A Guide to Traveling During Hurricane Season

Don’t let hurricane season stop you from planning the summer vacation of your dreams. Read on for some helpful advice on how to navigate planning your trip!

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There’s nothing better than a summer beach vacation. The United States has a long list of beautiful beaches lining its shore. Some better suited for building sandcastles or searching for seashells than others, but nonetheless, there are plenty of great beach towns to choose from. Many of the most popular locations happen to be in the South East—our favorite, Hilton Head Island, included. What else tends to visit the South East, you ask? Hurricanes.

Hurricane season happens during the summer months, and then some. Specifically, June through November. That’s a long time to hold off on vacation plans, if you ask us! Don’t let hurricane season stop you from planning the summer vacation of your dreams. Read on for some helpful advice on how to navigate planning your trip!

Hurricane Basics

June 1 – November 30

NOAA forecasters expect a near-normal level of activity in the Atlantic for 2023. After three seasons of El Nina, this year’s development of an El Nino will help dampen storm activity. Learn why in this article by Climate.gov.

Look Into Resort & Airline Policies

Regardless if you’re planning a trip a year, a month, or a few weeks in advance, you won’t know about a storm in the Atlantic until a few days beforehand. The odds of a hurricane halting your trip are very unlikely. Although we encourage you to book with confidence, look into what kind of policies your resort, airline, or other travel companies have in place to give you peace of mind. Resorts and hotels don’t have crystal balls to find out about storms any earlier than anyone else, but they do have action plans that prioritize the safety of their guests at all times.

Invest in Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is a good idea year-round—you never know what can happen, and that’s what it’s there for! But when it comes to traveling anywhere a hurricane might hit, we recommend purchasing travel insurance as soon as you book your accommodations and transportation. After ensuring the policy will cover everything you need (having to cancel ahead of an oncoming storm, any damage to your belongings or any personal injuries due to weather emergencies, etc.), make the purchase before any storms are named. You won’t be able to do so once there’s already a known storm looming in the Atlantic.

Watch the Weather

Other than taking a quick peek at temperature highs and lows and if you need a rain jacket or not, take a wider glance at what’s happening, not just the beach town you’re visiting. You may think that tropical storm or hurricane will only hit a few states away, but consider how the weather will affect your travel plans. Consider the timing and whether it’ll interfere with your flights or route you’ll be driving. Are your flights going to get canceled or delayed? Will there be any road closures (or evacuation traffic) that stop you from driving home? Don’t panic. If it means cutting your trip short by a day or two, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

It’s not enough to check the weather only once in order to pack accordingly. Sign up for weather alerts and all email or texting services provided by any airline, resort, or tour group you’ll be using during your trip to stay in the know. In the event that a storm is on the horizon, check in with the National Hurricane Center for updates before or during your travels. And please, take all emergency announcements or calls for evacuations seriously.

Hurricanes aside, it’s always important to have weather alerts for your beach vacation. Find a weather app that sends you notifications of any nearby lightning or hazardous risks such as rip currents to stay safe at all times.

Be Prepared: Packing & Planning

Things happen. From little bumps in the road like blisters and scraped knees, to more stressful injuries or weather emergencies, being prepared by having a first aid kit and having a backup plan can save the day. Nobody expects you to be able to pack everything you may need to cover any possible emergency situation, but a simple first aid kit in the family car or stowed in your beach bag or luggage is always a good idea. Having waters, snacks, and other necessities in case you get stuck somewhere due to anything like a thunderstorm, power outage, or even a flat tire, is also smart to have. Bringing books, games, and other activities to have, can even turn a normal rainy day around!

We get it, nobody wants to think of every way their vacation can be ruined. Instead, create some backup plans that will solve any of the bigger scenarios like getting home or even postponing the trip. Where could you stop for the night instead? Will flying out a day before or after help your travel plans go smoothly? Are there any other routes to get home that will be less crowded in case of an evacuation? It’s important to stay flexible to make the most out of your vacation!

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