Hidden Costs Of Traveling: Don’t Forget To Add These To Your Budget

Traveling can be expensive, especially when you forget about some key expenses. But costs can easily hide themselves. It’s easier to miss something when you’re excited and looking forward to the best bits of your trip, not how much it’s going to cost you. To make sure you stay within budget, we’ve got five hidden costs you ought to plan for. Check them out:

Phone cost

Let’s face it, you’re obviously going to take your smartphone traveling with you. And why wouldn’t you? It can act as your map, camera, entertainment and much more, in addition to the traditional communication purposes.

For when you want to contact your friends and family, it’s best to find a Wi-Fi connection where you’ll be able to avoid the high costs of data roaming and 3/4G. Oh, and don’t forget to switch your voicemail off – as Vouchercloud says, receiving a voicemail message is still regarded as receiving a phone call. They put your options simply:

  • If you’re travelling for an extended period of time, consider purchasing a local, pay-as-you-go sim card
  • If you’re travelling for a short period of time consider adding temporary add-ons to your contract


Some vaccinations are mandatory, some are advised. Some vaccinations will cost you money, others are free. Use the following as a guide and find out what vaccinations you’ll need to travel to your destinations.

Free vaccinations Vaccinations you pay for
Diphtheria, polio and tetanus (combined booster)
Hepatitis A
Hepatitis B (when not combined with hepatitis A)
Japanese encephalitis and tick-borne encephalitis
Meningitis vaccines
Tuberculosis (TB)
Yellow fever
Source: NHS Choices

Depending on where you’re getting your vaccinations done, you might have to pay for all – so it’s important to research how much it’s going to cost you.

Pet care

Would your pets forgive you if you didn’t treat them to the best whilst you’re away? Probably. But you won’t forgive yourself if you forget to make arrangements for them. Kennels and catteries are expensive. According to Petcare, kennels can cost anywhere from $15 per night to several hundred dollars per night. Catteries are cheaper, but it’s worth considering a house sitter experienced with pets as an alternative.


Tipping is a minefield around the world. In the US, you’ll be expected to tip waiters, hotel staff, bartenders and cab drivers. In fact, you’ll offend them if you don’t leave some extra cash behind – so it’s something you’ve got to factor into your budget.

Elsewhere, tipping isn’t commonplace. In Japan, for example, if you try and tip someone, you’ll end up offending them. So you can save money in some places without having to worry. Confused? With tipping etiquette, it’s not surprising. Check out these top tips from The Guardian.


Do you owe your neighbor for collecting your post? Do you want a silly memory of your trip? Then you’ve got to consider the costs of picking up some cheesy souvenirs from around the world. Just try and pick some lightweight ones, so you don’t go over your luggage weight allowance because that could cost way more than a novelty hat is worth.

Have you ever been surprised by a hidden cost when travelling? Share your experiences with us.


Disclaimer: The views & opinions expressed in any guest post featured on Coffeehan are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions & views of the owner of this blog. 


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  1. This is so insightful. Often we forget to add these expenses , particularly tipping, souvenirs etc, when budgeting our travel. Earlier, I used to just book my flight and hotels and think that the rest of the trip will cause just 10% of the booking costs. But I slowly realized that food, random commute and these tips that you called out here can cost as much as the initial booking cost!

  2. Ugh! Too true on phone bills and pet care. Phone bills gives us the biggest buyers regret after when we get the bill after we get home.

  3. This list is actually true and now I have realized why I spent my money very fast during travels. it is because I forget to take things like this on my trip. Thanks for this list. It will be very helpful. Cheers!

  4. I agree to all of them! I need to be mindful of how I spend my money on these things. Good thing, vaccination is covered by my insurance. whew!

  5. This post is all too true. I don;t know how many times I’ve been travelling and discovered that I’m spending money much quicker that I had envisaged and it’s only when you add up the little things that you realise where it’s gone. Certainly be paying more attention to how much I tip in future!

  6. Such a thoughtful post. You are right, we often neglect these costs while calculating the total cost for the trip. And the phone bills can go up to any amount.

  7. These hidden costs can something give us a serious shock. Specially the phone bills. I learnt this the hard way. And since then I have always been careful with my phone charges.

  8. This is a really good article Marge and yes, we tend to overlook these when budgeting our travel expenses. I remember when we used to have a pet, we had to include the pet accommodation and required deposit in our budget. And it’s a significant amount. We were also lucky to have our neighbor agree to look after our cat at the last minute during an emergency trip but that was just a one time thing. In exchange, we invited them for a nice home cooked dinner.

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