If the COVID-19 pandemic taught us anything, it’s that your plans can change at a moment’s notice. Half of all Americans had to cancel a planned vacation in 2021, with 83 percent of these people out of pocket as a result.
That said, the world doesn’t have to fall into chaos for you to experience travel problems. Anything from booking errors to a broken leg can mean that you have no choice but to cancel an upcoming trip.
Luckily, there are ways to avoid losing money after a trip cancelation. Here’s what to do if your vacation plans change!
Check Cancelation Policies
You should check the cancelation policy of everything you book before you enter your card details. But what should you check for?
Although you may have to pay extra for free cancelation, it’s often worth it for the added vacation planning reassurance. Make sure to set yourself a reminder for the last day that it’s free to cancel your hotel or vacation rental.
With some accommodation options, you may get a voucher for a future stay if a refund isn’t possible. Or, for example, if you were headed to a Disney resort and your plans have fallen through, you can sell your Disney Vacation Club in an instant.
You have 24 hours to cancel your flight from the time of booking, as long as you book it at least seven days before the departure date. Although, this law doesn’t apply to flights booked via third-party sites.
Beyond this, cancelation policies vary a lot between airlines so it’s vital to check the carrier’s small print when you plan a vacation. In most cases, though, you’ll at least be able to put the money toward a future flight if you have to cancel.
As soon as you know you can’t go away, start making the necessary calls to cancel your vacation plans. The more time you give the various hotels, tours, rentals, and vacation planning services to resell your spot, the more likely you are to recoup your cash.
And don’t think that it’s not worth canceling if their policy states no refunds. Not only is it polite to notify them, but you may as well see what you can salvage from the situation.
Always Call and Email
Calling to cancel is more instant and more personal than emailing. Always ask to speak to a manager when you call though. Those higher up in the chain of command are more likely to have the power to offer you something.
That said, emails offer proof of your attempts to communicate with the company. If you’re in any doubt or you have to wait for ages to speak to anyone, send an email as a backup.
Seek Cash Alternatives
If a cash refund is impossible, ask if there are any alternatives such as vouchers or transferring your balance to a future booking. If you intend to plan a vacation to the same area, tour vouchers and the like will come in handy.
Although, be sure to get everything they promise in writing. This will make rescheduling much easier and offer you peace of mind too.
What to Do When Your Planned Vacation Falls Through
It can be heartbreaking to have to cancel a planned vacation. But, with these tips to guide you, it should now be a lot easier for you to avoid losing money if you ever have to change your vacation plans in the future.
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