How to Plan a Vacation During Hurricane Season – US News & World Report | Gmx Pharm

Hurricanes can wreak havoc in countries in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans up to several kilometers inland, according to the National Hurricane Center. These include destinations in the US, the Caribbean and Mexico. Unfortunately, this also means that about half the year you have to worry about a hurricane interrupting (or worse, ruining) your vacation.

Concern also appears to be increasing each year as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) forecast the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season to be “above normal,” citing continued La Niña conditions and unusually high temperatures in the Atlantic.

However, you don’t have to avoid or cancel all of your upcoming travel plans. Read on to learn how to properly prepare for a vacation during hurricane season.

What is a hurricane?

First, let’s establish what hurricanes are and what causes them. Hurricanes are tropical cyclones around a low-pressure system. When the two collide, they create high winds and heavy rain that can cause catastrophic damage. Hurricanes are caused by a number of factors, including increased sea surface temperatures and high humidity.

When is hurricane season?

The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins June 1st and lasts through November 30th. However, it peaks in September. The Pacific hurricane season begins earlier, in mid-May, and ends around the same time in late November.

How to plan a vacation during hurricane season

Some islands are safer than others

In 2017, Hurricanes Maria and Irma devastated Caribbean islands including Dominica, Puerto Rico and St. Martin. Still other islands were spared from the storms, namely those outside the “hurricane belt”.

  • The ABC Islands: Islands outside the hurricane belt are less prone to inclement weather and include Aruba, Barbados, Bonaire, and Curacao, also known as the ABC Islands. St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and Grenada are also outside of this region. All of these islands are good choices if you’re looking to travel to the Caribbean between June and November but are concerned that storms could spoil your tropical vacation.
  • Hurricane season in Mexico: Hurricanes also occur in Mexico. In fact, Agatha, the first hurricane of 2022, hit Mexico in May. A Category 2 storm, it was the strongest May hurricane to hit the region since modern records began in 1949.

Travel insurance can help

Regardless of where you decide to vacation during hurricane season, you should consider purchasing travel insurance, which will ensure you get your money back if your trip is canceled or interrupted. You may be able to purchase travel insurance when booking your trip, but you can also purchase a separate policy through companies such as Travelex and Nationwide.

In addition to travel insurance products that cover storms and other issues beyond your control, you can also take out cancellation insurance that does exactly what it says on the tin – you can cancel for any reason, including weather-related events like hurricanes and in some cases COVID -19-related issues. These policies reimburse you for your prepaid airfare, hotels and more, but only if you purchase them in advance.

If you have a credit card that offers travel insurance as a member benefit, you can 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 pays you back up to $10,000 per trip on prepaid trips (think flights, hotels, and tours) if severe weather ruins your plans. The card also offers protection for lost luggage, collision damage on rental cars and more.

Refundable options are best

You might not even want to deal with possible canceled or rescheduled flights, especially as this has been a major challenge for travelers in 2022. In this case, it may make sense to plan a vacation to a destination that you can dare to reach.

For this strategy to work, you must book a hotel rate that you can cancel without penalty. Because the National Hurricane Center knows when a hurricane will form and can mostly predict where it’s going, you can even cancel your hotel with a few days notice and just stay home. Or book a last minute holiday somewhere else and go there instead.

Cruises can be a good choice

Planning a cruise during hurricane season isn’t as crazy as you might think. You have the option to sail to destinations outside of hurricane zones such as the Mediterranean Sea, Alaska or Hawaii. Or you can focus on cruising the southern Caribbean, a region where hurricanes are much less likely. Additionally, many cruise lines offer last minute deals or deep discounts for those willing to travel during this time. Bonus: If you don’t have school-age children, this is a particularly good time to travel due to the fewer crowds.

Also, keep in mind that cruise ships have onboard weather monitoring systems to help them avoid problems. Cruise Critic’s cruise experts say it’s not uncommon for cruises to be shortened or lengthened during hurricane season to accommodate a storm. Your cruise line may change your itinerary to include a stop at another island to avoid a storm (assuming space allows). Stopping at an unexpected destination like Grand Turk instead of the Bahamas doesn’t seem so bad.

[Ready to plan a cruise? Find the best value sailings on GoToSea, a service of U.S. News.]

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