4 common resort rip offs and how to avoid them

When it comes to booking your holiday resort, consumers often feel they have to make a lot of compromises or else face unexpected charges. Below are the 4 most common rip offs and grumbles faced when holidaying. Don't let them ruin your trip, follow our advice and make your hotel visit less costly and more enjoyable.

Watch out for ‘resort fees’

You shopped around for your holiday hotel and got the best deal. But when you get to the registration desk, you find out that there's an extra daily charge as a ‘resort fee’, supposedly to cover such amenities as the swimming pool and fitness club. The hotel knows that by the time you arrive, worn out by the journey, with luggage and children in tow, you're unlikely to refuse your hotel room because of an add-on fee. So, at the time of booking, scan the fine print and ask the hotel about any fees that are not included in the quote. If you're surprised by such fees at the registration desk, call your credit-card company after you've checked in and ask the company to get the fee waived.

avoid the crowds, spend less

If you're planning a trip to a popular resort area, schedule your holiday for less popular times of the year. For instance, in Bali skip the popular summer season, and the Christmas and Easter holidays and school holidays. Instead, go some time between the end of January and mid July, or from October to mid December. You'll find the traffic, crowds and queues markedly reduced, and save a lot of money with the off-season rates.

Don't get overcharged for drinks

Never assume that prices will be within some range that you have fixed in your mind. Don't fall for the waiter's ‘helpful’ suggestions to order cocktails by the jugful or try a special bottle of wine – you could be landed with a bigger bill than you expect. When asking for water, make it clear that you're looking for tap water (free) rather than a bottle of water (always provided that the tap water is safe and drinkable).

To Tip or Not to tip?

Dependent on where in the world you are travelling, it may be worthwhile checking the consensus on tipping. Certain countries do not traditionally tip. For example, in Australia you will not be expected to leave anything whereas in America you may be chased down the street if a tip is not left, the pursuer demanding to know why your service was not satisfactory. In Spain it is not a custom to tip, however, being aware of the American and British customs they will expect something from tourists. Don't get caught out when tipping, check before you travel and make sure you're not leaving too much, or too little.

Before you travel!

Before you book that idyllic break, check the British government's travel advisory service at gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice, to see if your chosen destination is somewhere that the government would advise against visiting.