Why would you need some tips for traveling during hurricane season? Surely, you’ve simply made the wrong choice of destination at the wrong time of year? Yes that’s true, but some of the world’s most glorious holiday destinations also come with a heavy dose of weather warnings. And let’s remember – these are warnings, and they don’t always materialize. If we went to the South of France with the expectation that every day will be bright blue sunshine and 35 degrees, we’d be misguided. The same goes for destinations that lie in the hurricane belt, have monsoons or cyclones, or even lie in an earthquake belt. They are acceptable risks. I went to Tobago in hurricane season and the daily rain showers were fantastic and the skies amazing. The showers were a welcome respite from the searing heat. If you must go during the “off” season, you just need to be prepared. Here are the best tips for traveling during hurricane season.
1. Destination Choice
It would be really easy to say just don’t go there, but we’ve already covered that. There are a lot of beautiful places you would not visit if you discounted them through fear of hurricanes, monsoons and cyclones. Most areas that are prone to severe weather conditions will have areas that can be classed as safer so it will be best to choose them at least as a base, if not for the full holiday. The absolute top of the tips for traveling during hurricane season is to do your homework to choose from the lowest-risk destinations.
2. Get Insurance
Even if you never take out insurance for any other trip, this is one time you absolutely must. You already know there are risks, so why not get coverage? You know it makes sense. You never know what aspect of your trip a hurricane might affect.
3. Have an Emergency Pack Put Together
It’s not as if you are wishing bad weather on your trip but there is always the possibility that there will be some sort of strong storm, so you should make sure your accommodation has an emergency pack. Check that there is a flashlight, some candles and matches and some bottled water. Also, it makes sense to take 5 minutes every start of the day to put your essentials in one place ready to grab should you need them. This includes your passport, travel documents, any medications, some cash and if you’re particularly concerned, a spare, fully charged phone. If you can stick in a foldup waterproof jacket or a sweater in there too, your old girl scout leader would be very proud of you.
4. Understand the Terms and Conditions
If you have booked with a tour company or taken a package deal, you can guarantee there will be plenty in the small print about serious weather conditions – read them. Yes, it is the way the companies keep themselves at reduced risk of being sued or having to pay compensation but the terms will also contain some great advice for traveling during hurricane season if you read between the lines. As well as the advice you will get before you leave, they will be there to help if a storm hits. Before booking you should always read the small print and know what exactly you are covered for. In some cases you will get a full refund, sometimes only some of your money back. Some will offer a replacement holiday so it is best to check different companies and see who offers the best deal for you.
5. Check the Weather in Advance
Obvious right? Make sure you know what to expect when you leave. There are Hurricane Trackers so you should be able to see if you will end up in the path of the hurricane. If you are travelling around it will be possible to move away from the storm but if you plan a one location vacation, you could have to face the hurricane where you are. Keep track while you are there as there can be changes in direction and even if you miss the worst of it, you could end up affected by floods and missing trips out or your flight home.
6. Learn about the Area
As soon as you arrive find your way around the local area. This way you will be able to find an escape route if the weather turns really nasty. Not all tips for traveling during hurricane season need to have a lot of thought put into them but are just common sense.
7. Be Flexible
It is essential to stay flexible. You might find initial travel plans disrupted at the last minute before you even get to your destination and then you might be interrupted while you are there. I guess you probably already know this if you’ve done your research but it’s easy to forget that when something you were so looking forward to gets changed or spoiled. Accept it as part of the adventure if you have to switch resorts or are unable to go to an attraction you really wanted to see.
Have you ever traveled to exotic locations during their worst weather seasons? I’d love to hear of your experiences.