Timeshare Tip #8 – Cancellations

Cancellations happen - be prepared.

The planning of a vacation can often be a large part of the fun of the vacation itself but sometimes life gets in the way of even the best laid plans. For those times where something unexpectedly gets in the way of your vacation it’s alway good to have a back-up plan.

A vacation rental will usually involve two parties: the owner/broker and the person/family going on vacation and it’s up to both to make sure they’ve prepared for unexpected eventualities.

Owners: When renting out your units you should be very clear, right at the outset, what your cancellation polices are. It’s important that the person/family renting your unit is very clear on where they stand should their plans suddenly change. If your cancellation policies haven’t been clearly outlined during the booking process don’t be surprised when your renter is taken aback if you aren’t prepared to give them a refund when their plans suddenly change. If you have been clear from the outset and the person/family you’re renting from asks you to make an exception then consider if there is anything you can do to help them out. Is there still time to re-rent the unit? If there is, perhaps you can come to some agreement whereby a refund is given if you succeeded in re-renting your villa.

Cancellations happen – be prepared.

Renters: Make sure you find out right at the beginning of the booking process what your cancellation options are. Cancellation policies vary significantly from owner to owner so just because you were able to cancel your last rental doesn’t necessarily mean the next one will as well. Please remember that when renting a timeshare unit you’re almost certainly dealing with an individual and not a corporation. The rent you’ve agreed to pay is almost certainly going towards covering the owners costs of ownership (maintenance fees) so those funds are just as important to them as they are to you.

If your plans change suddenly it’s up to you to be prepared do deal with those changes and, while it’s important for the owner to be as flexible as possible, it’s not up to the owner to make up for any lack of preparation on your part. Put simply: take out vacation insurance. If you’re insured you won’t have any issues and you won’t have to rely on an owner having a generous cancellation policy or an owner making an exception in your case.

For general information on travel insurance take a look at this Huffington Post article.