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Need to book a trip but don't want to risk losing your investment? Keep an eye on cancellation policies for airline, hotel and car rental companies and book accordingly. Choose wisely, and you can mitigate your risk down to zero.

 

Car Rental Cancellation Policies During Coronavirus Outbreak

 

The best and easiest way to mitigate risk on a car rental that you think may need to cancel in the future is to choose the "pay later" rate. While a prepaid rate may look more favorable, it is non-cancellable and you will pay up front in full when you make the reservation.

 

Airline Cancellation Policies During Coronavirus Outbreak

 

Most domestic and international airlines are waiving change fees for flights within a designated window, typically ending April 30.

This date may change, so always check with the airline before buying plane tickets. In most cases, airlines are not offering refunds but rather they are issuing a credit for future travel.

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Note that if your airline cancels your flight, you will be eligible for a cash refund by law. The European Union has a similar rule that provides for refunds for any flights that arrive into, travel through, or depart Europe.

 

Hotel Cancellation Policies During Coronavirus Outbreak

 

At this time, most major hotel groups are limiting cancellation waivers only to travelers coming from or traveling to affected countries in Asia or Italy, but policies are starting to budge. Some hotel groups have softened their cancellation policies to include properties here at home, and in particular Hilton and InterContinental Hotels Group are ahead of the curve.

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Hilton is waiving cancellation fees on all reservations—even advanced purchase bookings described as non-cancellable—for travel before April 30, as long as you cancel up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival. Even better, waivers are offered on travel booked by April 30 for any future arrival date, as long as you cancel up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival.

International Hotels Group is waiving cancellation fees for existing and new bookings at all IHG hotels globally for stays through April 30.

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