International Travel


Travelling during a storm: 4 things you need to know

Travelling during a storm: 4 things you need to know

It was a week of natural disasters recently when the Philippines and Hong Kong had to deal with Typhoon Mangkhut, and the Carolinas in the USA had to deal with Hurricane Florence. The storms left a trail of destruction in its wake, as well as deaths and injuries.
If you’d been scheduled to travel to those destinations when the storms were taking place, you may have been anxious trying to decide what to do.

Here’s some advice on the steps you should take if future travel plans become affected by natural disasters such as storms or volcanic eruptions.

1. Has your embassy issued a travel advisory?

Smartraveller may issue a travel notice advising that non-essential travel to the affected area should be postponed. For example, if you have a family emergency, you may still consider going ahead with the journey, but if it’s for a holiday, you should postpone your trip, or look for alternative destinations.

2. Get in touch with your airline

Airlines will likely cancel flights during the affected period, such as the time the storm is predicted to make landfall. Affected passengers will likely be allowed free rebooking for a certain period so do get in touch with the airline to find out the details.

3. Call your accommodation provider

If you’ve booked rooms or accommodation that have flexible cancellation schemes, you can easily make changes to your booking.

However, it may get trickier if you’ve booked a room that has strict non-cancellation policies. In this case, try getting in touch with them directly to work out a solution.

4. Check your travel insurance

This is one of those times when you will be pleased that you have purchased travel insurance.

Just make sure you’ve read all the fine print to see what coverage the policy offers for trip postponement, disruption or cancellation.

Written by Siti Rohani. This article first appeared in Reader’s Digest. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, here’s our best subscription offer.