What To Know About Traveling During This Upcoming Hurricane Season
Traveling During Hurricane Season?? This is what you need to know!
While we are all closely watching massive Hurricane Dorian, I thought it was important to provide you with some important information if you’re thinking about booking a trip for this fall to the Caribbean or the Southern part of the US, then you need to take into consideration that you will be traveling during hurricane season. While this might not impact you in any way whatsoever, if it does, things can get hairy and you need to be prepared. Here’s everything you need to know about traveling during hurricane season.
Hurricane season is considered June through November, but hurricanes are most likely in August, September and October. These months apply to destinations in the American South (Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia), as well as the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, North Coasts of South America and East Coasts of Central America.
Now, the good thing is the likelihood of you being caught completely by surprise by a hurricane is slim to none. You’ll likely know weeks in advance if your destination is threatened by an oncoming hurricane. Once you have notice of it, you can then respond accordingly by taking the appropriate actions with your travel providers.
However, if you want to be particularly safe, there are Caribbean destinations that are much less likely to be hit by a hurricane. The ABC Islands — Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao — are very unlikely to be hit. They lie outside the Caribbean’s hurricane belt, so the likelihood is always low. Other Caribbean destinations that are generally safe include Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados.
The Pros Of Traveling During Hurricane Season
While you might consider traveling during hurricane season to be a little risky, there are actually some perks. Because it’s considered risky traveling during hurricane season, you can often find better deals on flights and hotels, as carriers and properties lower their rates to attract travelers during a season that might not be desirable to everyone.
When you’re booking that great deal, though, try to pick a destination and length of stay that you can do later on in the year, in the event that your trip is canceled due to a storm. You want to make sure that you can still take the trip you paid for if you’re delayed.
The Cons Of Traveling During Hurricane Season
Of course, there are cons to traveling during hurricane season. It means you might get caught in a hurricane during or right before your trip. You’ll then have to decide whether to call it all off or go ahead anyway. In many cases, you can go ahead anyway, unless the storm is severe.
If it’s just a Category 1 hurricane, you might want to consider risking it. However, be prepared to get a lot more rain in your destination than you would normally.
Protecting Your Investment. While traveling during hurricane season can be less expensive as far as flights and hotels, the downside is that you’re absolutely going to want to buy travel insurance for this trip, which will increase your overall cost, but it’s a minimal additional expense when you have a couple of thousand dollars riding on your trip. Even if you’re someone who generally turns down travel insurance, this is the one time you won’t want to do that. I am seeing many posts from fellow agents who have clients traveling who declined insurance for their trip, and now while Dorian approaches, they lost not only what they paid for their trip (that they won’t get to take), but a lot of aggravation and stress of trying to get back home with so many flights being delayed or cancelled.
You may even want to consider investing in evacuation services (which are very often included in your travel insurance purchase) if you’re really worried about the possibility of a hurricane hitting your destination. After all, if you decide to risk it and head out on your trip in the face of a Category 1 hurricane, and then that Category 1 unexpectedly turns into a Category 4, you might be in trouble. Hurricanes are unpredictable after all.
Make sure when purchasing your travel insurance that you check the policy, as well as the hurricane policy of your actual travel providers. You may have some level of coverage on your travel credit card as well. Know what is covered and what is not, so you can plan accordingly.
Another con to take into consideration is that you may just end up having to stay longer in your destination. In the aftermath of some hurricanes, flights are at a premium and an airport may be closed.
Packing For A Storm
If you are going to be traveling during hurricane season, consider traveling light. In the event of a bad storm, you’ll want to just have a carry-on bag that you can easily take with you wherever you might need to go to catch a flight. However, you’re going to have to pack a few extra items in that carry-on bag.
It’s recommended that you bring along some necessities that will come in handy in the event of an emergency. Pack items such as solar-powered phone chargers, a flashlight, first-aid items and extra toiletries will be invaluable in a crisis. Likewise, you’ll want to have some cash on you in the event credit card transactions are impossible due to power outages.
When you arrive in your destination, you may also want to stock up on some non-perishable food items and bottled water.
Should I Travel During Hurricane Season?
But of course!! While the cons above seem like a lot, you don’t have to avoid traveling to potentially affected destinations during hurricane season. Me and my group of 9 ladies are heading to Jamaica the end of October. We know the risk; however, we’ve purchased travel insurance and will be optimistic that we have no problems. Try visiting places where the likelihood of you being impacted is low.
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