, we’ve put together the 8 things you probably didn't know you had to pay for overseas.
Most people have heard of tipping, but do you know what the tipping etiquette is for the country you're planning to visit?
Every country is different when it comes to tipping, and it’s up to you 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 with, you can read our handy guide Tipping Etiquette Across 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 aren’t aware you can be charged a departure tax when leaving a country, even if you’re just in transit. Usually this is payable at the airport – sometimes in cash, and sometimes by a prepayment method. It can also be charged to your airline and 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 aren’t 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, you may suddenly find the price increases when you pay – that’s 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. This usually covers the cost of the "free" Wi-Fi, valet service and so on.
- Car rental tax – Many car hire businesses charge extra fees and insurances that aren’t in the advertised per-day cost.
5. Import Duties
You may already be aware that many nations impose an import or duty tax on certain merchandise being brought into the country – but it’s important to know what you’ll be charged at your specific destination.
The tax doesn't usually apply to goods you take in and out of the country - for example, your laptop or camera. However, it may apply to a camera you bring in as a gift. It may also apply to a camera you buy on holiday and then take home. It’s best to do a bit of research on what import duties apply at your holiday destination.
At this point, you’d be forgiven for murmuring ‘no more taxes’ in your sleep.
6. Public Toilets
No one really wants to talk about, let alone use, public toilets – but when you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go. And believe it or not, 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.
You’d think that in this day and age, Wi-Fi would be free anywhere in the world. Unfortunately for us social-media addicts, this isn’t always 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’re 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 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 encounter on your holiday. To handle these surprises, we recommend building a bit of a buffer into your holiday budget so they don't hamper your holiday fun too much.
For expert advice on budgeting for your trip, visit your nearest Travel Money Oz store today.
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