Atmosphere And Weather

Tips for Travel during Hurricane Season



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Hurricane season begins around May 30 and runs all the way until the last day of November. This is the period that is often considered the "off" season or "non-peak" season for vacationers looking to travel to places in the Caribbean, along the Gulf Coast, to Mexico or anywhere along the Atlantic Coast, especially the southeastern Atlantic Coast of the United States. It is also the time of year when kids are out of school and families may get the only opportunity they have to take their family vacations.

If you intend to travel to any of these places during the hurricane season, you would be wise to prepare yourself in the event of a hurricane, not just so you don't find yourself stranded  someplace, but also so you aren't completely clueless as to how to go about making it through the hurricane.

Here are some tips for anyone wanting to travel during that time.

*Purchase refundable airplane tickets -

Don't opt to buy the cheapest airline ticket because those tickets are completely inflexible. If you change the dates on which you depart or leave, you may be subject to paying a penalty of as much as $150 for every change you make. In some cases, you may also have to pay the difference in airfare between what it was when you purchased the ticket and what it would be at the time for which you wish to make the change. You'll incur that penalty each time you make another reservation change. Make sure that you have a flexible airline ticket that will allow you to make changes at no cost, or that will be refundable should you need to cancel altogether.

*Make sure hotel reservations can be canceled -

If you are going to a resort or some hotel with all sorts of activities and meals, make sure that you can cancel that reservation without any type of penalty. Also make sure that should you need to change your travel dates, that the place where you are going will commit to keeping accommodations for you whenever you arrive.

*Consider purchasing trip insurance -

If you are going on a cruise, or to some place where you pay for everything in advance, consider purchasing trip insurance because that can assure you of not having to pay for something you cannot do because of a hurricane. Trip insurance may provisions that will provide you with a full refund of air fare and anything else you paid for in advance.

*Create an evacuation plan -

Just because you don't live in a hurricane susceptible area, that doesn't mean that you shouldn't have a hurricane evacuation plan in place well in advance of your trip, should you be traveling to a place where hurricanes are even a remote possibility. The more prepared you are, the less stressful it will be for the entire family, and you'll probably have a better time as a result.

*Consider purchasing Traveler's Checks -

People rarely use traveler's checks anymore because debit cards can be used to pay for things just as cash can. If you find yourself stranded in a place where a hurricane is a possibility, there's also a good chance that power will be lost and you won't be able to pay for anything electronically. If that happens, you need to have cash on hand, but as a traveler, you probably don't want to carry that much cash. This is when Traveler's Checks can come in handy. You may have to pay a fee to purchase them, but you also get the satisfaction of knowing that they will be replaced if they are stolen or lost.

Weather is so unpredictable that it is hard to know when, if and where a hurricane might strike. If you regularly vacation somewhere where you might face a hurricane, or the possibility of one, planning for that possibility will make your trip a lot more fun and stress free for everyone. By the same token, don't allow the fear of a potential hurricane to stop you from traveling to a place that could possibly be struck by a hurricane. If everyone thought that way, the tourism industries of these places would suffer horribly, as would the economies of the entire areas.

Protect yourself with the proper insurance for your trip, or make sure that you can change your plane reservations and cancel hotel reservations without penalty. When you pack, don't pack so much that it becomes a major hassle to collect your belongings or evacuate. Remember, too, that airlines charge people to check baggage now. As long as you are well prepared and can escape if necessary, having a family vacation in these areas during the summer time can be a wonderful way to relax and enjoy the beautiful weather. Besides that, you won't have to face the mobs of tourists who flock to these places at other times of the year.

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More about this author: Susan Klatz Beal

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