Accidents happen from time to time. You find yourself in a position where the originally planned dream vacation must be cancelled. Hotel cancellation fees or fines that you never thought of paying now seem to be a reality. You will find yourself in compliance with the hotel’s 48-hour cancellation policy. You reluctantly picked up the phone to cancel your extensive research reservation. Your feeling of working hard to save the hard earned money for this trip darkens your mood. However, please wait for a while, there may be a better solution.
Cancellation fees range from $10 to more than $100. The average cost is about $25. In addition, many hotels, especially during peak seasons or special events, will charge the first night as a fine. Cancellation fees are usually charged 48 hours to 7 days before your arrival date. It is always frustrating to have to cancel a reservation due to some unexpected events, but having to pay extra for a hotel stay you will never be able to enjoy is a double blow.
This is a technique that avoids the cancellation fees and fines I use many times. If you find yourself within the cancellation deadline of the hotel, simply call the hotel and change the arrival date of the reservation so that the future date is long enough so that you are no longer within the cancellation deadline of the hotel. For example, if the original reservation arrived on October 15th and the deadline to avoid cancellation fees is October 13th, please call the hotel and change the reservation to arrive on October 25th. Then, wait a day or two, then call back and cancel the reservation. Since you no longer violate the deadline, you will be able to cancel your reservation without paying any additional fees.
In some cases the technology will not work? Some are certain. For special events that are very popular, such as the “Bike Week” in Daytona Beach, Florida, you need to book a few months or even one year in advance, and the hotel may not allow you to make any changes to the original reservation. In addition, because changing prepaid reservations requires more management work, prepaid hotel room rates almost always require a change fee. The change fee may be as much as the cancellation fee. However, in general, for most reservations, you should be able to successfully change the arrival date to a date in the future so that you can subsequently cancel the reservation without paying a cancellation fee.
In any case, it is best to read the cancellation policy carefully before booking any hotel. The website you use to book should clearly show the cancellation policy for you to review before asking you to provide credit card information. Remember, most hotels have very loose cancellation policies. For example, 4 pm on the day of arrival is the most common cancellation policy. If a hotel does not have a policy that meets your needs, then a hotel on the street is likely to have a more relaxed policy.