Friday 2 February 2018

Finance Fridays – Extra holiday charges

We were looking at who needs to complete a tax return in last week's Finance Fridays. I hope you completed yours in time if you needed to! This week we are talking about extra holiday charges. On Monday the holiday operator Thomas Cook announced that at the end of this month it would be trialling the introduction of a sun lounger fee in three hotels in Lanzarote, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura. For €25 each customer will be able to book their sun loungers for a week. They will be sent an email around six days before they depart and from that they can book which sun bed they would like. To help them get the best position a compass will show which direction the sun shines. You can book a number of sun loungers together but the €25 fee is per person so for a family this could add up considerably.

Some people have thought this is a good idea as they are tired of people getting up at dawn, putting towels on six sun loungers and not returning until the afternoon. Others have said that this is just yet another rip-off charge from holiday companies. There's also a concern that in future the better placed sun loungers will attract a premium fee. Once the sun loungers have been secured could they then be sold on at a higher price? With a limited number of sun loungers available could it end up that all the sun loungers are pre-booked and guests could turn up and find they won't be able to use a sun lounger for the entire length of their holiday?

So what other extra holiday charges could you find yourself being asked to pay? There are already holiday companies who ask for around €30 in order to book your room in advance. This will appeal to people who want to keep away from smelly kitchen areas or noisy nightclubs. After already paying for your holiday is this a cost too far?

Don't forget as well there are extra charges that you can't escape from unless you choose another destination. When we went to Paris last year we had to pay a city tourist tax for each night we stayed at our hotel. Other destinations such as the Balearic Islands of Ibiza, Majorca and Menorca have arrival charges of €2 per day. If you fly into Cuba, Kenya or Antigua then when you leave you will have to pay a departure tax.

Would you pay to reserve a sun lounger? Have you found yourself being asked to pay extras for your holiday?

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Finance Fridays

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