FFE Magazine

The Cost of Affordability

Photo from footprints down under

Most people flock to budget hotels because of the discount prices and low rates it offers. While the idea of saving more may cloud their minds into frenzy, they often forget why budget accommodations can afford to be unbelievably cheap.

Basic amenities and services are provided. However, not all details advertised by the establishment may be part of the package or free of charge. In fact, quite a number of disregarded details become additional costs and may exceed the given budget.

1.) Undisclosed fees are often the bane to budget accommodations. For example, hotels will often include free internet usage or WI-FI on their advertisement but will fail to mention that it is only accessible in the main lobby. In order to access the internet anywhere a fee must be paid. In some cases, these fees only permit usage for a particular timeframe and demand a separate charge for unlimited access.

2.) Some budget accommodations will also tout amenities like air-conditioning, car parking, gyms or heated pools in their adverts. Some will inform their customers on the day you check in or day you arrive that the gym and pool will actually require an entrance fee or, worse, are located in a separate facility blocks away. Even supplies like hairdryers, irons, bed covers, blankets and towels sometimes require additional fees. This is mostly true in youth hostels.

3.) Transportation and food costs are other primary problems in dealing with budget accommodations. These accommodations are often located in remote places far from the centre. The cheap rent offered by property owners at that side of town could mean additional expenses for travelers. The distance could mean a number of daily commutes to and from the main city. Buses, taxis, and other forms of public transportation fares could be somewhat cheap but in bulk could eat up the budget. Spending on petrol refills may also be added costs for those bringing their own vehicles.

4.) Food expenses can also be a concern since not many food and beverage (F&B) establishments surround the budget accommodation. Folks will be forced to dine in the hotel restaurant, which can result to a hefty sum. Their other options would include eating elsewhere in the city centre where transportation costs will also be a factor if done everyday. Some choose to buy and reserve groceries in their rooms or pack food in their luggage. Although this is a practical alternative, some accommodations are strict and extortive on corkage fees for food and drinks.

5.) Booking fees are also costly as some demand additional charges for paying online or using credit cards. With regard to bargain deals or special offers, budget accommodations may ask for the full payment upfront. This may immediately revoke any refund possibilities if a booking cancellation happens. Some accommodations also place a fee when their customers have an early or late check-in or check-out without telling them so.

It may sound as if budget accommodations are dodgy in their offered services but these circumstances do happen some times. At the end of the day, if someone intends to keep within their budget they should be smart about it. It is their duty to research about their chosen accommodation and to double-check all the reservation details beforehand.




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