When planning a vacation to the Caribbean, some potential visitors are put off by the fact that many destinations lie within the hurricane belt; particularly those who have no prior experience of hurricanes.
However, with the use of meteorological sciences and precautions taken by each country on behalf of visitors and residents, there is no need to fear your holiday will be ruined.
Preparing in advance for the rare possibility of encountering a storm can also help make sure you have an enjoyable trip.
Hurricane season runs between the months of June and November, which is during the tourism off-season in the Caribbean. Though planning your trip during this time means you’ll be able to take advantage of discounted rates and fewer crowds, if you are concerned about the potential for poor weather, consider the following:
• Investigate the typical weather during the month when you are planning to visit. In addition to our own site, another good resource to consider is this site, which has a helpful discussion of month-by-month weather conditions throughout the Caribbean.
• Purchase travel insurance, making sure to choose a plan that will cover any losses you caused by bad weather.
• Discuss your plan of action with your travelling companions. Will you leave as soon as you hear word that a hurricane may hit? Will you ride out the storm? Or, do you feel most comfortable playing it by ear, staying if the hurricane is a Category One storm, but leaving if it is predicted to be a Category Three or higher? Having a plan in place before travel will be helpful if unexpectedly caught in a storm.
• Find out if your hotel has a hurricane plan. Do they compensate tourists if your holiday is altered due to a hurricane? If so, what criteria is established in order to do so? What is their evacuation plan? Knowing how your hotel or rental property will handle the situation will put your mind at ease and give you an idea of how you should cope with an impending storm.
• Contact your airline. Discuss your Caribbean travel plans during hurricane season and inquire as to possible arrangements for return flights home should the weather take a turn for the worse. Determine what factors are taken into consideration to ground planes which will enable you to make alternative arrangements to fly home, or elsewhere. Inquire as to how flight cancellations are broadcast, should your currently scheduled flight to or from the island get rescheduled or even cancelled due to a hurricane.
• Compile a list of emergency contacts (your family at home may be unaware of any true threat to your location). Make sure to note the number of the nearest Embassy.
Taking these simple steps into consideration before you even leave for your holiday can help put your mind at ease. Perhaps the most important consideration when planning a trip to the Caribbean between June and November is knowing your odds. Statistically speaking, most tourists travelling to the region never experience a hurricane, even when frequently visiting during the height of the season. At most, strong winds and frequent downpours are reported.
Alternatively, you can avoid the entire hurricane belt. Check out the weather in Aruba, Curacao, Grenada or Trinidad and Tobago. All of these islands are located south of the hurricane belt, so major storms are extremely rare or nonexistent.
So, relax and pack your rain gear! Encountering a hurricane during your vacation is improbable; rest assured that you have taken into consideration many factors of preparation for that rare possibility. Alleviate unnecessary anxiety and enjoy all the Caribbean has to offer, despite vacationing during the rainy season.


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