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If you think you've got this summer's vacation already plotted out, make sure you're not forgetting to budget for all costs. Sneaky, easy-to-forget costs can add up and throw your trip off budget.
Trip expenses will vary depending on where you're going, for how long and your plans while you're there. But if you forget certain expenses, your fun vacation could lead to racking up debt. Remember to budget for the following seven costs.
1. Passport Renewal Fees
You've planned out your trip when you realize your passport has expired. Paying for a passport renewal costs $130 for a passport book, plus $30 if you want to include a card.
If you have to rush it, you can expect to pay an additional $60 expedited fee and $19.53 for one- to two-day delivery once your renewal is processed. Keep in mind that passport renewals can be delayed—even expedited applications could take up to two months—so it's best to check off this item as early as possible.
2. Pet Kenneling and Vaccinations
The best vacation may be when you can bring your best furry friend—but not every destination is suited for pets. Kenneling your cat or dog while away can be the best choice for all of you, but don't forget to add up the costs, which are around $40 per day on average. These costs will go up if you have a pet with special medical needs or if you want them walked or played with more often.
Also, make sure you check their vaccination records in advance. Some kennels require pets to be vaccinated for things like kennel cough or canine influenza before they can stay. This could add an extra vet bill before your trip.
3. House Sitting
Maybe you don't need someone to stay at your home the whole time you're gone. But do you want your plants watered? Your goldfish fed? Finding someone to come over to take care of these things at your home could cost you.
House sitting services range from $25 to $50 per day depending on how much you need.
4. Seat Upgrades at the Airport
Once you get to the airport, you might realize those great budget plane tickets you snagged were budget because you, your spouse and your 4-year-old are all seated in different sections.
Upgrading at the airport to get seats together could end up costing you an extra few hundred dollars. Either budget for this possibility or splurge on some confirmed-location seating at the time of purchase.
5. Medical Extraction Insurance
You may think your own health insurance is enough to cover you on vacation. But consider where you're going and the costs associated with a possible injury there, as well as transport costs.
For folks traveling to remote areas for things like hiking or others going out on cruises in international waters, extraction costs in the event of an emergency can be huge.
Consider adding a travel insurance policy with medical evacuation coverage. This typically costs $45 to $68 per trip, according to travel insurance resource CoverTrip.
6. Banking Fees
If you've forgotten to factor in currency exchange fees, foreign transaction fees or ATM fees, you could be in for a rude awakening while spending during your trip.
Depending on the location you're traveling to, the exchange rate may be in your favor for spending power, or it may not be. This could leave you purchasing a normal amount of food or accommodations at a higher rate unexpectedly.
Additionally, you may get charged to use your credit card in these locations. Foreign transaction fees average 2% to 3% of your purchase. But some cards don't have foreign transaction fees, making them ideal to bring along on a trip abroad.
Don't forget to estimate fees for cash-based systems while traveling. Some countries prefer that you pay for most things with cash. If you need to withdraw money from an ATM while traveling, budget for fees. You may find that ATM fees while traveling could be unexpectedly high depending on the location. If you need to frequently withdraw cash, these charges could add up. Consider opening a checking account with a bank that refunds or covers ATM fees.
7. Travel Snacks
You may think it's no big deal to grab some snacks on the go during your trip. But if you're traveling with family and shopping at interstate rest stops or airport convenience stores, you could be paying a premium for the snacks you're grabbing at the last minute.
Building these costs into your vacation budget is important. Alternatively, pack as many snacks as you can to avoid getting stuck paying for food and drinks in high-cost travel locations.
Travel Is Rewarding
Sticking to a solid vacation budget is one way to keep your finances in check while traveling. You could also get rewarded by your credit card to mitigate some of your travel costs. Just be sure your trip budget extends to how much you're comfortable putting on your card so you don't carry debt long after you've landed back at home.
Travel credit cards can help you earn points that can be applied to airline tickets, hotel rooms and more. They may also come with perks like airport lounge access, expedited airport security screening and trip insurance. As mentioned before, many don't charge foreign transaction fees.
When you use Experian CreditMatch™, you can get matched to cards appropriate for your credit profile. See what travel rewards card may be a good match for you.