What to do if there’s a natural disaster while you’re at your destination.
It’s Good to Be Prepared
Natural disasters, although scary, can be navigated through safely, even when you’re on vacation. Our team has some helpful tips to get you prepared for handling a natural disaster safely while you’re on vacation, along with some best practices if this becomes a barrier to your planned trip. A good place to start is to have a good travel team on your side to advise you on the best decisions while on your trip. Let’s get you prepared!
#1: Rely on Trip Insurance
Our first tip for staying safe on vacation is: trip insurance. Sometimes, natural disasters such as hurricanes can cancel a trip or a flight altogether. This could leave you looking at lost deposits, airline ticket costs, and other budget items that are part of your vacation. Now, this is almost a best-case scenario, given the circumstances, for trip insurance to play a great part. With the right insurance, you can get back lost funds or reimbursement for time spent at airports or lodging to accommodate the cancellation.
If you’re already on vacation and a natural disaster hits, travel insurance can protect you and any items of yours that may be lost or destroyed due to the disaster. Although we don’t advise on trip insurance, it’s a good idea to do your own research before your trip. You can learn more about our thoughts on trip insurance by clicking here.
#2: Listen to Local Guidance
Experiencing a natural disaster while on vacation is not an ideal situation; however, it does happen. Your first instinct, most of the time, when you hear news of an impending natural disaster at your destination, will be to flee. We encourage you to seek support from the resort or hotel staff on best practices for your location. Having local resources to rely on during this scary time will help calm your anxiety. You can also connect with your travel team (that’s us!) for support. Flights out of the destination will most likely be grounded, canceled, or fully booked. Oftentimes, it’s a better call to stay put and listen to the local emergency resources and processes.
Pro-Tip: Most resorts and destinations have safer areas designated specifically for sheltering during natural disasters, especially those countries and destinations that are more prone to them.
#3: Take A STEP, In The Right Direction
STEP stands for The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program and it’s a FREE service for US citizens and nationals traveling and those who live abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest US Embassy or Consulate. This is a great form of security as you will have documented your trip and received a few more perks…when you do this you’ll get:
Important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country
This will make it easier for the US Embassy to contact you if there were an emergency like natural disaster, civil unrest, or a family emergency
It will also help family and friends get in touch with you easier during an emergency
Enrolling your trip is easy and something we always encourage travelers to look into and do some research on. We’re happy to get you started in the right direction, click here.
#4: Don’t Panic
Our last tip is simple. Don’t let panic or anxiety overwhelm you in these situations, especially if you cancel your trip before you’ve departed. As we mentioned earlier, these events can be scary; however, they can also be rescheduled! Waiting a couple of extra weeks is typical during these types of situations—and delays can be navigated around without too much extra cost.
Keeping calm and collected if a natural disaster strikes at your destination is also something to try and remember. Panicking is not a state of mind that will inform good decision making, so try to remain calm and listen to the recommendations from the resort or local departments.
Stay a Step Ahead
The whole goal is to have a great vacation. The best way to get to that goal is with the right planning. Preparing for vacation with an expert travel team by your side will get you set on the right path towards vacation. You’ll also have the expert guidance if a natural disaster were to occur before or during your trip. Remember, don’t panic—we’ve got your back, and you’ll always be a step ahead of any barriers during your trip!