Before I made a whim decision to go to California, I originally was going to fly to Colorado. I had some cousins living there and the lifestyle seemed like it would be a good fit. I figured even though it was short notice my cousins would for sure let me stay (it was a week advance). I booked the United Airlines flight and figured I would just get a hostel or hotel stay worst case scenario. There was a winter storm happening further northwest but the weather was showing 30 degrees and I reasoned I could still hike and brave cold weather considering I was coming from Kentucky which was in 9 degree and a little below.
My cousin didn’t answer me back. No big deal, I thought. I booked an Airbnb stay with a a “quaint” looking stranger which was pretty cheap for the location.
The next day after booking everything, I check the weather in Colorado again. It jumped to around 16 degrees. There was no way I was going to travel into the cold I was already living in. No biggie, I thought. I would just cancel the flight and Airbnb since it was still about a week in advance so I could get my money back.
WRONG. It was then I learned that you have to cancel United Airlines flights within 24 hours to get your money back, and it was a couple hours passed the time. I tried to cancel the Airbnb lady, who only refunded $30 of my $100ish that I spent on my stay. Angry, I reread through her policy which stated a similar clause in needing to cancel by a specific date.
I do NOT regret going to California and fulfilling my dream. Even though I lost the money, I am now independent in ways I never thought I could be. Each of my mistakes has lead to a lesson.
So what did I learn?
- READ THE FINE PRINT. Check your policies BEFORE you spend money
- Don’t rely on family
- Check the weather every couple of hours. Weather likes to change her damn mind.
Also, I chose to fly Allegiant for my flight to California. They don’t have that 24 hour policy! I am not sponsored (Yet!) but I was impressed by this company and would recommend them.
I really hope I helped my New travelers! Have you learned any other tips traveling?