Hidden Costs on Home-Share Sites

When traveling, whether it’s for a weekend trip or a month-long island getaway, lodging costs can be expensive. An easy, cost-effective alternative is renting out someone else’s property on websites like HomeAway or Airbnb. However, while these options are usually much cheaper than a hotel or resort, there are some hidden fees to be aware of.

Electricity Fees

When traveling outside of the U.S., look out for utility surcharges. In Caribbean or island destinations, there is often a fee for turning on the air conditioning or using too much electricity.

Cleaning Fees

When you rent out someone’s house, room, or guest house, there is often a cleaning fee. Some rentals are advertised at a low cost, but what you end up paying at the end of your trip is much higher. Lookout for extra fees when reviewing the property and inquire about any other charges you may be subjected to.

Additional Guest Fees

If a property is advertised as sleeping 8-10 people, that doesn’t always mean that you can bring 8-10 people with you on your trip. Most properties charge extra fees for having more than 2-4 people. Always read the fine print!

Pet Fees

If you’re traveling with your furry friend, make sure you inquire about pet fees. Some property owners charge you per pet, per night, and some charge one overall fee. Either way, this can quickly increase your cost of travel.

Service Fees

When booking a property, you may be subjected to a 5-15% additional fee when making a reservation. The more expensive your subtotal, the lower the service fee will be, and the lower your subtotal, the more expensive your service fee will be. These charges cover the cost of processing payments online and other miscellaneous tasks.

Booking a property can be easy, as long as you do your research first. Ask the host questions about fees, or look at the calculated cost bar on the booking page. As you look for the perfect property to settle into for your vacation, remember that you may be subjected to additional charges, depending on where you’re staying.

What extra fees have you been subjected to? Let us know!


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