Be Aware Of Hurricane Prone Areas Before Locking In Travel Plans

As Hurricane Isaac is nearing Florida and the Golf of Mexico and Joyce is building up in the Atlantic heading toward the central East Cost, it is a good time to be careful when making travel plans.

Damage from Hurricane Charley

Make sure you get the SPECIFICS on what happens to your deposit or payment if there is a hurricane disruption.

“Booking sites, resorts and other travel companies often pitch protection plans this time of year as a way to overcome consumers’ worries about a tropical storm derailing their vacation and leaving them on the hook for the costs. It’s something consumers are seeing more often, as economic uncertainty and more active storm seasons make travelers wary, says Gabe Saglie, senior editor for deal site Travelzoo,” writes Smart Money’s KELLI B. GRANT.

“Weather uncertainty creates a lot of deals,” Saglie says, but travel to the Caribbean and Mexico “at this particular time of year always raises the insurance issue.” Some operators, including Expedia and Club Med, include a few basic protections — like help getting fees waived, or a credit for any trip days ruined by a storm — as a freebie. Many, like CheapCaribbean.com and other booking sites, also offer weather-specific travel-insurance plans for an extra fee equivalent to roughly 3% of the trip price at checkout, on par with broader travel-insurance offerings.”

“Experts say travelers may want to be cautious this year. In early August, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration updated its forecast to reflect higher chances for an “above normal” Atlantic storm season. Now the agency expects a total of 12 to 17 named storms between June 1 and Nov. 30, up from its initial May estimate of 9 to 15. (There have been six so far.) NOAA also expects that more of those storms will achieve hurricane status.”

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