Everyone knows how deflated our spirits get when we’ve gone to so much trouble for our very special vacation rentals in a lovely, warm and tropical setting, with gorgeous palm trees, a spectacular view of the ocean, and no immediate neighbours nearby…and then it hitsà Hurricane! You and your family have taken so much time to make this trip special. Face it, weather is not our friend. There are some measures though that you can take in order to do some better planning and safety proofing the vacation rental, the car and the family.
- Timing is everything. Bad weather conditions, in many instances can be predicted, especially during typhoon and hurricane season. Sure the rates are super cheap as far accommodations are concerned, but remember, there is nothing worse than getting trapped at the airport because no flights are going anywhere. The same can be said for extreme snow or ice conditions. Try to avoid the obvious bad weeks IF POSSIBLE.
- Pack light, but pack right. Don’t be afraid to add some warm clothes “just in case”. Windbreakers or pocket rain jackets are a great little extra that can be found in most travel sections or luggage shops. Ziplocs are a great little extra to have in your luggage. I recommend a few different sizes, especially the large ones.
- Emergency Essentials. A large bottle of water, Aspirin, Tylenol, Imodium, Gravol, Antihistamine, small travel flashlight, 1 Protein Bar per person sealed up in a Ziploc (you laugh but guess what you’re eating when everything is shut down at the airport and you’re stuck with no food and no water until 9 am the next day or the next week…).
- Cell phone. Okay turn it off while you are away, but plan for a short emergency plan while you are away in case you need to use it. But pack it away and don’t turn it on unless you have to. Roaming charges are insanely expensive. Hopefully you’ll just pay the additional 20 or 30 bucks your service provider charged you for the week or two weeks’ away.
- Light blankets, 1 per person. These are travel blankets and generally are purchased in the same place as a blow up pillow for your neck in an airplane. They are very thin and trust me when I tell you both the pillow and the blanket go a long way during a hurricane. You may be in the tropics, but the airports or gymnasiums you end up in to “weather” the storm, are drafty and cold. Most do not think they’ll ever need them beyond the airplane. And you probably won’t.
- Tiny toiletries. Create a little Ziploc that will hold mini soap, mini shampoo, mini toothpaste/brush, and mini face cloth (cut a regular one into two or four pieces). If you are trapped for a few days in a crowded space with limited bathroom visits, trust me you will remember that little Tiny Toiletry Pouch and thank me. (Don’t forget extra flushable napkins and some feminine hygiene products too!)
- Travel Radio. These are generally very, very small, and usually only require AAA’s or AA’s battery. It can be very useful to know what is going on around you if the phones, internet and cable are out. Old fashioned radio frequency waves can often penetrate through a lot of storms (except thick fog) and can keep you and your family informed.
- Small Shovel, extra wiper fluid, roadside kit (winter conditions). Should your vacation take you into the snow crusted mountains of Quebec or British Columbia, and you are travelling by car, it is always a good idea to have some of the road worthy extras in the event you are stuck.
Be excited but be wise. Vacation rentals that place you in unpredictable weather conditions need extra thought and planning. If you like to tempt the fates and continue to rent condos, and beach villas, chalets and mountain top cottages, take the time and be safe.