Everyone is planning their summer vacations these days, trying to get the best deal. For some of us, planning ahead is very stressful especially since there is always a chance that we may need to cancel.
When it comes to hotel cancellation policy there is so much confusion that we decided it is time to shed some light on this topic. It has recently become even more confusing as the number of traveling sites have rapidly grown . As a first suggestion, and relatively obvious one to some, we recommend that if you think you may need to cancel your hotel booking remember to read the small print to ensure that you will not pay any extra fees when canceling hotel reservations.
So, let’s begin with the easy stuff:
When you booked your hotel directly from the hotel you have two options.
1. If you booked your hotel directly from the hotel through an ordinary program, most likely you will be able to cancel your hotel reservation even 24 hours before your arrival date and will get back most of the amount you paid or won’t be charged if you haven’t paid yet. This usually is the easy case.
2. If you booked your hotel as an advanced purchase then Canceling your hotel reservation will not be as easy, since from the hotel’s point of view, you already received a relatively good price and they don’t want to give up on you so easily.
Now it gets more complicated as we are moving forward to canceling your hotel rooms booked via traveling sites or traveling booking engines.
As you have probably have learned, booking online no longer means that you are shopping among sites. Nowadays you have special booking engines that allow you to shop around among different booking sites all within one booking engine. As you may have noticed most hotel booking engines allow you to review the cancellation policy of the hotel you just booked. This is usually is shown on your hotel booking page. However, you should watch out for sites that promise “Free Cancellation”. This can mean one of two things:
1. That you will have no cancellation fee up to a certain time period before the check in date. It may sound like a fair deal, but you need to check how long this time period is since it can even be up to a month before the check-in date. Considering the fact that in many cases hotels allow you to cancel even 24 hours before the check in date, this is not considered to be good terms.
2. “Free Cancellation” can also mean that the booking site doesn’t charge you a cancellation fee but the hotel will. In this case you need to contact the hotel and find out what it means exactly. Hopefully their information will differentiate between the different fees and programs so that you can be clear which which cancellation policy applies to you.