Travel in Hurricane Season
This year's hurricane season, says the
The main hurricane zones are also among the most popular cruising areas -- the
Most cruise line contracts allow the line to skip or substitute ports without any price adjustment or waiver of cancellation fees. At best, some lines give vouchers toward a future cruise or modest onboard credits, only a few allow no-fee cancellation and rebooking.
Airlines must obviously cancel flights to/from destinations when a hurricane is actually hitting there, but they resume service as soon as possible, usually in a day or two. Typically, they allow limited no-fee cancellation and rebooking, but within very short time windows.
Resorts are typically out of business for a lot longer. If they're in a storm's projected path, they board up a day or two in advance and take an extra day or so to reopen. But they try to reopen as quickly as possible, even though some damage -- eroded beaches, flooded golf courses, and such -- take longer to repair and reopen. Again, rather than refunds, you're likely to get nothing more than credit toward a future stay.
Vacation rentals are hard to assess -- how quickly they close and reopen often depends on individual owners.
Unfortunately, most trip-cancellation insurance is not as useful as you might think. As long as your airline is operating, policies typically won't reimburse airfare if you cancel because of conditions on the ground. It kicks in if your resort is "uninhabitable" because of a hurricane, but as long as the rooms and restaurants are open, insurance typically does not compensate you if post-hurricane problems preclude some of the activities you planned. As long as your cruise operates -- somewhere -- insurance won't cover cancellation.
Given these conditions, what are your best bets? If you plan on a trip from now through November:
-- Try to find arrangements that (1) require a minimum amount of advance prepayment, (2) entail reasonably low cancellation charges, or (3) offer some sort of weather "guarantee."
-- Buy sufficient trip-cancellation insurance to cover any large prepayments, but get a "cancel for any reason" policy -- it's the only way you can guarantee that you can cancel when you decide you don't want to go, not when the insurance fine print says you can cancel.
-- Keep in mind that, even an "active" hurricane season impacts only a small number of destinations or cruise areas, each for a small number of days.
But the last thing you want is months of constant worry from the time you plan your trip until it's over. If you don't want to accept even a minimal risk, you have plenty of alternatives: I can't remember a time when a hurricane shuttered
Recent Vacation Ideas & Travel Destinations
- Taking the Kids To the Caribbean in Summer
- Taking the Kids To Lake Placid
- Lisbon: Portugal's Salty Capital
- Irish Soul Music
- More Than Ever Gulf Needs Tourists to Swim Against the Tide
- Airline Alliances: Benefit or Plague?
- Travelers Be Wary of 'Data Passing' Online
- Car Rental Craziness: 6 Odd Rules and How to Steer Clear of Them
- Flying to Europe? It Pays to Know EU 261
- Airport Shuttles: Update 2010
- When Finding the 'Best' Airport Matters
- Airline Round-up: Re-Bundling Satisfaction
- Taking the Kids To Clean Beaches and Avoiding the Oil
- Airline Fees: The $7.8 Billion Question
- New Airline Bumping Rules Less Than What They Seem
- Air Travel: Disabled or Need Help?
- Have a Healthy Vacation
- France: Basking in France's Dordogne River Valley
- How to Rent a Car in Europe
- Avoiding Cruise Port Rip-offs
- Promotions and Features -- a Summer Grab Bag
- Where the Summer Discounts Are and Are Not
- World's 'Best' Airlines -- Do You Care?
- Taking the Kids To the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
- TSA's Liquid Rules: So Long, 3-1-1?
- Rejected? Enjoy the Art, But Appeal
- Right Hotel, Wrong Room
- Vacation Rentals: 9 Things to Know
- Salzburg: An Austrian Symphony
- Taking the Kids To Cooking School
- Lessons Learned From Your Worst Travel Gaffes
- Help! My Refund is Missing in Action
- Confessions of a Frequent-Flier Program Skeptic
- Airlines Annoyances -- Can You Avoid Them?
- Frequent Flyer Payout -- Great to Lousy
- Taking the Kids to a Broadway Musical
- Tips for Traveling Solo
- How to Save on Summer Vacation Travel
- What You Can Learn From First-Time Air Travelers
- Sunscreen Facts You Need to Know
- Hotels Connect the Dots Between Guests and Online Reviews
- Putting on the Ritz in Orlando
- Airlines Unbundle then Repackage: What's the Deal?
- New Tarmac Rule: Fewer Airline Flight Delays
- Germany's Mix of Perfume Chocolate and God
- Giving Mom Best Mother's Day Present She's Ever Had
- Amtrak 2010: Sightseeing Ideas
- I Didn't Mean to Buy Travel Insurance
- Continental - United Airlines Merger: the Consumer View
- Will the United - Continental Merger Raise Airfares
- Krakow: Poland's Historic and Cultural Gem
- Europe this Summer: Mixed Bag of News
- 'Qualify' for a Fleecing?
- Forget Your Travel Agent: 4 Trips You Should Book Yourself
- I Had to Pay Twice For My Flights to Mexico
- What's Next For Airlines Paying by the Pound?
- What Parents Say About Family Vacations
- New-Style Vacation Trips Trip with the Grandparents
- Princess for a Day at Disney World
- Easter in Europe
- Where Are Cheap Round-the-World Airfares
- Premium Economy for Overseas Trips
- Healthy Hiking With Your Dog
- Taking the Kids to Bermuda
- Taking the Kids to Chile
- Too Sick to Fly? When to Put Yourself on the 'No Fly' List
- Lowest Airfare? You May Have to Connect
- Europe 2010: Pricey, But with Some Good Deals
- Totally Kidcentric and Affordable Ski Resorts
- Taking the Kids to Alaska and Meeting Some Bears
- Taking the Kids to Mohonk Mountain House
- Taking the Kids to Patagonia
- Taking the Kids - Skiing in Telluride
- Taking the Kids - Skiing this Winter without Busting the Budget
- Taking the Kids - How Snow Sports Can Transform a Child's Life
- Taking the Kids: Skiing in Austria
- Getting Up-close & Personal with Olympians
- Travel Apps for Your Smart Phone
- 6 Ways to Save: Family Vacations
(c) 2010 U.S. Ed Perkins, On Travel
World-renowned chefs with an extraordinary passion for food, share that passion. They make great cooking easier than you ever imagined. Each feature includes both an expert tip and an easy recipe - exactly what you need to transform your home cooking from acceptable to delectable.
Recipes Click Here
Movie Reviews, commentary and more. Plus Trailers from movies currently in theaters and available on DVD.
Movie Reviews Click Here