6 On Your Side Answers: How to avoid hidden hotel fees

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – These days, many budget-conscious travelers are booking their summer vacations online. Without a travel agent to advise you, there are some things you need to know.

Janice in Morristown asks: “We booked a vacation only to find out too late there were changes we didn’t know about. What should we have done?”

When you book a hotel room online at that exotic resort, you expect that the rate you see is the rate you pay, at least that’s what Janice thought.

Some people who book vacation plans themselves don’t find out about “resort fees” for services like fitness facilities or Internet access until the arrive at the hotel, or worse, when they check out.

If you are not sure whether a website is showing you the total price, call the hotel and ask about a resort fee or any other mandatory charge.

Sometimes, the resort fee may appear in the fine print that no one reads, or that resort fee could refer to the term “other fees may apply.”

Another tip for the smart online travel shopper is to consider some form of travel cancellation insurance, especially if you book far ahead, and make sure the product you’re being sold is a licensed insurance policy.

Also, be aware of scammers who are out to sell you a great deal on that low-cost dream vacation, especially if they claim you have won a vacation, but you have to pay some fees first.

Those so called free vacations are often tied to attendance at mandatory high pressure timeshare presentations.

Another common call you may get is from a travel club who may promise you an outlandishly cheap vacation that is riddled with high membership fees and limited choices once you sign up.

Internet booking sites are convenient, but don’t forget the traditional travel agent is not an endangered species.

While their numbers have dwindled the last few years, travel agents know the terrain and can suggest ways to save money and they do the work.

You can see Don Dare’s 6 On Your Side Answers every Tuesday and Thursday on 6 News at 4:00.If you have a question you can send Don an email at ddare@wate.com or call his 6 On Your Side hotline at (865) 633-5974.

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