There is nothing as exhilarating as traveling the world on the cheap. However, that does not come without its problem— a lack of refund in the case of cancellation.
It’s true that your travel agent or agency will get you great prices; however, they cannot ensure that you get your money back in case, for example, of an emergency that would render your trip impossible to realize.
Booking hotel rooms, getting the best flight tickets, and getting travel insurance (medical insurance for travel, for example) is mostly a done deal, and if you end up not using them, the likelihood of you getting a refund is very low.
That is why we saw fit to write this article and tell you everything important you should know about canceling trips and getting refunds. These are important pieces of information that you need to keep in mind before you commit to buying flight tickets and going through with your online hotel booking.
1. Getting a Refund on Air Tickets
You will not always have the chance to get a refund on your air ticket, particularly if they fall in the cheap end of the spectrum of flight ticket prices.
Therefore, travelers who are prone to getting their tickets from the best flight ticket sites that offer cheap options are less likely to get a refund than travelers who actually buy refundable flight tickets.
Know, therefore, that buying a cheap ticket means that you will have to accept the hard possibility of not getting a refund if you cancel the trip. The latter becomes even harder if you’ve booked flights for your entire family.
However, there is a possibility of claiming some of your money. If you present sufficient proof that you could not help but cancel your trip, the airline company might give you a partial refund and charge you a fine, which can be considerable. But, hey, it’s better than nothing—it pays sometimes to try and claim a refund when you buy flight tickets online!
2. Getting a Refund on Hotel Rooms
Cancellation policies differ from one hotel to the next. Therefore, make sure that you inform yourself about the cancellation policy of the hotel you want to stay in every time you are booking hotels.
All hotel booking sites out there inform their customers about the policy and cancellation fees of every hotel they have listed on their system, which means that you cannot claim ignorance if you do not cancel your hotel booking on time.
For example, some hotels have a cancellation policy of up to 24 hours, meaning that you have a wide-open window that allows you sufficient time to cancel your booked hotel room.
On the other hand, there are hotels that allow for cancellation up until 5 days before the booking date, which means that you have a tight window to cancel your booked room, should anything happen.
This window, moreover, differs if you are going for cheap hotel booking or expensive hotel booking.
Whatever you do, make sure that you use the best hotel booking sites that are upfront about everything—booking.com is a good example.
3. Getting a Refund on Tours
There is a good chance that, if you booked and had to cancel any tours on your trip, that you will get a refund. However, one should not count on such a thing happening that much.
As with flight tickets, you need to be able to justify the reason for cancellation. If the company responsible for the tours sees the evidence, which has to be strong, they will gladly refund your money and wish you will.
Some tour providers use the system that is used by most hotel booking sites, meaning that they offer an open window for cancellation, which can be wide or tight, and will hold you responsible for any cancelation.
Unfortunately, it does not always pay to cancel a trip, and you will feel especially indignant if you had to cancel it for health issues or a family matter.
4. Getting a Refund on Medical Insurance
As with every trip, you will have to get health insurance—some countries will refuse to let you through the border if you fail to show proof of health insurance. Therefore, it is important to get health insurance and overall traveler insurance. However, is it possible to get a refund should any circumstance, one that you have no control over, arise?
With trip cancellation, you are more likely to get a refund on your health insurance (travel health insurance). All you need to do is call the insurance company and explain your situation to them.
They will, of course, ask for proof, which you will gladly provide and get your money back. Unfortunately, there is always a chance that you will not get a refund, especially if you happen to have bought cheap health insurance.
5. The Bottom Line
Well, you will not always get your money refunded, but it’s never a bad idea to contact the company and see if you can get it. Comparing flight tickets on the cheapest flight tickets website is always good, but make sure that you are ready to bear the possible consequence of not getting a refund.
Being aware of every possibility, allows you to make better decisions whether you are booking a flight, a hotel room, a tour, or buying health and travel insurance. Also, it never hurts to buy trip cancellation insurance!
These have been crucial insights to the world of trip cancellation and the workings of getting—or NOT!— a refund. Make sure, therefore, that you keep this in mind next time you start planning your trip. Also, it wouldn’t hurt if you shared this article with people you think really need it.
Before you go, please tell us in the comments below if you’ve ever had trouble getting a refund on any flight or hotel booking you canceled.