In general, when booking hotels we expect free cancellation up until a few days before arrival and even late cancellation usually only forfeits one night's fee. However, taking that for granted without seeing it in writing may bring a surprise. Take the Easyclick travel site. Here is their policy: Q. What is your hotel cancellation policy? Change or cancellation requests received by our Customer Support 3 days prior to check in time (noon local hotel time)? will be subject to 1 night's fee Change or cancellation requests received by our Customer Support 1 day prior to check in time (noon local hotel time) will receive no refund No-shows will not be refunded I don't quite see the difference between telling them a couple days ahead or just not showing up, but they must want to spell out both scenarios, at least in the fine print. They probably know that their policies are rare. Also, if looking at good deals at Terribles, even on the booking.com site which has no regular cancellation fee policy itself, I see that the best deals in price come with no refunds on cancellation. This is new to me. I saw these no refund options on the Super 8 Koval site, but did not encounter them before when pricing Terribles. Many of us get last minute free rooms from places like the Four Queens. And all of us might have an emergency and need cancellation or make an initial mistake in a booking. It is always best to book directly with hotels, but even most discount bookings have come with generous cancellation (although rigid modification) policies. Keep reading that fine print.