“Death, taxes and childbirth! There’s never any convenient time for any of them.”
Unlike airfares, most hotel websites do not quote you the prices with taxes included. You often will need to wait until you are about to book the room. Then you will find out the full costs, including taxes. Some websites like hotels.com just let you know the final amount without detailing where the taxes are going. (Hotels.com also includes an undisclosed fee for their services).
In the US and Canada, taxes are usually not included even when you make your booking. For example, if you book a room through Booking.com in the US or Canada, don’t be surprised that the quoted price does not include the taxes. (Note: booking.com does advise you in the small print of the taxes that you will pay at the hotel).
The amount of hotel taxes in the US and Canada is usually somewhere between 15-25% of the room costs. These taxes are “occupancy taxes or fees.”. You will also often pay these taxes on Airbnb.
In most other countries, the quoted price includes all taxes. Often you won’t know how much hotel taxes you paid, even at check-out.
Occasionally, you will see value-added taxes, or VATs, listed on the hotel bill. The VAT is somewhat like a sales tax. (See here for the definition). Usually, the VAT on hotel rooms is the same charged on most other items in that country. (VATs typically add 15% to 25% to the cost).
Some European cities will charge a couple of Euros a day per person per night for local taxes at checkout. Hotels usually indicate these taxes on their websites.
Like hotels, most cruise companies and online travel agencies do not include port fees and taxes in the first price quoted. You will find out how much the port fees are only right before booking the cruise. You pay the taxes, however, at purchase.
Typically, you will pay between 10 to 25 percent for taxes and fees. Generally, you won’t see any accounting for these fees and taxes. These fees and taxes include the following: baggage handling at departure and final destination, security, towboats, facility charges, etc.
Like most non-airline-related travel services, car rental websites usually do not include fees and taxes in their initial price quote. The taxes add between 10 and 25 percent to most rentals. You will find out the full price, including taxes, when you make your reservation. Usually, you will have to pay the taxes when you rent the car.
In addition to standard sales and Value-Added Taxes (VAT), there are other taxes and fees for rental cars. Some, such as stadium fees, are similar to the fees charged for hotels. Other are additional sales taxes.