How to Avoid Hotel Cancellation Fees

How to avoid hotel cancellation feesI recently wrote a post for Forbes titled “How to Avoid Hotel Cancellation Fees.” It’s about what you’d think it’s about, with advice tailored to the specific cancellation policies of many major hotel brands. At a reader’s suggestion (Mike told me he “got bit” by Marriott Courtyard for cancelling less than two days out), I thought I’d make it today’s tip.

As I write in the Forbes piece: “Disappearing are the days when you can cancel a hotel reservation before 6 p.m. of the evening you are scheduled to arrive. More and more hotels are requiring reservations to be canceled 24 to 72 hours before check-in time to prevent a cancellation fee from being assessed, normally the cost of the first night’s stay. This is to help stem last-minute cancellations as more reservations are made online and fewer guest ‘walk-in’ at 9 p.m. asking if rooms are still available.”

In general, make sure you know the hotel’s/resort’s cancellation policy at the time of booking. Some reservations may be nonrefundable as soon as you book (look out for that), and those that are refundable or partly refundable (most bookings) will have their terms spelled out somewhere. If you’re not sure what to expect, you can always call the hotel/resort and ask. For a more specific breakdown of brand policies, read my story here.

Related: The Service That Gets You Money Back for Hotel Room Price Changes

 

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Johnny Jet
I used to be afraid to fly and at times even leave the house! I conquered my fear (long story) and now I travel to 20+ countries a year sharing my firsthand knowledge, tips and deals with friends, family and readers. Please sign up to our free newsletters and tell your friends!

2 Comments on "How to Avoid Hotel Cancellation Fees"

  1. If the hotel does not have day of arrival cancellation, I may book multiple night stays individually. I do the same on award hotel bookings. That way I have flexibility in my travel plans and if I have to cancel a night, it doesn’t affect the other nights, which can especially important on award stays. And if there is a longer cancellation period, the subsequent nights will hopefully fall outside it, too -just need to be very aware if the cancellation period is 72 hours and you are cancelling last minute. Mostly I have found 24-48 hours to be the case. But some resorts can be up to 2 weeks! Best advice – check the cancellation terms and decide on your best booking options.

  2. This was a filler.

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