TODAY | October 27, 2012
>>> now to some travel advice, maybe a warning if you haven't ventured away from home recently. brace yourself if you're hitting the road this holiday season , because no matter how hard you try to avoid them, you're almost certain to be hit by extra fees. here's tom costello.
>> reporter: it doesn't matter if your great escape involves flying, a bon voyage , or a weekend getaway at a nice hotel. it's awfully hard to avoid getting socked paying for stuff that used to be free.
>> charging for bags is kind of like going to restaurant and them charging me for silverware.
>> the upgrade your seat fee just to reserve a seat on the plane that you already paid for.
>> a sense of always have been to dish out more and more.
>> reporter: depending on which airline you fly, there's the baggage fee, the carry on fee, the in-flight meal fee, the aisle seat fee, the talk to a real person fee, and families can be charged more for sitting together.
>> which means that families who want to sit next to their 5-year-old have to pay these additional costs that they weren't expecting in order to seat the family together. it's really outrageous.
>> reporter: for the airlines, the fees are a cash cow , more than $22 million last year, according to " usa today ," helping to put airlines back in the black. and guess who's noticed. the already fee-heavy cruise line industry. they're now charging more for boarding early, priority dinner seating, even champagne and lobster now often costs more. did we mention hotels in the wi-fi fee, the parking fee , the pool and gym fee, luggage storage fee, the early checkout fee.
>> the early checkout fee just really ticks me off. and now the early return on the rental car fee just ticks me off. it's ridiculous.
>> reporter: so what's a family to do?
>> know up front what you are paying for. it's all listed out for you online. so at least you'll be prepared, that you'll be experiencing these fees.
>> reporter: if you're a member of an airline or a hotel loyalty program, you may avoid some fees, but the days of freebies may be long gone. for "today," tom costello, nbc news, washington.