The Importance of Reading the Fine Print
When it comes to so many things in the travel world, the times are changing and the rules can be hard to keep track of. Sometimes they change so subtly and quietly that you wouldn’t even know. That is why we are here: to shine a light on booking policies, help keep you informed and remind you to keep your travel wits about you.
Today we would like to point out a shift in general policies when it comes to booking travel, that serves as a reminder to stay informed, and highlights a growing trend in the industry. For example, some hotel companies have recently changed, or have potential plans to change general policy towards late cancellations. For some, late cancellations will no longer be available without penalty, which is both good and bad. For last minute bookers it is great news as theoretically more hotel rooms will be open for quick stays, while those facing any number of travel hiccups may have to pay a fee for their unexpected cancellation.
Details are in the Fine Print
The point isn’t the specifics of this particular policy, but the very fact that there has been a change in policy and there is a corresponding need to stay informed. This way you can make the best possible plans. While it may seem like a tedious and boring task, reading the fine print is important and may save you valuable money on your vacation.
This particular policy shift is not alone, and is part of a growing movement in the travel industry. With the advent of online booking and the growth of new ways to travel, stay, plan and reserve, the industry is finding new ways to monetize the same products. This results in breaking down travel to the smallest possible pieces and offering fully customizable experiences. Nowadays less comes standard, but everything can be added, including something like the right to a last minute cancellation.
The Bottom Line: Don’t assume it is included, if you have a specific concern about something like cancelling last minute, upgrading, using reward points or anything of the sort, check first. All reputable travel service providers will disclose the rules, hopefully in an obvious way. However, it is important to read over the fine print and be sure you know what you can expect and can’t so that you don’t get caught with an extra charge after the fact. Nothing sours great vacation memories like an extra large bill on your way out the door.