AP9 SavingSmart Warns Summer Travelers About the Risks of Hidden Hotel Fees

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AP9 Saving Smart offers members great deals on vacation needs, travel accessories and much more.

It's summertime, which means it's vacation season, which means a lot of travelers might be in for a surprise when they check out of their hotel rooms, reports AP9 Saving Smart, a leading membership discount program offered by Adaptive Marketing LLC. Fortunately, asking a few questions before confirming a hotel reservation can help to reduce sticker shock come checkout time.

As friendly and accommodating as hotels like to be, they're still in the business of making money, and the cellphone wave has chipped significantly into the large revenue stream once generated by hotel phone charges, reports AP9 SavingSmart. Hotels therefore need to find other ways to bring in additional income, and they've become quite creative about doing so. And while hotels are required by law to inform guests about add-on fees, when and how they do so can vary, as can the specific charges applied by each hotel.

To help you ask the right questions before you make hotel reservations this summer, AP9 Saving Smart offers a breakdown of common "hidden hotel fees":

-- Resort fees. Resorts tend to be more expensive to begin with, since they typically offer a lot of add-ons to the standard hotel room, whether it's golf courses, fitness spas -- even beach towels. What people may not know is that a number of resorts charge their guests a resort fee regardless of whether they use any of the resort offerings.

-- Parking fees. Motels were created in the 20th century in large part to accommodate motorists near an interstate highway. Hotels, a much older industry, were designed for people without taking their cars into account. These days, of course, cars are everywhere, and hotels realize it. Unless you're taking a shuttle van from the airport to a hotel, there's a good chance you'll need to pay for your automobile's accommodations as well as your own.

-- Room service. As the saying goes, "There's no such thing as a free lunch." When it comes to room service, that's doubly true. Many hotels now tack on delivery fees for room-service meals, along with 15% gratuities that often go unnoticed -- until checkout -- when travelers think handing the bellboy a five-dollar bill is more than enough to cover the tip.

-- Other service fees. From housekeeping services and phone use to Internet access, fax machines and more, hotels can fulfill any number of needs, but these services typically don't come free. Wily travelers can sometimes get around the Internet access fee by using a dial-up modem and a local ISP number, but even that maneuver can show up on the bill as a charge for a local phone call.

-- Honor bars. Five-dollar candy bars? Seven dollars for a bottle of water? How much for a beer? The best way to avoid the high cost of honor bars is to pack snacks ahead of time -- or to go shopping outside the hotel.

Budgeting for a vacation can be difficult in the best of times. These days, as fuel costs stay high and hotels find new ways to charge their guests, it's as difficult as ever, which is why smart consumers continue to take advantage of the savings offered every day throughout the year by AP9 SavingSmart.

About AP9 Saving Smart
AP9 SavingSmart is a leading membership discount program offered by Adaptive Marketing LLC. Headquartered in Norwalk, Conn., Adaptive Marketing is a category leader in membership programs, bringing value direct to consumers through an array of benefits in healthcare, discounts, security, personal property and personals. Members may access their benefits at SavingSmart.com. With broad online and offline distribution capabilities, Adaptive Marketing offers its corporate client partners effective tools to enhance market presence, strengthen customer affinity and generate additional value through programs such as AP9 Saving Smart.

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