June 14 2010 by Bryson Forbes
Have you ever stopped dead in your tracks because you realize you're becoming more like your parents? Well, it's happening to me and yes it's a bit scary. Don't get me wrong, I love my folks and they are wonderful people...but it still scares me.
One of the traits I've adopted from mom and dad is my changing relationship with money. I'm also much more prone to complaining about things I don't think I should have to pay extra for. In fact, I'm starting a lot more sentences with "I remember when..." and ending them with, "We didn't used to have to pay for that." This got me thinking about travel incidentals and the related costs.
If you're like me when you travel, you probably don't like paying for:
- Airplane seat selection. In February, my family went with my mother-in-law to the Dominican Republic for a week. I booked five seats and had to pay extra to get those we wanted. This expense ultimately totaled $150 CDN round trip, and I much prefer the concept of increasing the cost of the flights rather than see charges itemized out like this. I realize it's the same end result, but the psychology is much different.
- Headsets. While we're at it, please add these back into the price, too. I bet I'm not the only frequent flier with at least a half dozen pairs of cheap earphones lying around in a drawer at home, and I never remember to pack one before heading out.
- Child booster seats. Now that I travel a lot with kids, I have to bring one (or more) booster seats with me. They're a pain to check in at the airport, not to mention lugging them around, but the reason I do is because car rental companies tend to charge around $5 CDN a day to rent one. That seems a bit odd since you can almost buy new one for the cost of a week's rental. I can't say I remember whether we used to pay for this or not, but I don't like it.
- Wi-Fi. This is one that my parents never had to deal with: Internet access on the road. I get hot under the collar when hotels charge upwards of $20 CDN a day for something that should be free. A little pre-trip research can help avoid these charges. About.com, for example, posted a good article with tips regarding hotel Internet usage. Of course, Best Western hotels always offers free Internet if you didn't already know.