A Visit To Emergency: The Costs To Cancel My Trip To France

This past Monday morning I got out of bed and the minute I put my foot down I felt a searing pain in the bottom of my heel. Out of 10, the pain was 11. Panic set in. I am to fly to France in 10 days for two weeks. Will the pain go away in time? Should I cancel my trip to France? How can I possibly go to Paris where I walk for 9-12 hours a day?

Cancel My Trip To France And NOT Incur Big Expenses

Trip to France cancelled? Background is a store in Paris.

I’m sharing this post because I’ve realized that certain measures that I took when I was booking my trip, coupled with the inclusion of cancellation coverage, have ensured that I won’t face significant expenses and I can enjoy greater peace of mind.

At the time of writing this post, I have not yet decided if I am travelling to France. That decision will be made on Monday. How might this post help you? If you had to postpone or cancel a trip, close to the scheduled date, would you potentially incur substantial expenses? Read on for some ideas on how you can decrease your exposure.

My Upcoming Trip To France

My trip in December involves 10 nights in Paris and 4 nights in Strasbourg to visit some new exhibits, see the Christmas markets and illuminations (light shows), and do more exploring. I’ll then fly home for Christmas.

Trip Cancellation Policies For My Bookings

My financial exposure due to cancelling my trip is limited thanks to a few things:

  • I have trip cancellation and health insurance coverage
  • I am flying Premium Economy (Lowest) which only has a $300 cancellation fee.
  • My hotel bookings allow me to cancel up to 24 hours before arrival.

I arranged my trip so that most of my bookings had free (or partial) cancellation and the ability to cancel the day before. I’ve only paid for my flights, train tickets, and tickets for those special events.

If I have to cancel my trip to France due to medical reasons (providing a doctor’s note), thanks to my cancellation insurance coverage, I will get reimbursed for my “prepaid expenses”—the airfare and train tickets—so I’m just out $125—the cost of the event tickets. Insurance only pays for “travel-related” expenses.

Side Note: if you’re wondering if insurance companies refund the travel expenses, I can say yes. Many years ago I had to cancel a trip because my friend, who I was travelling with, was diagnosed with cancer. The insurance company reimbursed both of us 100%.

Why Purchasing A Refundable Airfare Is Advantageous

Many people purchase cheaper airfares that have NO refunds if one cancels. They could be out thousands of dollars unless they have cancellation insurance. Sure, I could have done that; however, what if I had to cancel because my cat was sick? Or, what if I just changed my mind and didn’t want to go?

My cancellation insurance would not reimburse me for those reasons. So, having a $300 non-refundable fee to cancel my airfare is low in the event I cancel for a non-medical reason.

My Advice When Planning A Trip

  • Always get cancellation insurance
  • Buy an airline ticket that is (partially or entirely) refundable.
  • As much as possible, book hotels where you can cancel the day before. While I could have paid upfront and then applied for reimbursement if I cancelled, this way was much easier for me.

My Medical Emergency

Emergency entrance at hospital

If you’re wondering what the outcome was of my emergency visit, the doctor told me I had plantar fasciitis. I’ve been running a lot and had this 20 years ago (and have rarely had it again), but I thought it was something else. This pain was the worst I’ve ever had. I was prescribed an anti-inflammatory medication.

Do I Cancel My Trip To France?

I’m giving the meds a few days to kick in and then I’m seeing my family doctor on Monday. I will cancel this trip if I have no pain and feel I can go on my trip. Otherwise, I’ll need to get a doctor’s note and submit it with my request to be reimbursed under the Trip Cancellation policy.

UPDATE: I saw my doctor and it’s been 6 days without pain, so I’m set to travel to France in 3 days…..and I sure am glad I had cancellation insurance and booked the trip the way I did!

Moral of the story: having cancellation insurance and bookings that I can cancel 24 hours before my arrival have put my mind at ease. I will have saved myself thousands of dollars, too!

For more posts about how I’ve solved problems before, during, and after my trips to France, check out these posts:

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How to minimize the cost of cancelling your trip

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6 Comments

  1. Tammy Wannemacher says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience, and I hope you feel better and get to go France!

    1. Many thanks for your comment. It’s very kind of you.
      My fingers are crossed!

  2. Good luck Jan, I hope the medication works well and you’re able to take your trip! And good planing on the insurance front!

    1. Many thanks for your kind words.
      Fingers crossed for tomorrow….but I am pretty optimistic unless things change before Thursday!

  3. Hi Jan, I am happy to hear that you are going to make it. But please take good care of yourself during the trip, and ENJOY! I am looking forward to hearing all about this trip!