Hurricane season is officially from June 1 through the end of November, peaking late summer through early fall. Whether you are driving, flying and/or cruising, a hurricane, or even the threat of one, can disrupt your travel itinerary. Here are some ways to help “weather the storm”.
1. Driving: Make sure you don’t get caught unaware when driving through unfamiliar territory, even if it’s in your own backyard. The results of a AAA Survey last year indicated that one-third of all Florida residents were not aware of or were not confident about their emergency evacuation routes.
2. Booking: Certain hotels and resorts may offer shoulder-season bargains. Check in advance about rebooking, refund and cancellation policies for the particular resort you plan to visit. You might end up paying slightly higher rates for more flexibility, but the peace of mind may be worth it.
3. Flying: If your flight is rescheduled or cancelled because of a hurricane, there’s a good chance that the airline will waive change fees and assist with rebookings caused by what the airlines call “Acts of God.” See your airline’s Contract of Carriage (on the carrier’s website); it includes a section on provisions for events such as hurricanes. If your plans are at all flexible, check into rebooking when hurricane warnings are first issued. In any case, stay in touch with your airline via your mobile device, as reservations centers and airport counters will be swamped.
4. Cruising: Most cruise lines use advanced technology to reroute ships away from the worst storms, so altered itineraries are to be expected in the late summer and fall in certain regions. Protecting such a big-ticket purchase makes travel insurance a sensible decision.
5. Insuring: Timing is everything when it comes to travel insurance. Trip cancellation and interruption policies can provide coverage when a hurricane ruins a vacation. But it’s imperative to buy in advance; once a hurricane has been named, it’s too late to purchase coverage.
Written by Lisa Codianne Fowler.