Everyone who loves to travel eagerly anticipates the start of their vacation. However, unexpected changes to your plans can still happen, which is when you must cancel your long-awaited vacation.

You can spend days making your great travel schedule and plans, and the smallest problem can prevent you from completing them. When you need to make a cancelation or a change of this kind, these things should help you avoid losing your entire travel investment.

Read the Fine Print

Whenever you are making vacation plans, read the fine print, the cancellation policy included. Book with organizations that have good cancellation policies and available refunds until a specific day. When you know what this day is, make a note on your calendar telling you which day is the last you can use to cancel free-of-charge.

Most airlines allow you to cancel your flight up to 24 hours from the time you booked it, but only if you book it a minimum of seven days before your date of departure. However, you should check where this applies and if it is applicable since most third-party websites do not provide such policy (you can usually get it from the carrier).

Cancel as Soon as Possible

Whatever the decision for your cancellation is, don’t procrastinate. When you are certain that you cannot go, cancel your reservations right away. Start with the travel arrangements and hotel reservations, and continue with the small reservations such as restaurants or tours.

The chances of getting a refund from any of these are bigger if you cancel sooner than later.

When It is Not Stated in the Fine Print, Ask

You might think that cancellation is not an option with the hotel or airline you book through, but it cannot hurt to ask. Some people are very understanding, especially if you must cancel the vacation because of something you couldn’t have anticipated or influenced.

Do Not Use Mail

When something like this happens to you, you will want to cancel the reservation as soon as possible. To do so, you must reach the right person at the right time, which might not happen if you use the post or e-mail.

Call the manager of the hotel or the airline or any other company you have made reservations in. This should help speed things up.

Keep All Codes and Confirmations

If you are planning to require a refund, you will need the confirmations and codes to tell the person you are talking to. Keep all codes and confirmations until the moment when you are either back from vacation or have finished with the cancellation.

Inquire About an Alternative

If a vendor rejects your request for a refund, seek other alternatives. They might provide you with a voucher for further use, or a rain-check for a reservation later in the year.

Get Travel Insurance

Compare travel insurance coverages and select the one that covers as many issues as possible. The same rule applies to everything else – check the policies of the airline, the hotel, the restaurants you are making reservations in, etc.

In most cases, we have to cancel for reasons we couldn’t anticipate beforehand. That’s why you always have to be prepared – especially if you want to retrieve all that money you pre-paid and use them for another vacation later.

Vicky Charles

Vicky is a single mother, writer and card reader.


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