First and foremost I have to acknowledge that hurricane impacted travel is never the most important problem. There are many lives being changed and communities destroyed by these powerful storms. Our prayers are with everyone dealing with the effects of the recent hurricanes.
That being said, hurricane impacted travel is certainly something to worry about- especially if you travel during hurricane season!
(For my thoughts on booking travel during hurricane season, check out my post: To Travel During Hurricane Season…Or Not.)
Historically, I’ve never used weather as a reason NOT to book travel. You truly never know when you’re going to run into conditions that aren’t ideal. Temperatures fluctuate, storms come up, and even the best meteorologist can’t always predict what’s going to happen.
Even playing the odds doesn’t always work. Two examples:
- 1. This summer we passed through Alburqurque, New Mexico. It hadn’t rained there in over 100 days. We planned to go hiking. Guess what happened? Yep. A freak hail/rainstorm! I never would have bet on that.
- 2. We had two different beach trips scheduled for this fall. The first one was for my birthday weekend in September. Hurricane Florence made a direct hit on the beach where we were supposed to visit. Second trip was this past week. Hurricane Michael came out of nowhere and caused us to postpone. Two different weeks. Two different trips. And two different hurricanes. Seriously, what are the chances?
So with respect to hurricane impacted travel (or blizzard, hot temperatures, etc.) you’ll first want to ask some important questions regarding the trip.
- Is it safe to still travel? If the answer to this question is “no” then you obviously need to cancel or rearrange your plans at whatever cost.
- What is the policy on rescheduling my trip if it’s just a preference? This can be a gray area for most individuals; However, things like travel insurance, airlines, hotels, etc. usually have a very clear policies. Don’t make any assumptions!
If you do move forward with your trip, here are some ways to make the most of bad weather (just to be clear- these are not recommendations if your safety is at risk!):
- Be prepared with the right gear:
Remember my recent story about getting caught in a downpour at the apple orchard? It would have been no big deal if we’d dressed for the weather. Although packing lots of clothes you may not need might seem extravagant, it’s SO worth it if you end up needing it!
- 2. Be prepared to stay safe:
It’s always a good idea to travel with a few items that would help in an emergency. We always have bottled water and snacks in our car. Additionally we travel with small flashlights (not just our cell phones.) And, if we’re driving we make sure we’ve always got plenty of gas. You can learn a little more about how we learned these travel lessons in my post: Not Quite What We Planned.
- 3. Be prepared with some non-weather affected activities:
So you’ve planned a beach trip and the forecast is for 100% chance of rain. That doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy some indoor activities. Be sure to pack somefavorite games, books, DVDs and crafts. You may also want to research some indoor activities to do at your destination.
- 4. Be prepared to have fun:
My kids love rain and snow. Just because it isn’t ideal weather, doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy it. Assuming conditions are safe, there’s no reason why you can’t get out in the elements. Take a walk in the rain. Play in the snow. Extreme heat? Find a waterpark or hotel pool!Additionally, if there’s even a small break in the weather- jump at your chance to enjoy it. If you embrace the weather, you’ll make all kinds of fun family memories.
- 5. Be prepared with a good attitude:
My last piece of advice for not letting weather ruin your vacation is to keep a positive, good attitude. Of course there will be disappointment, but try to make the most of a non-desirable situation. Sometimes it is what it is- especially when it comes to weather!
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