AUSTIN, Texas – June 17, 2021 – Vrbo® is releasing new safety alerts and reminders to help travelers protect their beach vacations amidst an active hurricane season and record demand for summer vacation homes.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has forecasted 13-20 named storms for this year’s Atlantic hurricane season, of which 6-10 could become hurricanes. Vrbo is helping travelers prepare by adding alerts and safety reminders on the website and mobile app with tips and resources for natural disasters. These alerts appear on search pages and property listings in areas that may be impacted, and within trip details and emails to travelers with bookings in potentially affected areas.
“Families are eager to finally take that long-awaited summer vacation this year, but don’t forget – summer is also when hurricane season kicks off. We’re seeing a record number of families renting vacation homes in beach destinations this summer, and experts have predicted another active hurricane season this year, which unfortunately means more families may see their trips impacted by a storm,” said Melanie Fish, Vrbo’s travel expert. “While we’d all rather be relaxing on the beach than thinking about hurricanes, getting prepared ahead of time for just-in-case scenarios can help minimize possible disruptions to your vacation and prevent headaches down the line.”
Here are tips for families renting vacation homes during hurricane season:
Review the property’s cancellation policy – a property’s cancellation policy is set by the host so, before booking, check the policy and understand that it applies even when reservations are affected by a natural disaster. The most flexible cancellation policy provides a full refund 14 days before a trip. Travelers that need to cancel or make changes to a booking outside of the cancellation policy window need to work with the host.
Consider buying travel insurance – travel insurance can help protect vacation plans and provide peace of mind. When buying travel insurance, review the policy to make sure it provides the right coverage for your needs, such as coverage for natural disasters or weather-related events when traveling during hurricane season. The broadest policies may cover cancellations for any reason. If a problem comes up with a trip, carefully document extra expenses and contact the insurance company as soon as possible for claims processing.
Download a weather app – before traveling, monitor the weather for your destination and stay on top of changing conditions by downloading a weather app, like the FEMA mobile app or bookmarking the National Weather Service website. These resources provide real-time weather alerts and more information on safety precautions.
Communicate with the host – always keep an open line of communication with the host. Travelers that have not yet arrived at their destination, or are unsure if it’s safe to travel there, should contact their host for more information regarding their reservation.
Be prepared – when arriving at the vacation home, get to know the property and the area, and make an emergency plan in case there is potential for a natural disaster during the stay. Also consider packing and bringing an emergency kit or ask the host as they may have already prepared one for the home.
“The two most important things travelers can do before their trip to is to understand the cancellation policy for their vacation home and to buy the right travel insurance,” said Fish. “Every property, host and travel insurance policy can be unique, so make sure to double check the policies and know what to expect.”
Before booking, families should check for travel advisories and restrictions in their vacation destination and always follow health and safety guidance from health officials and local authorities. Visit this help article for more information.
More resources for hosts can be found here.
In 1995, Vrbo introduced a new way for people to travel together, pairing homeowners with families and friends looking for places to stay. We were grounded in one purpose: To give people the space they need to drop the distractions of everyday life and simply be together.
Since then, we've grown into a global community of homeowners and travelers, with unique properties around the world. Vrbo makes it easy and fun to book cabins, condos, beach houses and every kind of space in between.
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