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When you travel a lot, you have to be organized. Any time I start planning a new trip, I create a new email folder to keep our flights, hotel confirmations and other details all in one spot.
But despite trying to stay organized, I recently made a rookie mistake that could have cost me over $100.
Hotel Cancellation Policy
Earlier this year, I booked a hotel in Texas near a university where my son was going to attend a tennis camp. The plan was to drop him there for the week and then come back with the entire family to take a campus tour. We just needed one night in a hotel that would fit all five of us.
While I usually book hotels directly, this time I looked on Booking.com to see if there were any condo-style hotels in the area. Sure enough, there was a boutique hotel with 2-bedroom condos. I booked it, knowing it would be nice to have the extra space and bedrooms.
What I apparently didn’t pay any attention to was the cancellation policy. I’m used to 24-hour, 48-hour and 72-hour cancellation windows. But this hotel has a 30-day cancellation policy!
My son’s tennis camp was first moved, and then cancelled due to Covid-19. I needed to cancel this reservation.
Unfortunately, I was just barely inside the 30-day cancellation window. I would have to pay for the night anyway. Ouch! We were only staying one night!
Fortunately, Booking.com gave me the option of trying to ask for reduced fees or waived fees. It was a very simple process. A few hours later, I received an email from Booking.com letting me know that the hotel had waived my fees.
All’s well that end’s well, but I will definitely be paying more attention to cancellation policies in the future. I’m not sure I would have still booked that hotel if I realized it had a 30-day cancellation policy.
Chain hotels in resort areas as well as boutique hotels often have stricter than usual cancellation policies. In the future, I will put a note in my phone calendar on the cancellation deadline day.
Have you ever gotten stuck with a hotel cancellation fee?
Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.