Refunds not guaranteed for wildfire-related lodging cancellations

Northwest wildfires are ruining a lot of vacations and burning budgets for many families who paid in advance for a vacation rental. Some establishments offer refunds, but when you lose lodging due to a wildfire or any other natural disaster, there's no such thing as an automatic refund guarantee.

Whether it's a hotel, house, private condo, or simple bed and breakfast, refund and cancellation policies are up to the owner. You could get a full refund, a partial refund or, simply only be allowed to reschedule your stay for a later date.

When you book lodging, always read the cancellation policy. The terms and conditions should be fully disclosed. If you don't see the disclosure online or are not given the information when you book by phone, ask for the details and get the policy in writing. Keep copies of all contracts and agreements that pertain to your trip.

To avoid losing your money because of unseen developments, look into vacation or trip cancellation insurance. There are a number of insurance plans that cover lodging, airfare and other expenses- so compare coverage and research user reviews.

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