We’ve all seen them. Photos of the storms and destruction caused by hurricanes. It’s almost enough to keep us from traveling to the Caribbean during hurricane season. Almost.
We used to completely avoid traveling to the Caribbean and Bahamas during the months of June – November (official hurricane season), but after looking at statistics, we have occasionally chosen to take advantage of the lower rates and quieter season with a few precautions and strategies in mind. After all, statistically, you are more likely to be involved in a serious hurricane event in parts of the US mainland than much of the Caribbean. Of course there’s always a risk, but all we can do is try to reason with the hurricane season…
A few things to keep in mind when considering island travel during the summer and fall:
1. The peak months for hurricane storms are August, September and October.
2. The Bahamas, Bermuda, Turks & Caicos and the Eastern Caribbean islands historically tend to be affected by more storm weather during hurricane season than islands farther south.
3. The islands least likely to be affected by hurricanes are the ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao), followed by Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Grenada.
4. Even in the islands most affected by storms, the likelihood of encountering a serious one during the time you are there is slim.
5. Because more people avoid the Caribbean (and Bahamas) during hurricane season, you may be able to find some terrific low season rates.
Additional things to consider:
Some establishments (bars & restaurants) close for a month or two during hurricane season (usually in the August – October time frame), so if there’s a place you’d really like to experience, be sure to check and see if they will be open during your visit.
Travel insurance can help cover you in the event your vacation is cancelled or postponed by weather. Be sure to check with a reputable travel insurance company and make sure they specifically offer trip-cancellation insurance, which ensures that travelers who have purchased airline, cruise tickets and hotel stays will be fully compensated if a storm prevents them from traveling.
Some resorts offer a hurricane guarantee, but be sure to carefully read it and understand it before booking. It may be full or part coverage or a voucher for future travel.
Consider downloading the free Red Cross Hurricane app to keep you up to date on hurricane info wherever you are vacationing.
Armed with facts and good information to help you make the best choices of dates and areas, you might just become a fan of the lighter crowds, cheaper accommodations and beautiful weather of the summer and fall in the Caribbean.
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