Travelling would be a whole lot easier if we didn’t have to worry or plan for unexpected expenses. But unfortunately, it’s something that everyone who plans on travelling has to deal with. If you are a newbie traveller, you’re probably not too aware of all of the unexpected travel expenses that may arise.
Fear not, below I’ve made a list of 10 unexpected travel expenses that you shouldn’t forget to budget for.
Depending on which country you choose to visit, you may need to apply for a visa. And no, applying for this visa is not free. You will need to set money aside for the visa and any other documentation you may need before travelling to your desired destination. Also factor in an amount for photos if you need to bring physical photos along with your required documentation when applying.
Do your research on whichever country you are visiting beforehand. Research that includes checking the visa requirements as well as any vaccinations or medications that you may need to have sorted before leaving your country.
2. Vaccinations and Medications
Some countries will require you to present proof of certain vaccinations before granting you a visa. Several international destinations will require you to have malaria pills or other medications relevant to the country you are visiting. If you are insured, your insurance may cover these prescriptions. However, if you are not, you may have to set a budget for these expenses because they can really add up and take a chunk out of your pocket.
For more information on vaccines, check out this post.
3. Passport Fees
Be sure to check your passport expiry date as well as if it’s in good enough condition. If your passport is too damaged, you may be denied entry onto your flight. You will have to do research for your relevant country, but passports can cost a lot of money regardless of which country you are in. So check your passport and set money aside if you need to get a new one or have your current one renewed.
4. Bank Card Fees and Currency Exchange
When you are travelling abroad, you are going to come across foreign transaction banking fees. They are often associated with credit cards, but some banks may have them imposed on debit cards as well. Make sure that you contact your bank and inform then that you will be travelling abroad so that they can tell you about foreign transaction fees.
If you don’t inform your bank on your decision to travel abroad, they may block your card due to suspected fraudulent activities in a different country.
5. Baggage Fees and In-Flight Expenses
Sometimes you will encounter a great deal on a plane ticket, only to find out later that you are going to be charged baggage fees. Check the airlines website beforehand to see for any hidden baggage fees so that you can plan and pack accordingly. Knowing the cost of the baggage fees will help you to pack smart and leave any unnecessary items at home.
If you need more information as well as a travel and vacation packing guide, see my blog post: The Ultimate Travel and Vacation Packing Guide and Checklist.
Some of the other in-flight expenses may include the following: on-board WiFi and food and beverages. Most airlines provide free meals and beverages on long haul flights, but it’s always best to do your research before your flight to know for sure.
6. Travel Insurance
Whether you are travelling through Europe or on a tropical getaway in Indonesia, having travel insurance is important. Travel insurance can be a bit costly. But some companies don’t only cover medical expenses, but also trip cancellations and delays. You may think that having travel insurance is a pain and that you may not need it… but trust me when I say that it’s better to have it than to see a medical bill of thousands of $$ because you didn’t.
7. Emergency Expenses
Sometimes your medical insurance will not cover all injuries and accidents. You may be hiking up the mountain or going scuba diving and experience a bruised ankle or some cuts. You will have to dig into your own pocket to pay for these injuries. If you don’t already have some money set aside for this, you may need to use your credit card which may come with extra fees.
8. Cellular Provider Fees
Always contact your phone provider and ask about international roaming rates. If you are not aware of this before you travel, you may come home to a big, nasty phone bill. If the country you are travelling to does not have WiFi widely available then you may find yourself needing to connect to your phone’s data. And if you do not have a local SIM card of the country you are visiting, it’s going to cost you.
9. Departure Taxes
In most cases, these charges will be included in your plane tickets so you wouldn’t have to worry about setting money aside from it. But for some countries like Argentina, you will have to pay departure taxes at the airport. For this reason, it’s important to always research your travel destination and check their entry, exit, and visa requirements.
In most countries, tipping is expected. A lot of countries have it included in the bill, but some not. You may be expected to tip 15-20% of your bill. This adds up if you haven’t budgeted for it. Tipping doesn’t just apply to buying food and eating at a restaurant – it also applies to housekeeping, taxi drivers, tour guides, etc.