Where to Travel to Avoid Hurricanes

Hurricane season travel and how to prepare

TripSavvy / Emilie Dunphy

No one wants to get stuck in a hurricane on vacation. For those wishing to travel during the Atlantic hurricane season, fears of these tropical storms ruining travel plans are amplified. Fortunately, there are a number of great destinations—including in the Caribbean—where you can go to avoid severe weather this time of year.

To prevent severe weather from ruining your trip, be prepared for any incident and figure out a strategy for safety before you depart if you're traveling somewhere more prone to hurricanes and tropical storms. Otherwise, choose a destination with good vacation travel weather or with the lowest likelihood of severe weather this time of year.

Hurricanes in the Caribbean & Southeastern US

The best way to avoid hurricanes is to know when they are most likely to occur. For instance, hurricanes are expected in the Caribbean, Florida, and other states bordering the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean each year during the Atlantic hurricane season, which stretches from June 1 to Nov. 30.

That said, hurricanes mostly form between mid-August and mid-October, with peak activity taking place on and around Sept. 10. If you're hoping to travel to the Caribbean this time of year, it's the most dangerous time for severe weather—but that doesn't mean you will absolutely encounter a hurricane if you do decide to visit.

It's recommended that visitors acquaint themselves with the National Weather Service's Hurricane Awareness site so they can keep tabs on any storms that may come up. Additionally, while rates are temptingly low for travelers determined to visit Florida or the Caribbean during hurricane season, visitors are encouraged to find out if their airline or hotel has a hurricane guarantee before booking.

Caribbean Islands Not Affected by Hurricanes

While the Atlantic hurricane season will definitely yield severe tropical weather and hurricanes in the region each year, the likelihood of these storms making landfall, wreaking havoc, and interrupting your Caribbean vacation are relatively slim, no matter where you go.

In fact, not all Caribbean islands are necessarily subject to hurricanes. If you're wondering where to travel during hurricane season, islands of the Caribbean located the furthest south—including the ABC islands of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao—are the least likely to experience hurricanes. Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, and Grenada are also outside the hurricane belt, making them relatively safe destinations for late summer vacations.

Hurricane Likelihood by Destination

Some destinations have a higher risk of being affected by hurricanes annually than others, as evidenced by climate data from the region. In general, most destinations in the northeastern Caribbean and the southeastern United States are affected by a hurricane or tropical storm at least once every two years. From 1944 to 2019, here are the Caribbean destinations that have been hit by the most hurricanes.

  • Abaco, Bahamas: 42
  • Grand Bahama, Bahamas: 41
  • Bermuda: Hit every 40
  • Bimini, Bahamas: 39
  • Saba: 38
  • Nevis: 38
  • St. Eustatius: 37
  • St. Kitts: 37
  • Tortola, British Virgin Islands: 36
  • San Salvador, Bahamas: 36

The U.S., meanwhile, has been slammed by a recorded 301 hurricanes from 1851 to 2020. During that timeframe, these states sustained the biggest number:

  • Florida: 120
  • Texas: 64
  • Louisiana: 62
  • North Carolina: 58
  • South Carolina: 31
  • Alabama: 23
  • Georgia: 21
  • New York: 15
  • Mississippi: 14
  • Virginia: 13

Choosing a destination that has a lower likelihood of being hit (like Aruba) is a great way to avoid travel interruptions caused by these storms this time of year.

Unfortunately, hurricanes are quite unpredictable and can begin to form just days or weeks before an already scheduled trip. Those who can't bear the idea of severe weather can skip the risk altogether and consider going to a beach destination not experiencing hurricanes this time of year like Greece, Hawaii, California, or Australia.

What It's Like to Experience a Hurricane

For those who haven't experienced it before, a hurricane feels like a superstorm. The same elements like wind, thunder, lightning, and heavy rain may arrive, but in more extreme measure and duration. Additionally, flooding may occur in areas close to or below sea level.

Guests at a resort can simply look to the management for guidance and safety. Others will need to take more precautionary measures. For example, if you have access to local media such as the radio, TV, online sites, and social media, it's imperative to stay tuned in for weather updates. You'll start hearing warnings of the imminent event and may receive alerts on your phone.

Travelers should be aware that hurricanes can take out transmission lines, so information may get cut off at any time. It's important to have an evacuation plan, emergency kit, and a passport/ID for areas that are likely to get hit hard. If you do get caught in a hurricane, seek shelter on high ground and follow instructions.

How a Hurricane Can Affect Travel Plans

Many properties in the hurricane-prone zone offer peace of mind by allowing you to cancel a reservation without penalty if a hurricane is predicted. Your hotel will typically either give a full refund or let you rebook within a year.

However, the conditions of these guarantees vary, so read the fine print—wording that says "direct impact" or "impacted by hurricane-force winds" might mean that you cannot cancel in advance, but you could be entitled to reimbursement after a storm hits.

Additionally, you may still have to pay for your flights and other tours or services you booked for your trip unless you bought travel insurance or you have a reward credit card that offers travel insurance options.

Article Sources
TripSavvy uses only high-quality, trusted sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial policy to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. National Hurricane Center and Central Pacific Hurricane Center. "Tropical Cyclone Climatology." Accessed January 25, 2023.

  2. Caribbean Hurricane Network. "Climatology of Caribbean Hurricanes." Accessed January 25, 2023.

  3. Finder. "Which US States Are Hit Most Often by Hurricanes?" July 19, 2021.