Tropical Storm Begs Question: Why Travel During Hurricane Season?

Tropical Storm Isaac is the ninth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season. It threatens the eastern Caribbean and the southern U.S. coastal areas with flight and power disruptions, cruise ships detours and more. But as we head into September, traditionally the most active month of the hurricane season, some travelers are still eager to drive, fly or sail through the area – but why?

Considered “off season” in the tropics, school will be back in session and vacation time over for many. Still, bargain hunters know that peak hurricane season is traditionally a time for some of the best deals of the year.

To get deeper into reasons for traveling during hurricane season we turn to a poll by Travelguard, a leading seller of travel insurance, who polled travelers to learn how hurricane season, running through the end of November affects their travel plans.

Scheduling is key- The study indicated that travelers are able to overlook the threat of a hurricane disrupting their vacation because summer schedules make it more convenient. It’s when they can go. Travelers also cited travel deals (19%) and fewer crowds (13%) as reasons to travel within the hurricane belt during summer and fall.

Taking the Kids, or not- Though hurricane season falls during the peak summer travel season, only 9% of travelers polled actually travel with their children during this time. The majority (59%) prefers to travel with their significant other, while other popular travel companions include friends (12%) and multi-generational family (10%), with 10% opting to go solo.

Willing to take their chances with cruise vacations– During hurricane season, one-quarter of travelers polled opt to brave the open seas and cruise to multiple destinations within the hurricane belt. Back on land, popular destinations for travelers include Florida (16%), Mexico (11%), Georgia and the Carolinas (9 %). Only 5% of those polled visit the popular Caribbean destinations of Jamaica, Puerto Rico or the Dominican Republic.

When it Rains, It Pours- Travel can be unpredictable, and traveling to a hurricane-prone destination during hurricane season even more so. As a result, more than half of respondents to the Travelguard poll are most concerned with weather-related trip cancellation or interruption, loss of non-refundable expenses, medical emergencies, or inclement weather making accommodations uninhabitable.

Thinking about buying travel insurance now? If traveling during hurricane season, travel insurance companies require that insurance be purchased before a storm is named to be covered if it affects travel plans.

Flickr photo by Stuck in Customs