If you made an early booking for a Christmas holiday in the Caribbean, Florida, or Mexico, then you should be concerned about traveling to those areas currently. Several hurricanes have ended up causing havoc in Florida and the Caribbean whereas, in Mexico, there was a devastating earthquake.
Sadly, both of these calamities have led to the loss of lives and the destruction of numerous properties around those areas. If you’ve made any plans in search of the winter sun, you may want to cancel them ASAP and organize a different location for your Christmas holiday.
If you planned on a package Christmas holiday
If you booked through a travel operator, then it’s probably best to get in touch with them to find out what their procedure is.
Malcolm Tarling, who is a Chief Media Relations Officer at the Association of British Insurers (ABI) says people who have decided to cancel their travel plans need to get in touch with their travel operator. They may be able to help them make other plans for a different destination.
He also added that when an alternative arrangement has been made, the people who are traveling are normally able to transfer their travel insurance to cover other new dates.
If the hotel you were staying it ends up getting damaged by a natural disaster
Some travel companies have already given guidance to customers who are not able to stay at a hotel when it has been struck by a disaster.
Companies such as Virgin Holidays have assured their clients that they will provide them with alternative accommodation if the hotel they are staying in ends up getting damaged. In some cases, if alternative accommodation is not possible, they will get a full refund.
Chances are good that you will still be able to have a fantastic Christmas holiday.
Thomas Cook says that passengers who are concerned about their travel plans are advised to call their operators directly to further discuss the way forward. Some firms such as those have only provided advice to customers who are traveling to the Caribbean for Xmas continue to assess the situation of those areas.
If your hotel is currently damaged, you may have to wait until the extent of the damage has been fully assessed before knowing how long it will be before it is repaired. The timescale for when the hotels in these areas will return to operating normally will depend on how badly a particular area was hit.
If you are not sure on what to do next, check with the hotel directly if you booked a separate deal and check with your tour operator if it was a package deal.
If you think it’s not safe for travel
If your hotel has not sustained any damages and you prefer not to travel or move around, then there are a few options. While your insurance may not be able to cover you during your stay at the hotel, your holiday operator may be able to assist you in finding a different Christmas holiday destination.
If your flights and accommodation were booked separately
Travelers who did not make any accommodations through an operator should be able to claim back their money from their travel insurer. This would only be possible if they managed to secure a letter or documentation from the hotel that proves the devastation that took place was where he/she was staying.
The Association of British Insurers also advises anyone who plans to visit the affected regions to check with their airline or tour operator. People need to follow advice from the local authorities and keep up to date with any travel advice that is provided by the Foreign Office.