Traveling can be something that opens up your eyes to things you would not otherwise understand. It can be a way of learning new things and can just be a way of relaxing without the responsibilities of home or working. A lot of people plan their vacations very carefully and well in advance. But, no matter how much planning you put in, there are times when something forces you to cancel or change your trip. This is when you need to understand cancellation policies.

Even if you have no intention of changing your plans when it comes time to book your vacation, you should know what their policy is on cancellations. Some make it easy for you to change your dates as long as you do it well in advance. If you find out there there is an interesting art festival when you're visiting France or if you find that your trip plans collide with a friend's wedding then you need to nothing more than make a phone call to alter things to suit your new schedule.

When you're booking a flight or when booking with some hotels you will find that you are allowed to change or cancel your reservation but that it will come at a cost. If you have put down a deposit on a vacation that involves staying at a hotel or flying to Tokyo then you might lose that sum of money if you choose to change your plans. If you have already paid for the trip in full then you might find that you are only entitled to get a portion of what you have paid back. This can range from losing ten percent for the cancellation to not getting any of your money back. If you're booking a last minute hotel with a site like for a conference, for example, you will find that you are entitled to nothing back if you need to cancel.

And then there are those sites and companies that allow you to pay an extra insurance in case you need to cancel or make changes to your reservation. If you're trying to save as much money as possible while you're staying in luxury resort for a week or when you're visiting family on the other side of the world, you might not think that this is worth the extra money. But, paying for this insurance could come in handy if you do need to cancel your trip for any reason.

A few familiar travel website cancellation policies:

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