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When planning a trip, booking a hotel can be a daunting task, but it’s essential to avoid a common mistake that could dent your budget. While browsing for the perfect hotel, the initially advertised rates might not reveal the complete picture. Hidden charges can quickly erode your savings, so it’s crucial to exercise caution.

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Before jumping on seemingly enticing deals found on travel websites or hotel promotions, take a moment to scrutinize the fine print. Often overlooked factors like taxes, resort fees, Wi-Fi charges, and parking fees can significantly inflate your final bill. To ensure you have an accurate estimate of your total costs, consider calling the hotel directly for a breakdown of all charges.

Another important consideration is the credit card hold, which hotels may place on your card during your stay. While this isn’t an actual charge, it temporarily ties up a portion of your funds (usually between $50 and $200 or more). It’s a security measure to cover potential damages, and you’ll get the money back after check-out. Be aware of this if you’re on a budget to avoid any disruptions to your travel plans.

Lastly, carefully review the hotel’s refund policy, especially when booking through third-party websites. Some tempting rates may come with a strict non-refundable policy. If you value the flexibility of a refund, it’s often safer to book directly through the hotel to avoid any unexpected mishaps like booking the wrong date or location.

In summary, when booking a hotel, don’t just focus on the nightly rate; consider all associated costs, including fees, taxes, credit card holds, and refund policies. This thorough assessment can help you make an informed choice and prevent booking at a seemingly budget-friendly place that ends up costing you more in hidden expenses.

Re-reported from the article originally published in The Explore.

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