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Last minute change of plans? This one trick will get you your deposit back every time

beach resort
Reuters/Amir Cohen
Travel’s a beach sometimes.
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

I consider myself to be a pretty good writer. I mean, I almost won a free trip to Sri Lanka recently, for crying out loud! (But then again, second and last have a lot in common…)

Which is why I try to stay away from tacky, click bait-y headlines about what you can do with “this one trick.” I’ve got integrity, man. BUT! I’m making an exception today because I’ve already saved hundreds of dollars with this one trick—and you can, too.

You know how when you book a hotel or tour, they often require a deposit? And, after a certain point, the deposit is nonrefundable? And, sometimes, in travel—and in life!—you have a last-minute change of plans? Or you miss a flight? Or someone jacked your passport? Or you randomly decide to get off your ferry an island early? And now you have to cancel that part of your trip?

Call the place where you made your reservation—but don’t cancel. RESCHEDULE. Pick a date that falls outside of the “non-refundable” timeframe. Then, call back the next day and cancel, and you’ll get your money back.
If you feel guilty about it (the two times I’ve had to do this, I felt really bad), write them a good Yelp or Trip Advisor review. Like them on Facebook or retweet one of their deals on Twitter. Or remember what great customer service they had, and book with them next time you travel.

Better yet—try to stay flexible when you travel. That way, you can ask locals and fellow travelers for their recommendations and get the best insider information, instead of sticking to the guidebook. You can decide at the last minute that the weather looks nicer up north than down south, and adjust accordingly. And you can worry less about being in a certain place at a certain time.

This post originally appeared at The Happy Talent.

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