Avoid hidden hotel fees

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Nothing kills a vacation vibe faster than a hotel bill peppered with unexpected fees.

When Consumer Reports asked readers about their experience with hotel fees, they were deluged with complaints about unexpected fees. For everything from resort fees to parking fees to utility fees.

So, what`s the best way to avoid sticker shock from unexpected hotel charges?

Consumer Reports advises reaching out to the hotel directly. Particularly if you plan to book thru a third party. Ask about specific, additional charges – for anything other than the room and taxes.

Plan on checking in early? Or checking out late? It may cost you extra. Parking fees can be another budget buster. Even in outdoor or unsecured lots. If you join a hotel loyalty program — something a lot of hotels have — you may find that some of the fees are waived.’

And, don`t be afraid to speak up. When many Consumer Reports` readers complained, hotels took the charge off the bill. One, tiny silver lining to these hidden fees, is that occupancy taxes on hotel bills are based on the price of the room, not the total bill — which could mean small savings for you.

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