3 sneaky overseas travelling costs
1. Dining position
Prefer a seat with a view? In many European countries an outside table, or even sometimes one with a view, might cost you more. A coffee could set you back almost double the amount just to get the chance to people watch.
Some coffee shops, even chains, will charge a little more to sit in for coffee, rather than order it to takeaway.
2. Tax, tipping and local tour payments
In Australia, taxes are generally included in the advertised price. This isn’t the way in all countries. For example, when ordering a meal or a drink in the United States of America, the advertised price will not always make it easy to realise there will be tax to pay on top. You will be charged a sales tax, and could also be charged a state or local/ county tax, so your meal can end up to be a lot more expensive than what you first thought. Read up a little before you head off, you’ll be able to find what taxes apply where you are going. There’s some great information about United States sales tax on TripAdvisor.
While it’s not generally a custom to tip in Australia, it is expected in some countries. It’s generally a percentage of your meal or the service you’ve paid for. Some places you travel will include a service fee on the final bill, so you’ll need to do a bit of research to find out how much this could be, depending on where you’re travelling.
Some group tours will require you to hand over a local payment to your guide at the beginning of your tour. Read your tour notes carefully before you head off, and make sure you have the correct amount of money in cash to give your guide.
Many places overseas will charge to use the restroom. Whether it’s a subtle tip dish, a lady standing in the corner selling paper, or a coin operated pedestrian boom gate between you and the toilet, this is one local custom that can really get to Aussie travellers. In some countries (particularly developing countries), people’s lives depend on this payment. Just remember, a couple of coins can be a small price to pay for the water and maintenance associated with public facilities. The best idea is to keep small amounts of change on you, so you don’t have to fork out a huge amount to use the facilities.