Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Where to Travel During Hurricane Season

Hurricanes can wreak havoc on countries in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans as far as several miles inland. This includes destinations in the Caribbean, Mexico and U.S. Unfortunately, it also means that for about half of the year (June to November), you may have to worry about a hurricane interrupting your travels.

This doesn’t mean you can’t plan a tropical vacation or cruise during hurricane season, though. Read on to discover where to travel during hurricane season.

Best islands to visit during hurricane season

In 2017, hurricanes Maria and Irma devastated Caribbean islands including Dominica, Puerto Rico and St. Martin. Yet other islands were untouched by the storms, namely those outside of the “hurricane belt.” These include what’s known as the ABC islands: Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao. There are also other islands you can visit with confidence during hurricane season. The following Caribbean destinations pose the least threat of a hurricane:

Best places to cruise during hurricane season

It’s not as crazy as you might think to book a cruise during hurricane season. In addition to cruises within the Southern Caribbean (in the destinations noted above), you can avoid worrying about a hurricane by cruising to the following destinations:

What’s more is many cruise lines offer last-minute deals or deep discounts to those who are willing to travel during this time. Bonus: If you don’t have school-aged kids, fewer crowds make this an especially good time to travel.

Also consider that cruise ships have onboard weather tracking systems that help them avoid trouble. The cruise experts at Cruise Critic say it’s not uncommon for cruises to be shortened or extended during hurricane season so they can work around a storm (and if you’re concerned, you might want to consider a cruise insurance policy through a reputable agency or the cruise line itself). Your cruise line might switch your itinerary to include a stop at a different island in order to stay out of a storm’s path (assuming there’s space). Stopping at an unexpected destination such as Grand Turk instead of the Bahamas doesn’t seem so bad.

Tips for travel during hurricane season

Purchase travel insurance

No matter where you decide to vacation during hurricane season, you should consider travel insurance. You may be given the option to purchase travel insurance when you book your trip, but you can also buy a separate policy through companies like Travelex and Nationwide.

In addition to travel insurance products that cover flight cancellations, lost luggage and illness, you can also buy cancel-for-any-reason insurance (CFAR) that will do exactly what it says – let you cancel for any reason, including weather-related events like hurricanes (which aren’t always covered by standard policies). CFAR policies will refund you for the cost of your prepaid airfare, hotels and more, but only if you buy them ahead of time.

If you have a credit card that offers travel insurance as a member perk, you might also rely on that coverage, provided you use your card to pay for the trip. For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers a free travel insurance benefit that will refund you up to $10,000 per trip for prepaid travel (think flights, hotels and tours) if severe weather ruins your plans. The card also provides protections for lost luggage, auto rental collision damage and more.

Consider destinations closer to home

Maybe you don’t even want to deal with the potential for canceled or rescheduled flights, especially as this has been a major challenge for travelers over the past year or so. In that case, it might make sense to plan a weekend getaway or vacation in a destination you can reach by car.

Book a refundable hotel rate

To make this strategy work, you’ll need to book a hotel fare you can cancel without any penalty. Since the National Hurricane Center knows when a hurricane is forming and, for the most part, can predict where it’s heading, you can cancel your accommodations with even a few days’ notice and just stay home.

Frequently Asked Questions

Hurricanes are tropical cyclones around an area of low pressure. When the two meet, they produce strong winds and heavy rain that are capable of catastrophic damage. Hurricanes are caused by a number of factors, including increased sea surface temperatures and high humidity.

Hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean officially starts on June 1 and runs through Nov. 30. However, it reaches its peak in September. The Pacific hurricane season starts earlier, in mid-May, and ends around the same time late November.

Yes, hurricanes occur in Mexico, too. In fact, Agatha – the first hurricane of 2022 and a Category 2 storm – made landfall in the Pacific region of Mexico, near Oaxaca.

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