While hurricane season on the Atlantic technically goes from June 1st to November 30th, maximum activity centers on early to mid September.
And while the National Hurricane Center presents this information in a factual manner, it doesn’t mean travelers aren’t shaking in their rain boots, worried plans for September vacations could in fact fall through due to a hurricane.
Throw in the fact that September just happens to be the most active month globally for hurricanes and you could forgo traveling to coastal areas of any kind in September.
I am headed out to hurricane central on the Atlantic in less than a week, just after Hurricane Irene rolled through, changing some of my travel plans, and as another hurricane is on the Atlantic’s horizon.
While I could cancel altogether, I am still headed out, perhaps into the eye of hurricane season. At the same time, I’m not panicking. Before you cancel that trip to North Carolina’s beaches or forgo searching for cheap flights to the Bahamas, you can hurricane proof your September vacation by following these tips.
Keep Up To Date With Tourism Board Websites and The Local News—As I am headed to the Outer Banks of North Carolina as yet another hurricane approaches, I have been religiously checking the tourism site for North Carolina. If you have already booked your hotel and flight out to a hurricane hotspot, don’t panic. Stay informed with what areas are open and safe to be in post or pre hurricane. Also, do a search of where you are headed on their local newspapers websites and television stations. Locals have a better perspective on hurricanes as they have been through them, knowing what is bad and what is just a heavy storm.
Don’t Get Hyped Over Media Hype—Just like staying informed with where you are headed, you also need to remember not to let the media hype completely deter your vacation plans. Before, during and after Hurricane Irene, the media continued to see ratings skyrocket and viewers tuning in to see the storm. If a hurricane is approaching where you are headed or it has just passed through, the media circus might make you cancel plans when you would be visiting an area not heavily affected. It is best to keep an eye on what the National Hurricane Center is staying about a potential hurricane. Local communities truly hurt when travelers cancel their plans, especially when they are not in the eye of the hurricane.
Keep Plans Up In the Air—Most travelers want to stick to a set schedule, knowing where they are going and when they will be there. This comes usually with a hotel reservation. However if you are traveling during hurricane season, this is the time to be a bit more carefree with travel plans. With a more open itinerary, you can dodge a storm and head inland. If you must plan, try to book accommodations that will give you a refund if you cancel 24 hours in advance. That way if something does pick up speed in the Atlantic, you can cancel at a moment’s notice. Having travelers insurance can also help with lost funds when a hurricane hits.
Make Lemonade out of Hurricane Waters and Winds—I was pretty disappointed to learn that a large portion of the Outer Banks of North Carolina are completely cut off to visitors, myself included due to the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. While my hope is that a portion will open up in time for my stay, you can really only bemoan your hurricane misfortunes for so long. There are endless places to see in almost any destination, not on the coast. You never know what you might find when a hurricane forces you out.