As hurricane season approaches, travelers may be more enticed to visit hurricane-prone destinations, with many resorts offer deep discounts during the summer months. While there is no way to control mother nature, travelers looking to book a trip can take a few steps to help avoid any big hiccups along the way. InsureMyTrip editors rounded up some expert advice on how to best travel during hurricane season:
Hurricane season is June through November (although some storms do occur outside of this window). While US travelers may be most concerned about the Atlantic and Caribbean waters, there are also other parts of the world that can experience hurricanes, typhoons, or cyclones. The US State Department says its a good idea to know the potential dangers ahead of time and have an emergency plan in place.
Here’s a look at storm seasons around the globe:
- North Atlantic region starts in June and ends in November.
- Northwest Pacific region starts in July and ends in November.
- Northeast Pacific starts in May and ends in November.
- Southwest Pacific starts in October and ends in May.
- South Indian region starts in October and ends in May.
- North Indian region starts in April and ends in December.
Travel Expert Peter Greenberg says while there is no such thing as a “hurricane-free” island, there are some locations that are less susceptible to mother nature’s wrath.
Greenberg says while islands such as Jamaica, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic are part of the hurricane belt, more southern islands like Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao have less of a chance of being a storm’s target.
Frommers.com reporter Alexis Lipsitz Flippin in her article “Hurricane Season: 5 Caribbean Travel Tips” advises travelers to check and confirm hurricane policies at resorts before departing on a trip. Each resort is different — some may offer a voucher for a future stay, a partial, full or no refund.
Tip: if hotel cancellation is non-refundable, add the amount you may lose to your total trip cost when quoting a travel insurance policy.
Some resorts offer a hurricane guarantee, but be sure to read and understand the fine print before you go. You may get only a portion of your money back or you may be offered a voucher for a future stay just for those nights your trip was affected.
Why would you want to be out on the high seas during peak hurricane season? While it may sound counterintuitive— cruises can actually make a lot of sense for those concerned about bad weather, according to Conde Nast Travelers’ Paul Brady. In his article “How To Travel Safely During Hurricane Season” ,Brady says cruise ships can often be a better way to travel, since ships can simply plot a course around the storm and avoid it completely.
Other tips from US State Department:
- Enroll in our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). Enrolling in STEP lets you sign-up to receive important information from the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate about safety conditions in your destination country and allows us to better assist you in case of an emergency.
- Purchase comprehensive travel insurance.
- Use our Traveler’s Checklist to help you organize an emergency kit.
- Follow the instructions of local authorities concerning security and evacuation. Doing so could save your life.
- Monitor local radio, television, and other sources of information to stay aware of any weather developments in the area. Minor tropical storms can quickly develop into dangerous storms, limiting the time available for a safe evacuation.
- Keep in touch with your tour operators, hotel staff, cruise company, airlines, and local officials for evacuation instructions.
- Update friends and family in the United States as regularly as possible to let them know how you are doing. If you use social media, consider ways to keep your status updated.
- Always carry with you the telephone number and address for both your hotel and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.