The last few years have been tough economically for many people. Unemployment fears combined with plunging home, stock and retirement account values caused many to forgo big vacations — even though stressful times are when we most need to recharge our batteries.
But with the economy turning around, many families are cautiously dipping their toes in the travel pool once again.
Hotel occupancy rates have risen in many areas and airports are as crowded as ever.
Airlines and hotels are notorious for tacking extra charges onto their bills. Here are a few to watch out for:
A few airlines allow one free checked bag (Southwest still allows two), but most charge up to $25 for the first checked bag each way, and even more for additional pieces.
Plus, most now tack on hefty fees for overweight and over-sized checked and carry-on luggage, so measure and weigh your luggage carefully.
Expect to pay extra for things like changing flights, extra leg room, priority boarding, unaccompanied minors, pets, Wi-Fi access and food.
Some airlines even charge extra to speak to a live person, or to buy your ticket at the airport counter or by phone.