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Booking.com - Would you opt for refundable or non-refundable reservations?

Booking.com - Would you opt for refundable or non-refundable reservations?

Old Sep 25th, 2014, 07:31 AM
  #1  
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Booking.com - Would you opt for refundable or non-refundable reservations?

Hello -

As per my other thread, husband and I have booked a couple of hotels for our 18 day European vacation. Our bookings were done via REFUNDABLE/CANCELLABLE option which is slightly higher than the NON-refundable option.

My dilemma is - since we know we are going - as all our flights are booked already, Is it safe to just opt for the nonrefundable booking? Just to give you a clearer description, one hotel we booked had a nonrefundable price of around $120 a night, but the REFUNDABLE price is $150ish.. Difference is not a lot but it can add up.

Have there been any problems with nonrefundable booking, which we should anticipate?

Any advice? Thank you for reading my query
MsWorthy is offline  
Old Sep 25th, 2014, 07:39 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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You may be liable for at least the first nights charges if for some reason you can't go on your trip.

I ususlly book refundable just in case.
jamikins is online now  
Old Sep 25th, 2014, 07:43 AM
  #3  
 
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I've done both without any problems. I've never done non-refundable for the entire trip but I have for a few nights if the price difference is significant enough. But you have to be willing to lose that money if for some reason you don't go.
outwest is offline  
Old Sep 25th, 2014, 07:59 AM
  #4  
 
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Right now I am sitting on a prepaid (and therefore non-refundable) reservation at the Savoy in London for three nights next month.

We got an excellent rate (at least we think we did) and have had this thing for almost a year.

Unless there is some unforeseen crisis we will be taking the trip. BUT I wish now I had never ever made this hotel reservation because there is at least one other hotel I would (now) much rather stay in.

I will not ever make a hotel reservation in any place that charges more for a refundable reservation. This is not the same as a pre-paid reservation; the two are entirely different.
Dukey1 is offline  
Old Sep 25th, 2014, 08:16 AM
  #5  
 
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A couple of thoughts. I had a medical issue 6 years ago and had to cancel our Greek trip. I had booked most hotels with booking dot com with cancellation ability. That was a no hassle process and was certainly worth paying a bit more for the hotel.
Last year we booked a hotel in Santorini again with booking dot com but eventually our plans changed and we decided it was better to spend that time in Crete. Again with a change in plans the cancellation option was important.
Don't forget even if your flights are booked plans can change.
stanbr is offline  
Old Sep 25th, 2014, 08:32 AM
  #6  
 
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Did you check directly w/hotel sites? Their rates are sometimes better than booking.com and no questions about refundable or not.
chapla is offline  
Old Sep 25th, 2014, 08:44 AM
  #7  
 
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I knew I was going back to the US in July, then illness forced me to postpone the trip three days before departure. Fortunately nothing I had booked was non-refundable, so all it cost me was a few dollars cancellation fees. Even my Delta flight was converted to an open ticket, and I have until next June to rebook at no extra charge. Moral: don't book non-refundable hotel rooms.
Heimdall is online now  
Old Sep 25th, 2014, 09:50 AM
  #8  
 
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I'm in the 'non-refundable' camp. Even though you are planning to go on the trip, you never know for sure - you or a family member could get sick or injured, a volcano could blow up disrupting air travel, international crisis, etc. If you booked all 18 nights and then had to cancel that's a big chunk of change.

I'll book some things that are non-refundable such as a train ticket if the advance purchase price is 25 euro but the last minute price is 90euro. For one thing it's a huge saving, for another you are only out 25euro if you don't take the trip. But booking most or all hotels that way is a different story.

A few years ago I would also check the hotel web sites but now they rarely have better prices or different terms than booking.com and in fact when I have had to cancel or change a reservation it's been far easier to do it through booking.com than through some hotels own sites.
isabel is online now  
Old Sep 25th, 2014, 09:57 AM
  #9  
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Thank you so much to jamikins,outwest, Dukey1, stanbr, chapla, Heimdall and isabel! So grateful so getting tips from experienced travellers.

Learning lots from all of you!
MsWorthy is offline  
Old Sep 25th, 2014, 10:02 AM
  #10  
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@chapla - I looked at our hotel choices and most of them - I got on a good rate from booking.com except for one hotel where it was actually $18 cheaper when booked on their website. However, they require 10% of the payment upfront to secure the deal.
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Old Sep 25th, 2014, 10:08 AM
  #11  
 
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I've never found a hotel's own website with better rates than booking.com, although I've found plenty where the rate was the same. Most of them, actually. But it isn't true that refundable or not is irrelevant if you book from a hotels' own website, they almost always have severla options themselves on that point, and many many hotels have cheaper rates on their website if nonrefundable.

It's just a personal choice, that's all. I usually book the refundable as I tend to make plans so far ahead. I never have had to cancel, though, but it just makes me a little nervous to have the nonrefundable one when I book so far ahead. I do it if there is a large difference in fees, though and I know I was to do that trip.
Christina is online now  
Old Sep 25th, 2014, 10:17 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: May 2003
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I usually buy trip insurance because of my age and the fact that I travel solo. I do sometimes reserve non-refundable rooms, especially when I'm staying for several days. If I save $30 per day at a hotel where I'm staying four or five days, the savings add up.

I generally buy train tickets in Germany or Spain ahead of time, and they are covered too if I have to cancel my trip.
Pegontheroad is online now  
Old Sep 25th, 2014, 10:19 AM
  #13  
 
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I quite often book non-refundable to Europe. But I also buy travel insurance and it will cover the cost for a reason that is covered. Mostly we would only cancel a trip for ill health of ourselves or a family member.

Non-refundable can be pretty attractive sometimes.
Sher is offline  
Old Sep 25th, 2014, 10:27 AM
  #14  
 
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I book non-refundable, but I have trip cancellation insurance through my CC. As long as I use that CC to book the hotel, it will cover the cost if there is an emergency
johnnyomalley is offline  
Old Sep 25th, 2014, 10:45 AM
  #15  
 
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The only time I've ever booked a non-refundable rate was when we were virtually leaving the next day on that particular trip.

I always book with refundable, and I've used booking dot com a lot. Very reliable IMO.
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Old Sep 25th, 2014, 10:48 AM
  #16  
 
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I have booked non-refundable rooms before without difficulty, but I hesitated before clicking that button, thinking what if, what if??

My advice is, know yourself If you are the type to change your mind, or if facets of your life are prone to emergency, go with refundable. Otherwise, save money and go with non-refundable, but buy trip insurance if the amounts are more than you could stand to lose and still hang on to your sanity.
NewbE is offline  
Old Sep 25th, 2014, 11:03 AM
  #17  
 
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My feeling is if there's an emergency serious enough for you to cancel or radically change a trip, non-refundable hotel nights is probably not the biggest problem you face. If you're the type that will change plans mid-trip, then obviously non-refundable isn't a good risk.

I don't book non-refundable at the beginning of a trip. Flights can be delayed or cancelled, transportation strikes can be called, etc. Deeper into the trip, I might book non-refundable.
Jean is online now  
Old Sep 25th, 2014, 11:06 AM
  #18  
 
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I book refundable rooms but sometimes change when the trip becomes "locked in"--sometimes you can't do that because everything is booked. However, once we are fairly certain we are going to go, and have booked an airport hotel for the last nite, we'll switch to nonrefundable and save a few bucks.

But other times (or perhaps places), properties will start to get desperate and drop their tariffs. We found a real bargain in the last few weeks on a property's own website.

I also think you'd be hard put to find better rates than booking.com except directly through the hotel itself.
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Old Sep 25th, 2014, 11:20 AM
  #19  
 
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I learned the lesson. Booked both airfare and hotels that were non-refundable and did not buy travel insurance that time. Emergency the week before the trip, lost both. Book anyway you want, get trip cancellation insurance.
Sassafrass is online now  
Old Sep 25th, 2014, 12:07 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
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***Our bookings were done via REFUNDABLE/CANCELLABLE option which is slightly higher than the NON-refundable option.***
On booking.com? I thought hotels listed only give one option. So how can a refundable option be more expensive then a non refundable.
I would love to see a link to the hotel that give that...please.
ribeirasacra is offline  

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