by Erin Silver
Siairah Milano is a Travel & Event Consultant and Certified Tourism Ambassador with Thinking of Bermuda, a destination management company dedicated only to traveling to Bermuda. In other words, she is something of an expert in the field. She knows a lot about booking trips year round, including during hurricane season. The Royal Gazette asked her some questions about whether Bermudians should consider travelling overseas during this time.
Royal Gazette: Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30 in Bermuda. Is it a good time for Bermudians to travel?
Siairah Milano: That is a long time frame, so I would say yes… just be mindful of where you’re traveling to. For example, Florida is known for its hurricanes, whereas traveling up north wouldn’t be as risky. In general, summers in Bermuda are our peak season for travel in and out of Bermuda, mainly because of weather and our beaches. It’s also a big travel time for locals as we have most vacation time and, again, good weather.
RG: What should people consider when making plans to leave or return to the island?
SM: The usual visas, budget, COVID regulations, itinerary, hotel research etc. Regarding hurricane season, possible delays or travel changes could be an issue. If they have to stay a few more days, what does their budget cover? What about extra days off work, childcare and so on?
RG: Should people buy travel insurance or know about any other policies that might affect changes in travel plans in the event of a hurricane?
SM: Typically, they can purchase travel insurance through their current insurance policy. Airlines and travel agencies don’t usually offer travel insurance. Airlines are pretty good with flight changes and offering different options that could work best with the customer needing a flight change. Even gift certificates and/or vouchers can sometimes be offered. Customers are usually alerted regarding changes to their flights, but it is alway best to reach out directly to confirm or even check in for an update. Using the airline’s app is also helpful, if they have one. For example, the American Airlines app will alert travellers immediately and allow you to make changes. When flying, however, I would always recommend checking with the airline or your travel agency regarding the airline’s travel policies before booking.
RG: If people are going to travel, are there certain destinations that are better than others?
SM: Not too much. As mentioned before, Florida would be a bit risky, but then again it just depends. You would need to monitor the weather predictions closer to your travel date. The technology that we have now is so efficient with predicting a hurricane’s expected pathway. However, as mentioned before, traveling up north, like to Canada, Washington State etc. or to colder places where they can have snow, obviously there’s little to no hurricane risk.
RG: Is there anything other advice you want to add when it comes to travelling during hurricane season?
SM: Overall, just monitor the weather predictions. And keep in mind that Bermuda usually gets hit with a hurricane at the end of hurricane season, closer to the end of August/September and sometimes even later than that.