Tips for travelling during hurricane season
Travelling to the Caribbean and U.S. Gulf Coast during the summer and early fall can mean taking advantage of off-peak rates to popular destinations.
But, with hurricane season lasting from early June until the end of November, there’s the potential that your holiday could see anything from a little bit of drizzle to a major storm. According to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the average year sees 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes, with August and September being the most active months for severe weather.
Know your options
If you’re after a beach vacation, a TICO-registered travel agency or website can help you explore destinations that are outside of the hurricane belt, or less prone to severe storms. But, if your itinerary is less flexible, your travel agent can help you navigate options for flights and accommodations with different cancellation policies, to see how you can minimize your risk.
Travel tips during hurricane season
If your travels are taking you to a hurricane-prone area over the next few months, consider these tips:
– The Government of Canada offers several valuable services for Canadians travelling abroad. This includes Travel Advisories, which list any safety or security conditions that could impact your decision to travel to a particular destination. Check the advisories before booking and again before setting off on your trip. And, sign up for the Registration of Canadians Abroad service, which allows consular staff to contact you in the event of an emergency.
– Keep an eye on the Canadian Hurricane Centre and U.S. National Hurricane Center websites for up-to-date information about storms and hurricanes that could impact the area to which you are travelling.
– Strongly consider travel insurance and be sure the policy you select will cover you for trip cancellation and interruption in the event of severe weather. Read the fine print and know exactly what you’ll be covered for if you have to cancel your trip entirely or head home sooner than planned. All Ontario travel agencies and websites have to tell you about the availability of travel insurance before you book your trip.
– Be prepared for a few additional days of travel, in case you find yourself away from home for longer than expected. Be sure to pack extras of any medications.
– While your destination may not be directly impacted, a storm hundreds of kilometers away can still cause heavy winds and rain. Be flexible with your planned activities and ready to make last-minute adjustments.
There are risks with traveling to a hurricane-prone destination over the summer and early fall, but there is also the promise of smaller crowds and discounted rates. Your TICO-registered travel agency or website can help you find an option that suits your comfort level, so you can make an informed decision about whether it’s the right holiday for you.
For more travel tips, information and how TICO can help, visit our Smart Traveller’s Guide.