Unfortunately, there will be times when nature does not cooperate with your travel plans. Winter storms can be particularly hard to handle while on vacation. They are the reason behind many travel delays and trip cancellations. While you cannot control the weather, you can certainly control how you handle the challenges associated with storms. You may need to do some pre-planning, make on-the-go decisions, and consider travel protection. Here are some do’s and don’ts to help you get started.

Do Research on Weather Conditions for Your Destination

It is easy to do online research on the weather at your destination. As you get closer to your travel date, check out forecasts in the Farmer’s Almanac. The almanac can predict weather conditions based on past trends. Websites like AccuWeather and apps like Dark Sky can help you get a feel for the weather days or even weeks in advance. These resources may be able to predict major storms, so use them to plan your travel dates.

Don’t Ignore Weather Warnings

Yes, you may not be willing to change your plans. However, winter storm warnings by the national weather service, your local news station, or your weather app should not be ignored. Warnings are made to protect you. You may experience an unfavorable outcome if you make travel decisions in spite of weather warnings.

Do Have a Back-up Plan

Don’t wait until the last minute to formulate a back-up plan in case you’re caught in a storm. Plan your options in advance. If you need to leave your location early, have your airline’s app downloaded in case you need to change/cancel your flight. You can also set up travel alerts. Make a list of alternative airports in case you have to change where you fly out. If possible, find alternative ways to get back home. Consider taking a train or bus if it’s too hazardous to fly. Make a back-up rental car reservation in case it’s safer to drive home. It’s easy to cancel if you no longer need it.

Don’t Become an Amateur Storm Chaser

Do not try to experience a winter storm up close. It may be tempting to venture out to an unsafe location and watch surging water or experience high winds. However, you don’t want to put yourself in danger. Stay safe and focus on weathering the storm or avoiding it all together.

Do Find Safe Shelter Right Away

If it is unsafe to remain at your location, check the news or your destination’s website for a list of shelters nearby.

Don’t Depart Without Leaving Your Itinerary with Someone

Leave your itinerary with a friend or family member in case they need to know where to contact you. Cell phone service may be shoddy during a storm. Leaving your hotel information behind may help someone back home stay in touch.

Do Consider Getting Travel Protection Ahead of Time

Travel protection plans may be very useful in case you experience financial losses due to a storm. Circumstances caused by winter storms can be considered covered reasons for benefits like Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption. In case you need to utilize your plan, you may be eligible for reimbursement of pre-paid, non-refundable trip costs. To compare plans, visit www.travelinsured.com.

Don’t Panic

Staying calm can help you handle a winter storm emergency successfully. You may need to make on-the-spot decisions that may affect your safety. Get focused on what you have to do to get through the storm. Panicking only adds more stress to a challenging situation, so stay positive and be present.


Winter storms can be a headache while on vacation. Get prepared and stay alert in case you find yourself in the middle of one. Remember that the storm will eventually pass. You may be able to enjoy the remainder of your trip or make plans for one in the future. Keep these helpful tips in mind for the next winter storm that may affect your trip.

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