The winds blow and the rains come hard, but there are some great deals out there for travelers who are willing to take their chances with the less predictable weather that September and October can bring. Still, if ever there is a time to be prepared, hurricane season is it. Here are some suggestions we gathered for travel during hurricane season.
- Don’t let it stop you – Hurricane season runs from June through November, but weather is unpredictable and the chances of a storm hitting where you are on the exact date you are traveling are very low. If the airline or cruise ship cancels, you will get a refund. Cruise lines adjust the stops and route if they see a storm might hit the area.
- Consider a cruise – There are great deals on cruises — and indeed, you might be better off at sea than on land. Pick a destination that is less likely to be hit. It’s a big globe out there. If you are concerned about storms, consider Hawaii, Aruba, Bonaire or Curacao.
- Get the right travel insurance – There are many types of policies, and each involves different amounts of risk. Some pay travelers in cash and some in future travel credits; some pay only if the trip is canceled by the supplier or if a storm is named, not if the traveler is just afraid to go because a storm is headed their way. Also consider that while a travel agent can explain and suggest which insurance to choose, the traveler is the one buying the insurance. They need to follow up by reading the fine print and making sure they understand what is covered and what is not.
- Go with the flow – Be prepared for change and don’t let it ruin your trip.
- Factor in buffer travel time – Leave an extra day or two at the end of the trip.
- Take some extra items – Be prepared for an additional travel day or two by bringing extra clothes and medication in case you get delayed flying home. Also keep your iPad, phone charger, medication and other essentials in your carry-on if you are changing planes on a bad-weather day, lest you and your checked bag become separated. If you are traveling with a companion or a child, put one or two outfits of each person’s clothing in each checked bag, so you both have something to wear if one bag gets lost.
- Choose travel providers with extra clout – Another tip: Choose partners who can provide some extra clout, in case things go wrong. A well-connected travel agent and a reputable hotel company can make a big difference in how a traveler is treated.
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