7 Most Outrageous Travel Fees

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by MSYgirl, Nov 5, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. MSYgirl

    MSYgirl Gold Member

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    Some travel surprises are good: discovering a hidden gem of a trattoria in Florence where you are greeted with hugs and an open bottle of Chianti. Or finding out that the Louvre is free the one day you are in Paris.

    But then there are the bad surprises: getting the final bill on your cruise and seeing hundreds of dollars tacked on for gratuities. Or showing up at the airport at the end of a blissful week in the Caribbean and being informed you must pay a departure tax, or you can't leave the island (on second thought, being stuck in paradise doesn't sound that terrible).

    Here are seven fees you should factor into the budget -- including a few you can avoid altogether if you're smart.


    Visas are required for U.S. citizens traveling to some major countries, and the fees can really escalate. Planning on taking that once-in-a-lifetime trip to China? Budget another $140 per person for a visa. A visa to visit India costs $76 (including a service fee), while a visa for Russia costs $170. Countries like Brazil charge American citizens the same amount that our government charges their citizens to visit the U.S. -- a hefty $160. Go to the consulate's website to find out how much you are going to have to shell out. It can take a couple weeks to process visas, so be sure to plan ahead or you'll end up paying even more to expedite.


    Have you ever looked at the breakdown of the cost of an airline ticket? Mixed in with the Passenger Facility Charge and the Segment Tax is usually a departure tax for international flights. Many countries charge one, though its not always included in your airfare. If that is the case, you'll be hit up with an exit fee at the airport on your way back to the U.S. This is especially common in the Caribbean and Central and South America. The departure tax for St. Kitts is $37 per person, while the departure tax from St. Maarten is $30 per person. To leave Costa Rica you will owe $28. The fee is usually payable in cash or by credit card and must be paid before proceeding through immigration for your exit stamp. Airport websites often have information about exit fees and you can always call your airline to inquire about the departure tax, too. In case you were wondering, these fees are sometimes levied to cover things like airport construction, road work, and water and sewage system maintenance.

    Read more here.
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    Original Member

    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    The only one of those I find objectionable is the cruise gratuities. The others seem perfectly reasonable to me, but I'm sure I'm in the minority on that.
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  3. FetePerfection
    Original Member

    FetePerfection Silver Member

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    This is indirectly an outrageous travel fee I have to contend with every time I travel to and coordinate a wedding in Italy. It's called a SIAE tax and it is automatically charged by every DJ, band or even a venue that plugs in an iPod. "Supposedly" the tax is collected by local government and distributed to the musicians whose music was actually played at the wedding reception. This I seriously doubt. The tax is substantial, upwards of 400 EU or more. The only way around this is playing classical music from centuries ago since the composers are long gone and no one is around to collect the royalties. I have doubts the tax ever makes it way to the rightful owners, which is why this is such a source of aggravation for me at least.
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