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Trying to Get your Hawaii Vacation Budget worked out?
Aloha Bruce gives listeners the insider low-down on hidden “resort” and “destination” fees that can catch visitors unaware and blow up a Hawaii vacation budget on this December 14, 2021, episode of the Hawaii Vacation Connection Podcast. He’s coming in hot!
Bruce starts off by noting that Hawaii is back to pre-pandemic visitor numbers during this busy holiday season. He also says that pandemic conditions remain essentially the same, with some restrictions lifted but almost everyone remaining masked indoors and getting vaccinated. Hawaii Aloha Travel can help visitors navigate the Hawaii Safe Travels program.
Bruce’s Restaurant of the Week is on Oahu: Thai Valley Cuisine. It’s in Kalama Valley in Hawaii Kai. It’s great for takeout when enjoying area sights like the famous (and dangerous) Spitting Cave cliff overlook. The curries at Thai Valley, including delicious pineapple and “Evil” curry creations are “not too hot.”
Moving on to the topic of resort fees, Bruce dives deep into the nature of how they are applied. “They are jacking up these fees to no end!” he says. They’re called “resort fees”, “destination fees”,
“connection fees” and other sneaky ways of piling on charges.
Bruce also discusses the hefty taxes levied on visitor accommodations. Bruce is animated as ever when talking about hidden Hawaii vacation budget busters; things like the excise tax, and the Transient Accommodation Tax (TAT) that comes in at 10.25%, and the fact that Hawaii’s counties are now able to add an additional 3% on top of the TAT. “Of course the counties have done it!” Bruce laughs.
Most hotels, Bruce notes, do not include the tax with their published rates. He also talks about one unnamed hotel chain that will tack on a $5 “donation” to your bill. Fees can be changed at any time, and Bruce offers his 20-plus years of expertise about how to identify and understand them. They can be raised at any time which can take its toll on your Hawaii Vacation Budget!
Bruce says that many condo properties are adding to the common “cleaning fee” an additional “resort fee”. Bruce jokes about an “air conditioner fee” at one property that applies when you don’t empty the home appliance before you leave. “Do you believe this? Who remembers to do this stuff?” Bruce also talks about bringing pets and service dogs along on a Hawaii vacation and how that may incur additional fees.
A proposed “green fee” for all visitors comes up next, as well as another “pandemic fee” that has also been suggested. Bruce mentions an “extra person fee” at Sheraton, and when it might apply. He also talks about parking fees, “free breakfasts”, and other charges that add up in the end.
In this latest episode of the podcast, Bruce offers a vital introduction to the kinds of taxes, charges, and fees that anyone planning and budgeting a Hawaii vacation should know about, and that only seasoned vacation planners like Hawaii Aloha Travel can help you understand.
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