5 Tips on Cancellation Fees:
I have been a solo traveler since my childhood years. However, even after 68 countries and all 50 US states, every trip I take I learn something new. On my last trip, I found out how cancellation fees can be avoided or at least reduced.
5 Tips on Cancellation Fees: Hotels:
Many hotels have no cancellation fees at all. Some will have liberal no fee cancellation up until 2-3 days before check-in. After that, a cancellation may cost one night’s stay. Super saver bookings may be totally non-refundable so look carefully at the fine print. There is good news: If you find that you intend to stay at the hotel but have a date change or would like to see if the property will offer a better rate, cancellation fees may be waived. The bottom line: Cancelling and rebooking may not be the same as a cancellation.
Best price guarantees or other options to match lowest rates by competitors can require a few days booking prior to check-in. So when you are not trying to cancel but change to capture a best rate, check out online options a week ahead. If you wait until check-in, it may be too late.
Cancellation Fees: Flights:
Airlines are not as flexible at hotels and other lodging providers. Cancellation fees can be strictly enforced. Making changes may be possible at stiff fees. We have seen charges of $300 plus the standard fare.
If you want to cancel or change a reduced airfare ticket, the airline may not permit you to rebook using low published rates offered via the Internet. I have had my same economy flight plus fee and new booking rate double!
Cancellation Fees: Travel insurance: Yes or No!
Since hotels tend to have liberal cancellation rates, I don’t generally recommend travel insurance if that is the chief cost.
Airline coverage can be valuable but read the policies carefully. See if, and how, missed, cancelled or changed flights are covered.
The most important time to have travel insurance is to cover package tours. Check to see what cancellations and losses are covered. Also take a look at “Cancel for any reason” travel insurance policies.
See also Tips for New Carry-On Rules.