Book directly through the hotel
Gabriel Georgescu/Shutterstock Avoid using a third-party deal finder like Expedia if you’re already afraid you might need a last-minute cancellation when booking your room, says 12-year hotel concierge Sarah Dandashy, founder of Ask A Concierge. “They usually have taken your money for the first night or the whole stay,” she says. “It will be much harder to get your money back if that is the case.” Bonus: If you remember the employee’s name when you call to cancel, that established relationship will put you in better favor when you ask to waive the fee, she says. Check out these other 21 secrets hotels don’t want you to know.
Ask for a manager
Dmitry Kalinovsky/Shutterstock It starts with getting the right person on the phone, says hotelier Mokshta Chauhan, founder of Miss With Migratory Wings. The front desk agent or bellboy might not have the authority to waive your cancellation fee, but a manager has the final say, she says. Don’t miss these other 12 tricks for always getting what you want.
Give a good reason
Once you have a manager on the phone, just be honest, says Dandashy. “They are human after all,” she says. A hotel employee will probably be able to sniff out a lie, so don’t claim you have a funeral if you actually just want to cancel this booking because you found a cheaper room. (Though in the future, this hotel booking secret guarantees you get the cheapest rate.)