Finally, a long-awaited trip for a little R&R to Hawaii has arrived. But wait: mean Irene has swiftly arrived on the scene. Our flight is scheduled to take off Monday morning at 6am, just after Hurricane Irene should have passed through the New England area. Although you’d think that the worst would be over by this time, it is the aftermath of a hurricane that is the biggest concern: power outages, flooding, lack of equipment on the ground, and so on. A smart traveler, however, can create a less stressful travel experience in these situations by planning ahead. Here are some tips:
- Monitor Weather Reports: Stay on top of the Weather Channel and local weather reports from your local stations. Granted, they aren’t always 100% accurate, but they should at least give you some trending that will give you a keen sense of what you can expect over the next 72 hours in your area.
- Check Your Airline’s Site: If your flight happens to coincide with a hurricane, tropical storm, blizzard or any type of weather related emergency, monitor your airline’s website for alerts and advisories. These will give you a heads up if there is a strong chance of your flight getting cancelled. For instance, if you are meant to fly August 29th, and your airline has a travel advisory for that date stipulating a relaxed change-fee policy, this is a heads up that there is a high chance they’ll be cancelling your flight. In this case, call the airline and make arrangements to change the flight to the days that they suggest for alternate travel. Also, minimize connections as much as possible, as the more connections you have, the more likely you’ll miss one.
- Call Your Hotel: Of course, if you take off a day later, then your hotel reservation will be impacted. Make sure to call the hotel you’re scheduled to stay at to push off your reservation until the appropriate day. Usually, hotels will not charge you a fee for weather related emergencies that result in a change to your reservation…as long as you communicate with them.
- Call The Rental Car Company: Most car reservations aren’t prepaid, so make sure to call your car rental company so that you can revise your reservation to reflect your new travel plans. And again, if it is prepaid, the weather should afford you the opportunity for a refund or at least a partial refund.
- Day of Your Flight: Continue to monitor the flight status online to see if there is any change to your reservation. If there are delays, make sure to plan for any connections that may be missed.
Our flight has been rescheduled to Tuesday the 30th. Fingers crossed the pre-planning pays off!
What do you do to ward off stress when traveling in bad weather?