(WHTM) — While Florida residents are rebuilding and cleaning up the damage that Hurricane Ian left behind, others are realizing they will have to change their vacation plans. But will they get their money back?

Travelers everywhere are scrambling, rescheduling trips after Hurricane Ian. However, refunds are far from a guarantee.

If you have a Gulf Coast trip planned for the coming months, Hurricane Ian might have made you reconsider.

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Kathy Salfedlt had to cancel a family reunion at a beach house in spring due to COVID-19.

“It cost us almost $14,000,” said Salfedlt.

VRBO offered her a voucher for future travel, but no refund for the money lost.

Refund policies are up to each individual home owner on VRBO.

If you are given a travel voucher, check for expiration dates. Eula Williams and her niece Lanee Dailey had to cancel their dream cruise during the pandemic. When they rescheduled, they found that their vouchers had expired.

“They are saying there is nothing they can do about it, my money is gone,” said Williams.

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So what should you do if your travel company won’t give you a refund? The first thing is to appeal, then escalate, and finally, dispute.

  • Appealing can be as simple as calling customer service
  • Escalating can mean speaking to a supervisor. Then sending an email to the company, copying the company president
  • Disputing means filing a dispute with your credit card, then complaining to the Better Business Bureau and the state attorney general

If Ian made your rental uninhabitable, VRBO’s “Book with confidence” guarantee promises a similar rental.

Airbnb’s “Air cover” will give you a “full or partial refund,” or a similar rental as well.

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However, like Williams and Salfedlt discovered, full refunds are never guaranteed.