An abc7 news article on hotel cancellation points out that hotels are no longer taking cancellations lightly. From demanding 72-hour notice to having different policies for the same room, same day, same hotel, hotels are going all out to curb the “menace” of no shows and mass-cancellations.
In general, the better planned holiday is less subject to the vagaries of cancellations. The greater the hurry, lesser the flexibility and more are the chances of a last-minute-change of mind. Online customers who are racing against time might find a better deal closer to their travelling date; new websites promise new deals all the time; word-of-mouth from friends prompts many travelers to keep shopping even after booking their tickets. There will always be a “better deal” but travelers need to weigh the inconvenience of cancellation against the hassle-free experience of booking a more expensive package closer to their travel date. With weekends and shorter holidays becoming the norm, consumers are better off sticking to travel websites that they can trust and hotels they already have had a good experience with.