What You Need to Know Before Traveling During Hurricane Season
It’s hurricane season, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy an amazing getaway to the Caribbean. Many travelers shy away from traveling during hurricane season, but it doesn’t have to put a damper on your travel plans. With a bit of knowledge and preparation, you can take advantage of huge savings and fewer crowds on your next vacation!
Hurricane season officially runs from June through November, but it’s rare to encounter a major storm in June or July. The majority of storms usually occur between mid-August and October and the most severe typically occur in September. That said, the chances of a storm hitting exactly where you are visiting on the specific dates you are traveling are very low.
Since weather services offer more accurate advance forecasting than ever before, it’s easier to stay up-to-date about local weather patterns and potential flight delays. Some websites I recommend that track local weather patterns include: the National Weather Service’s National Hurricane Center site, and both the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and Caribbean Hurricane Network sites for local weather reports in the Caribbean. Most airlines also enable you to sign up for alerts/reminders via email or text message, and you can also register for the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to be notified in case of emergency situations.
Weather apps like Storm Shield, which is capable of saving multiple locations, can also come in handy if and when a tropical storm or hurricane forms. Plus, the app will send weather alerts, like hurricane watches and warnings, for any of your saved locations (i.e. your home and destination). Local forecast offices are another great resource for specific predictions on specific days.
Insider Tip: Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao, also known as the "ABC islands", are located outside of the hurricane belt (just off the northern coast of South America). Aruba has more sunny days than any other Caribbean island and the average temperature is 82 degrees year round a.k.a. PARADISE!!
If you’re planning to travel during hurricane season, I highly recommend getting travel insurance at the time of booking your trip. In case you have to cancel or change your plans at the last minute, it is a good idea to protect your investment. There are many different policies available, including those with “Cancel for Any Reason” coverage so it’s important to clarify coverage and reimbursement details with an expert. Most important is to keep in mind that insurance companies typically require travelers to purchase a plan before a storm is named.
I have firsthand experience with traveling to the Caribbean during hurricane season as I've done so several times for business trips as well as personal vacations. I'm actually heading back to Turks and Caicos for a destination wedding training next week and I'm very excited to be back at the Beaches resort on the island! If you don't mind the small risk of inconvenience of potentially having to change your travel plans, I have found that the fall can be an excellent time to travel!!
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