Auto Club Alhambra Branch: Caribbean open for business
The Caribbean is open for business despite the recent hurricanes. Fortunately, most Caribbean islands did not see major damage from Hurricanes Irma and Maria, making the region a top AAA-recommended destination for fall and winter getaways.
“The Caribbean remains home to some of the world’s most popular travel destinations,” said Jacqueline Garcia, the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Alhambra branch manager. “Vacationers, travel suppliers, and the islands welcome guests to enjoy the relaxation, culture, and recreation of the Caribbean.”
AAA experts recommend that travelers look to these popular Caribbean destinations, which sustained minimal or no damage, for their upcoming travels:
- Dominican Republic
- Saint Lucia
- St. Kitts & Nevis
- St. Vincent & The Grenadines
- The Cayman Islands
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Turks & Caicos
- St. Vincent & The Grenadines
Additionally, the Florida Keys have reopened to travelers ahead of schedule following Hurricane Irma, and Mexico saw little impact to its tourism infrastructure following two recent earthquakes and Hurricane Katia, which made landfall in the eastern part of the country.
“While recovery efforts are ongoing, we do not anticipate that the recent storms will have a long-term impact on the travel industry,” Ms. Garcia said. “As the islands work toward a full recovery, AAA shares our care and concern to everyone affected. In addition to making a donation to the recovery charity of your choice, we also can help the Caribbean recover by stimulating their local economies, which rely heavily on travel and tourism.”
For anyone planning a trip during hurricane season (June 1 – Nov.30) or to a destination recently affected by a storm, AAA Travel experts offer the following tips:
- Work with a travel agent – A trusted travel agent at the Auto Club’s Alhambra branch, 401 E. Main St., can serve as the travelers’ advocate, helping them stay updated and assisting with any itinerary changes that need to be made in the event of a storm.
- Consider purchasing travel insurance – Travel insurance is designed to offer protection against sudden and unforeseen events, such as hurricanes. Typically, travelers must have purchased travel insurance prior to a storm being “named” to receive hurricane-related coverage benefits, so it is strongly recommended to purchase insurance at the same time as the trip is booked.
- Remain informed – Before, during, and after a storm, travelers should check with their travel provider — including hotels, airlines, car rental companies, cruise lines, and tour operators — for the latest updates to itineraries or cancellation and rebooking policies.
- Be flexible – In the event of a hurricane, travel plans may be disrupted, even for those not traveling to an affected area. For example, cruise ships often adjust their itineraries to avoid storms or help accommodate travelers on other routes.
- Share plans – Before any international trip, enroll in the U.S. Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). This makes it easier for the nearest embassy or consulate to contact U.S. citizens in case of an emergency.
- Check for Diamonds – AAA’s professional inspectors conduct on-site evaluations of nearly 59,000 Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants across the Caribbean, United States, Canada, and Mexico. If something goes wrong at one of these properties, AAA’s member relations team is available to help members resolve their concerns.
Travelers should also remember that Atlantic hurricane season continues through the end of November, and it’s important for anyone traveling during this time to heed the advice of travel experts and plan ahead for any unforeseen severe weather.
For more information or to begin planning a trip, visit AAA.com/Travel.