How I Lost $400 Traveling (What NOT to Do When You Go on Vacation)

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?





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