Ever wondered why nonrefundable rates are cheaper than the regular rack rates, even if the room is the same? It`s because the hotelier benefits from the lower price, too. Locking you in at that low rate guarantees she or he won`t have an empty room, which would cost the hotelier money. Of course, trying to pinch a few pennies will end up costing you if you need to cancel.
Look before you book: If there is any chance at all that you`ll need to cancel your hotel reservation (ex. bad weather, difficult connection, chance of illness) then forgo the nonrefundable rate. Yes, you`ll pay more upfront, but you won`t be out much bigger bucks should you need to put your trip on hold.