The snow (at least in most parts of Canada) hasn’t arrived yet, but many of you are already scanning the travel pages for winter getaway deals. There’s nothing like taking off in the dead of winter to cure the February blues.

 

But here’s the problem: holiday sticker shock. Those advertised all-inclusive resort deals, cruises or ski packages are so tantalizing and seem so darn cheap. But come time to check out the bill that’s inflated by extras, and it’s suddenly double the price than when you booked.

 

And I’m not even talking about what you might spend on a shopping trip or at the resort gift shop. That financial ouch doesn’t hit you until the tan is fading and the credit card bill arrives.
Avoid holiday sticker shock by laying out all your costs. Can you handle it? If not, rethink your holiday. Here are some budget items to consider.

 

Add in tips
Everything from taxis to room service tips have a way of sneaking up on you. Set aside a cash amount for tips.


Figure in upgrades
Fresh off the plane and eager for the beach or slopes, it is easy to go for the upgrades offered -- from bigger rooms to VIP service. If you have upgraded in the past, add it in to your holiday budget.


Taxes
Many areas have charges beyond the sales tax. Find out ahead of time and add it in.


Liquor
It flows freely, literally, at many resorts and cruises, but if you like a better quality bottle of wine, for example, it will cost you.


Sightseeing
Guided trips are a great way to get to know a destination. If you don’t know extra charges in advance, contact the resort or tour operator for details.