How to Plan a Caribbean Trip During Hurricane Season
Summer is the Ideal Travel Time, But are You Prepared?
Traveling during the summer months is always ideal, especially when you are trying to get away from the excessive heat from your hometown. But did you know that the summer months are the prime time for hurricanes?
June 1 is when hurricane season officially starts. That is also right around the time children start getting out of school for summer break. That’s exactly why many families take their trips the first part of June through July and half of August.
But hurricane season lasts all the way until November 30. Many families don’t realize that when they take trips during this time, they could be delayed, or even stuck should a hurricane develop while traveling to or from their destinations.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (www.NOAA.gov), there is always a season within a season of activity for the Atlantic hurricane seasons. There is an 8-week period where tropical depressions are especially prone to turning into full-fledged hurricanes. In fact, 96% of the storms during that 8-week time span can reach categories of 3, 4, and 5 hurricanes!
So, what to do…?
Importance of Insuring Yourself and Your Family
No matter what month you are planning to travel, if it is during the hurricane season you run the risk of getting stuck somewhere. Even if you don’t end up getting stuck, you could also lose your luggage when transferring to different planes. At the risk of sounding like a travel insurance commercial, it’s important to get yourself and your loved ones covered by some form of hurricane insurance.
Your hurricane insurance should cover travel delays, trip interruptions and cancellations due to a hurricane. Remember that it is not only the rain that affects the trip, it is the winds that come with the storm as well. Remember: just because there is no rain falling yet to flood the area, high winds are just as dangerous and can cause structures to be ripped apart.
Tips for Traveling During Hurricane Season
If you and your family are planning a trip during June 1- November 30 there are a few things you should keep in mind.
1. Keep an Eye on the Storm
First always keep an eye on the weather both at your location and where you plan to travel. The best place to watch is the National Hurricane Center (www.NHC.NOAA.GOV). There you will also find information on what is happening where the latest storms are forming.
2. Check Before Traveling
Always check with your flights and give yourself ample amount of time. Usually, trips are canceled from the port of origin and not the destination. Roads can close due to torrential rainfall or high winds that have knocked things down. So before you go anywhere, check with the airport to make sure your flight is still taking off and you can get to your final destination.
3. Get Insurance
While the saying goes to hope for the best and be prepared for the worst, that is all you are doing when you are looking into travel insurance. Make sure that you look for insurance that includes a hurricane cancellation so you are not out of money should something happen during your trip.
Most travel companies do take into consideration weather and hurricane issues. However, having extra insurance will ensure that if weather affects your trip you can receive compensation for your losses.
Don’t let a storm ruin your vacation. Be prepared and stay on top of whatever comes your way. After all, you get insurance for your health, car, and home. You should get insurance while you are traveling as well.
Benjamin Shepardson – Full time resident of Key West FL and owner of Deep Blue Water Spearfishing Blog