The summer season feels a lot longer when you live on the Cape. You get to enjoy extra beach days, more meals overlooking the water, and I find that coastal living is less stressful. It is common to hear from locals that September is the best month on Cape Cod. April, May, June, and October can give you days that feel like a summer vacation as well. No need to cram all your beach days into July and August. Traveling to other areas of the country and the world is one of my favorite things, but I also love stopping at the beach mid-week for a sunrise, a sunset, or a walk with the dog. The Cape is a special place to live, work, and vacation.
The town I grew up in, Milton, is the first suburb south of Boston. It technically does touch the ocean with the Neponsit River in Lower Mills, but it doesn't have the feel of a coastal town. I always found an excuse to get to the coast growing up or while living in Boston after college. Even if it was just Castle Island in S. Boston. When my wife and I first bought a house on the Cape we were still living in Boston. We found ourselves extending the weekends and staying on the Cape more and more throughout the year. Our dinners out or unexpected beach days felt like vacations.
Big trips only happen once or twice a year. Life is busy and planning and executing a trip can be tough. That is why I love coastal living. You have the chance to have the vacation feeling at any time. You are never more than a few miles from the water.
Cape Cod is a popular weekend trip for New Englanders and the week-long rental market has exploded with the ease of the online apps. ( airbnb & VRBO ) With gas prices rising in 2022, you can plan a visit throughout the year to get a sense of the year-round events and attractions.
When you are planning your travel..... the Company Baby Quip makes traveling with your kids easier by renting baby gear. They are also experts in traveling! Read their blog on expenses to expect when you travel and check them out next time you travel. ( Link to Baby Quip website ) "Pack Light, Travel Happy"
Avoid the hassles of trying to get away from where you live. Buy the Cape House.
Top 10 Unexpected Travel Expenses to Consider
Planning and setting up a travel budget is a smart choice as to not go overboard on spending. While we always consider the typical purchases like transportation and accommodations, there are many unexpected travel expenses to consider as well. Below we break down 10 unexpected travel expenses to help you cross your t’s and dot your i’s before hitting the road.
#1: Baggage Fees
Baggage fees may range from $0 to over $100 depending on the airline you fly with and are typically dependent on how many bags you’re checking. For example, Southwest Airlines charges $0 for your first and second bag, whereas most airlines charge for all checked bags. Websites like Farecompare or Tripadvisor allow you to easily see and compare baggage fees for a variety of airlines.
You’ll also want to make sure that your luggage doesn’t surpass weight requirements, which also varies by airline. If your bag weighs more than what’s allowed, you can be charged an overweight bag fee up to $100-$200. Yikes! Purchasing a portable luggage scale is a wise and inexpensive choice to make sure you don’t exceed weight limits.
#2: Foreign Transaction Fees
If you’re traveling abroad, foreign transaction fees, or international transaction fees, can add up quickly and be a big unexpected travel expense. What is a foreign transaction fee? It’s a fee that is charged for every purchase made with a credit card when traveling abroad. The fee is usually between 2-4% of each purchase.
Fortunately, there are some credit card companies that do not charge a foreign transaction fee, such as Capital One and Discover. To know whether your credit card company will charge this fee, check your credit card’s terms and conditions or call customer service before your adventure begins.
#3: Travel Insurance
Purchasing travel insurance may not be at the top of your vacation to-do list, but you can save quite a bit of money if your trip is unexpectedly canceled. Not only does travel insurance reimburse you for your trip if you become sick or injured (for example), but most insurance plans have options to cover medical needs too.
If you’re traveling abroad, this could be essential since your standard healthcare insurance may not cover an international medical bill. Check out TravelInsurance.com for costs so you’re prepared for a potential unexpected travel expense.
#4: Cell Phone Roaming Charges
Cell phone roaming can be a huge unexpected travel expense and can happen in two ways:
- When you’re outside of your carrier’s network in the US (domestic roaming).
- When you’re outside of your carrier’s network when traveling abroad (international roaming).
Depending on your phone plan, you can easily rack up roaming charges as you’re dinged for every phone call minute, every text, and every MB of data you use. Some carriers offer travel passes and temporary plans to help you save money and avoid roaming charges. Check with your carrier before your vacation starts.
#5: Currency Exchange
When traveling abroad, it may be convenient to exchange currency once you’re at your destination, but this typically is the most expensive choice and an unexpected travel expense.
For example, a currency exchange kiosk at an airport may operate at a higher exchange rate than if you exchanged currency at your local bank before traveling. There may also be hidden fees. To save money, see if you can exchange your dollars for another currency at your bank before jumping on an international flight.
#6: Hotel and Lodging Fees
Hotel and lodging fees can be sneaky and not show up until you’re almost to the payment confirmation page. You may think your stay is only $100 per night but after fees, taxes, and more are added in, you’re really paying much more. To get a clearer view of exactly how much your room will be, act as if you want to book your stay so that you can get to the billing page. This will show you the total amount (taxes and fees included).
Also, be aware of surprise expenses that may be charged to your card during your stay. Think in-room snacks and drinks that may not actually be free of charge.
Of course, there are unexpected emergencies that can arise when traveling. As we mentioned earlier, travel insurance can reimburse you for some cases, but what if you don’t purchase travel insurance or your situation isn’t covered?
To plan ahead for possibilities, budgeting a little extra, specifically for emergency situations, is a smart thing to do. For example, you could lose your wallet. Knowing you packed some extra cash in your duffle bag would be quite a relief. The amount of extra money you bring is up to you and depends on how far you’re traveling, how long you’ll be gone, and more.
Excursions and spontaneous travel activities are sure to pop up when you’re “in Rome.” Budgeting extra money for fun extras will allow you to enjoy your trip to the fullest so you aren’t stressed over these unexpected travel expenses. Of course, you can brainstorm activities you think you might want to do ahead of time so you can be more financially prepared. You can also book many activities ahead of time so you have a ‘complete’ budget overview.
If you’re traveling with others, it’s a good idea to see what they may want to do as a group.
#9: Meals On-the-Way
Typically when travel plans and budgets are being made, we only consider how to get there, the trip itself, and how to get home. What we easily forget about is eating on the way to our destination and eating on the way back. These meals are usually on-the-go at restaurants, airports, or drive-thrus, and costs add up fast. To save money, pack food and snacks when you can and try to avoid eating at tourist spots where food prices are high.
#10. Souvenirs and Gifts
Souvenirs for yourself may not be an unexpected travel expense unless you unexpectedly see something you want that’s way more expensive than a t-shirt. What may catch you off guard is how many gifts you decide you want to buy for friends and family back home.
Another unexpected travel expense could be how much you spend on gifts for children or grandchildren that are traveling with you. Giving yourself a “play money” budget can help you plan ahead for gifts and souvenirs.
Summary of Unexpected Travel Expenses
There are a slew of unexpected travel expenses that you can face when traveling, especially if you’re planning to travel abroad. From baggage fees to emergencies you need to be prepared and doing some research ahead of time can save you a good amount of money in the end. Being aware of these common expenses will help you budget better and enjoy your trip to the fullest!