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Canceling Your Travel Plans: How and When

Canceling your travel plans is never fun. My plans to Europe next month got completely ruined. I know I’m not alone right now. So I wanted to come on here today to talk about how and when to cancel your travel plans. What is the best way to cancel your travel plans?

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How to Cancel Your Travel Plans

Start with your travel insurance if you have it. What is covered? Global pandemics are not very common. The policy below includes quarantines. Your policy may include something else applicable to your situation. Every policy is different. Remember though that insurance companies do have limits.

After contacting your specific travel insurance provider, decide if you can make a claim. If your claim is approved, then great. If not, Then see what your airline’s policy is. There may be a specific time that is best to cancel. The same can go for your accommodations.

When to Cancel Your Travel Plans

We want to jump the gun and cancel as soon our situation changes. In this case, the travel restrictions for Europe. Many times it’s best to wait a little while to cancel your travel plans. Why?

Generally, you want the airline to cancel before you do. Being “scared to fly” isn’t considered a valid reason. Under special circumstances (like now) airlines give you the option to cancel without a penalty. However, there is usually a time window. Your ticket has to have been purchased by a certain date. Then the date of travel has to extend into the next 30 days, perhaps.

Each airline will have its own rules. Take a look at JetBlue (below) for example. There usually is a specific date range. Wait until your travel date is within the range. Then you’ll get the most benefits. Rushing to cancel before may mean you are charged change/cancel fees.


Benefits can include receiving some type of a refund. Don’t assume this means you will get all your money back in cash. JetBlue is issuing funds as a JetBlue Travel Bank Credit, valid for one year from date of issuance. Emirates (below) is also offering vouchers good up to one year.


If you have travel insurance, you may have more options. Always purchase travel insurance when traveling internationally. I can’t stress this enough. In the end, nothing if full-proof. Avoid making drastic trip decisions when you’re panicked. Look at your options before you make any decision. If you’re interested in seeing what travel insurance actually covers for your specific trip, click here

Are there any other tips that come to mind when canceling your travel plans? Let me know in the comments.


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