How to Cancel a Hotel Reservation

Most of the time, cancelling a hotel room is easy. Most hotels have a website or 800-number (or both) where you can log in to cancel your hotel reservation.

If you shy away from confrontational situations or the embarrassment of cancelling a hotel booking, you have very little to be concerned about when you decide to cancel a hotel room. Just call the hotel’s 1-800 number and cancel your reserved hotel room. If you want to cancel a booked hotel room online, simply navigate to the hotel’s website, find the hotel booking cancellation page and cancel your hotel booking. Remember to have all your information ready, because you’ll probably need all of it to fill in the required fields on their online cancellation form.

Once you cancel a hotel room, make certain to confirm the cancellation. If you don’t, you might realize days later (or on next month’s credit card bill) that some step of the process was never completed and you were charged for a full stay at a hotel. Don’t let the possibility of this happen, so call your hotel or contact the hotel online to confirm your hotel room cancellation. This confirmation also gives you a chance to learn about any cancellation fees or penalties that might be in effect.

How Can I Avoid Paying Hotel Cancellation Fees?


This depends on a number of factors, including when you cancel your hotel room and the rate you are paying for your hotel room. For instance, if you are paying a standard hotel room rate, you might be able to cancel anytime before 6:00 (on the day you’re supposed to arrive) and avoid paying hotel cancellation fees.

On the other hand, if you are paying a special lower rate on your room, you may be asked to pay a cancellation fee if you cancel up to 72 hours before you are supposed to arrive. Generally, the lower your rate or the better your bargain, the earlier you have to cancel. Also, if you cancel on a peak time (like a convention or a holiday), the penalties for cancelling a reservation are stricter and pricier. If you cancel at a time or the week or year when fewer people travel into town, you’ll find fewer penalties and less rigid rules.

I mentioned 6:00 earlier. Another standard cancellation deadline is 4:00 on the day of your estimated arrival or check-in. A standard penalty for late cancellation of a booked hotel room is either one day’s rent or a flat fee, like $50.

Cancelling Through Booking Agency

Each hotel booking agency is different, but note that these online hotel booking agents often have “no cancellation” policies. That is, once you book a room, you can expect to pay for the hotel rooms you reserved, regardless of your situation. These companies get the discount rates they do because they can guarantee customers. Cancelling through a booking agency damages their business model, so a no cancellation policy can be common. If you aren’t certain you’ll be able to follow through on hotel reservation or you want the flexibility of cancelling a hotel room booking at the last minute, don’t use a hotel room booking agency.

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