Hurricane Season Travel: Considering the Odds
By Jennifer Smith
With large number of hurricanes sweeping the tropics in recent months worldwide attention has been drawn to the damage these massive storms can cause. However, many travelers choose to visit the Caribbean and surrounding areas during these months. While some travelers may find it surprising, there are many reasons why vacationers choose to travel during the Hurricane Season.
Know the Facts
Much of the year - June through November - makes up what is considered to be Hurricane Season in the Atlantic. Tropical storms can change into fast-moving storm systems that can severely damage property if they reach land during this time of year.
Still, it's important to remember that that not every storm makes landfall and not every strong storm turns into a hurricane. Tropical storms and even tropical depressions can make landfall and cause tornadoes and flooding problems but are far less severe than those caused by hurricanes.
Typically, the later months of hurricane season bring the strongest storms. September and October, for example, see spikes in the number and intensity of such storms, while damaging strikes are rare in the early months of the season.
Why Travel Off-Season?
Although hurricanes can certainly deter some from tropical travel, many vacationers choose to take their chances. Travelers have little to worry about most years, and taking a gamble can be worth the relaxation of a tropical vacation.
Of all the benefits of off-season travel, the most talked-about is cost. Travel during the hurricane season often includes the benefit of extremely low-cost vacationing. Hotels can sometimes even cut rates in half, and tour operators, airlines, and rental companies usually follow suit.
With children on break from school in June, July, and August, the beginning of hurricane season can be the perfect time for a family vacation. And, of course, travel in the early portion of the hurricane season reduces the chances of being affected by storms.
Travelers looking to avoid crowds during their vacation will find off-season travel a breath of fresh air. While there may be reduced hours at some island attractions, travelers who enjoy spending time alone on a beach won't mind abbreviated hours.
If you'd like to travel during the hurricane season, there are several ways to eliminate some of the danger. Prepare for the worst by checking out the hurricane policy of the hotel you choose to book. Many hotels, especially those in often-effected areas, have hurricane policies offering complimentary stays for the same number of nights the following year, or they may offer other similar plans to help ease the sting of a disrupted vacation.
Choice of destination is an important step many overlook. The southern Caribbean usually avoids the brunt of hurricane season. In fact, there is a "hurricane zone through which most of these storms pass. Islands outside this zone are hit far less often.
The best-known of these hurricane-deterring islands are the "ABC Islands. These Dutch territories - Aruba, Bonaire, and Cura"ao - are located just north of the coast of Venezuela, and each offer Caribbean flair without the threat of tropical danger.
So, even with so many hurricanes causing trouble in the Caribbean, it is a sure thing that vacationers will be back during hurricane season next year. With so many benefits, why not?
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