Don't Waste Your Money: Beware of hidden hotel fees

(Toledo News Now) - With prices rising on so many things in 2013, hotel rooms are no exception. More and more hotel chains are finding sneaky new ways of hiding those price hikes.

Many of us are now starting to plan our spring vacations. If so, a caution about booking a hotel room: more hotels are finding ways to keep that initial quote down and hit you with extra fees at checkout.

Hotels Get Creative 

Families watching their travel dollar often search for hotel rooms below a certain price point, such as $99 or $150. Hotels know that, and have created all sorts of ways to keep that initial quote down, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

So the FTC has begun a crackdown on undisclosed fees, especially that disingenuous little charge called a "resort fee." It can be as much as $30 a day for use of the pool and facilities.

The FTC is now warning hotels the fee must be disclosed at the time of booking.

Doesn't That Stink?

From the Doesn't That Stink file comes the other small fees hotels charge.

The website Mouseprint says some major hotel chains now add a hidden fee for the room safe. It shows up as "safe with limited warranty" at checkout.

Mouseprint suggests looking over the registration form carefully before you give your credit card when checking in to the hotel.

Bottom Line

Ask questions before you book, or certainly at check-in time, about any extra fees for newspapers, Wi-Fi, even room safes.

Unless you are about to pass out from hunger, your best bet is to avoid those pricey mini bar snacks, so you don't waste your money.