Good Vacation Travel Weather

Avoid Disasters and Travel to the Best Climate

Man and woman sunbathing on beach towels in sand
••• No chance of rain today!. Tom Merton/OJO Images/Getty Images

It's a honeymoon nightmare: You've planned your beach honeymoon or romantic vacation down to the last detail--what you'll do daily, where you'll eat, even what you'll wear. Then you arrive--and the weather's miserable. Too hot and humid. Relentlessly rainy.

Worse, you get caught in a hurricane or tornado. Is it an omen or just bad planning? Any way you look at it, you suddenly realize that even honeymooners can get cabin fever....

But wait! There's help. If you start paying attention to the weather now, you stand a good chance of avoiding a honeymoon wash-out. Learn where the weather is likely to be good when you'll be traveling, and plan your honeymoon destination accordingly.

Caribbean Weather

Since many honeymooners opt for beach vacations, let's first turn a weather eye to the Caribbean. According to a travel magazine editor,

  • "The Caribbean is perfect for honeymooners nearly all year round, as the numerous couples who go there every year prove. Unfortunately for couples who want to honeymoon in August, the Caribbean Travel Organization (CTO) does warn that they're heading there in what is one of the rainiest months on nearly every island.
  • "However, the Turks and Caicos islands do not really have a rainy season, and what little there is comes in September and lasts until November. Summer temperatures are generally in the 80s and are complemented by soft offshore trade winds. Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao (the ABC islands) also get very little rain during the year, and the rainy season does not begin until October.
  • "Even if a couple chooses an island that is going though the rainy season during their visit, they shouldn't worry too much. Caribbean rains tend not to be continual but rather periodic, occasionally heavy showers that last a very short time and are dried by the sun just as quickly. "

Meteorologist Dr. Jeff Masters, a former hurricane hunter who's now with The Weather Underground, says couples planning an August honeymoon in the Caribbean are

  • "taking a chance. August is peak hurricane season. If you go, try to book a trip to one of the more southern islands like Barbados, Trinidad, Curacao, or Aruba; these islands are too far south to get more than about one major hurricane every 100 years."

Well, maybe. As someone who has personally shlepped around in a wedding dress in 101-degree heat and who has stood ankle-deep in tropical water and watched rain pour onto her luggage from inside a Caribbean airport, I say:

Take No Chances

The official Caribbean hurricane season stretches from June 1 - November 30. Since there's virtually no activity before then, hurricane forecasts resume June 1. Come June 5-6, forecast updates on seasonal tropical activity in the Atlantic basin start to appear. If you simply can't wait, visit the Weather Underground's Hurricane Tracker to research current activity.

Watch the Weather Sites

The Weather Channel site provides current weather readings for U.S. cities as well as international destinations. It also provides access to airport and flight information.

You can also set up a customized weather page using an iPhone. Simply pick the domestic and international cities you want to keep an eye on, and you can get daily weather information.

Want to see your tax dollars at work? Visit the National Weather Service. It's the official word on weather. It's also the mega source that provides just about every TV forecaster in the U.S. who stands in front of a map wearing a cheap suit or too-tight dress, bad hair, and goofy smile with the daily report.* The site has loads of data and links; not all are fresh.

* There is one exception to the rule: The swoon-worthy Lonnie Quinn.

Also see > Cool Places to Beat the Summer Heat