Categories for hurricanes and travel

Hurricane Michael Affecting Timeshare Resorts Along the Florida Panhandle

Hurricane Michael slammed the Florida Panhandle earlier today as a Category 4 storm, and several timeshare resorts have been evacuated.

At this time, we know the following resorts have been evacuated:

 

Destin

Club Destin Resort

Destin Holiday Beach Resort

Wyndham Vacation Resorts at Majestic Sun

Emerald Grande at HarborWalk Village

Bay Club of Sandestin

Wyndham Beach Street Cottages

Embarc Sandestin

Sailfish Yacht Club

Wyndham Bay Club II

 

Ft. Walton Beach

Marina Bay Resort

Steamboat Landing

 

Panama City Beach

Wyndham Vacation Resorts Panama City Beach

Marriott’s Legends Edge at Bay Point

Holiday Inn Club Vacations-Panama City Beach

Landmark Holiday Beach Resort

Casa Blanca Resort

Ocean Towers Beach Club

Panama City Resort & Club

The Summit

 

Pensacola Beach

Soundside Holiday Beach Resort

 

Miramar Beach

Fairmont Heritage Place – Inspiration

 

Resorts in Alabama are seeing high winds & rain, but so far have not been evacuated.

Our thoughts are with all affected by this storm.  We will continue to monitor and provide updates on resort status as soon as evacuation orders have been lifted and resort staff is able to return to the site to assess damages.

 

 

 

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Should You Consider Travel Insurance?

With Cabo just recovering from the hurricane that caused widespread damage and another crop of storms threatening tropical locations, many travelers are wondering if travel insurance is a worthwhile investment. Even if there is no looming natural disaster, travel insurance can be an excellent safeguard in the case of unforeseen circumstances or peace of mind at the very least.

However, it does come with a cost, and it’s up to you to decide if insurance fits your needs.

Travel insurance is one of those things that varies quite a bit between companies; there’s a plethora of different plans and add-ons that have the potential to cause confusion. On top of that, not all travel insurance providers or plans cover rentals from private owners. While RedWeek doesn’t recommend any one provider in particular, many RedWeek members have had success with the services of Travel Guard and others swear by VacationGuard, both of whom offer protection for timeshare rentals. VacationGuard also offers a specialized plan for owners of timeshares as well. If you’re looking into dealing with another company, be sure to check up front if they insure timeshare rentals from individual owners.

As mentioned, plans do vary but most “base level” insurance plans tend to cover the most common and large-scale risks, such as a medical emergency (sickness or accident), emergency evacuation, trip cancellation, trip interruption, visitor health insurance, repatriation, damaged or missing baggage/property, delayed baggage, missing a flight due to airline’s schedule and travel delays due to weather. Occasionally, some providers might offer extra coverage for an additional fee for additions such as pre-existing condition coverage, accidental unit damage, cancellation due to job loss, coverage for sports with an element of risk and travel to high risk companies. Some providers also allow you to “build your own” plan, where you choose the protection you desire.

Of course, travel insurance does not come cheap. Like any insurance, the costs in the case of disaster will almost invariably far exceed the initial purchase price, but dropping a couple hundred dollars on the extra protection can deter travelers. If traveling during a high-risk time – such as hurricane season – a base plan can be invaluable. Otherwise, it becomes a much more personal consideration – is the peace of mind worth the extra cost? Have you had experience with travel insurance or a situation where it might have been invaluable? Share your story in the comments!

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Resort Progress in the Wake of Hurricane Odile

On the night of September 15th, Hurricane Odile slammed the Baja California peninsula, wreaking havoc on the entire southern half of the peninsula. Cabo San Lucas – a traditional vacation hotspot – was caught right in the trajectory of the storm. While the hurricane has long passed and the dust has settled, Cabo is still caught in a frenzy to pick up the pieces and get business running as usual. Progress has been remarkable, but still some resorts are undergoing maintenance. If a vacation in Cabo is on your calendar, be sure to get the scoop on how your resort is faring.

Resorts sustaining significant damage

The following resorts are reported to have suffered significant damage and will require extensive repair before reopening their doors to guests.

Resorts sustaining moderate damage

The following resorts are reported to have suffered moderate damage. A fair amount of repair is still needed, and reopening dates are still awhile off. 

Resorts sustaining minor damage

The following resorts are reported to have suffered minor damage. Resorts are mostly intact, but cosmetic or small-scale repairs are needed. Most plan to open within the month.
Of course, some resorts have managed to escape the worst of the storm and are already up and running; among them, Villa del Arco Beach Resort & Spa, Villa del Palmar Cabo San Lucas and WorldMark Coral Baja. Additionally, most major airlines have dubbed the area safe to fly to and will also be accepting bookings on October 8th.

RedWeek is continuing to update our resort pages as we obtain new information, but if you don’t see your resort listed, we highly encourage you to contact the resort directly. Many are more than willing to let you know the current status, as well as eager to help make your vacation enjoyable.

Photo Credit: http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/15/world/americas/hurricane-odile/

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Travel Safely in Hurricane Season

There are many destinations along the southern east coast where autumn brings perfect vacation weather – a drop in humidity, and sunny days where the blistering heat of the summer relaxes into a comfortable warmth. Unfortunately, this also coincides with hurricane season.

Hurricane season technically goes through the end of November. According to the National Weather Service of NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association), 2011 is an “active, above-average” hurricane season. Hurricane Irene certainly brought that home. Since then Hurricanes Katia and Maria have punched their way through the Atlantic, along with numerous tropical storms, the most recent being Tropical Storm Nate.

Meanwhile and in between, it’s perfect beach weather all along the southern eastern seaboard of the U.S, and in the Caribbean. So what’s a traveler to do? If you have wanted to enjoy these pleasant fall days by renting a timeshare in a great getaway destination such as Myrtle Beach or Hilton Head or the Florida Keys, or even on one of the many islands of the Caribbean, there are a couple of things you can do.

First, you can keep a close eye on any developing storms by monitoring reports on NOAA nws.noaa.gov.

And, second, consider good travel insurance.

Coverage for weather-related trip cancellations and interruptions differs by insurance company and plan. The covered cancellation reasons can include:

  • Cancellation due to Weather: when airlines cease service due to weather
  • Cancellation due to Hurricane Warning: cancellation of your trip if your destination is under a NOAA-issued hurricane warning
  • Destination made Uninhabitable: if your timeshare rental resort is devastated by a storm
  • Cancel For Any Reason – an optional benefit that allows you to choose whether or not to cancel.

“Now is a good time to get reacquainted with your travel insurance policy,” says Jim Grace, president and CEO of InsureMyTrip.com, a travel insurance comparison site. “You need to review the terms of your policy and the key protection it provides whether you’re traveling to or through a hurricane-prone region or live in a zone where weather can keep you from taking a trip.”

However, an important aspect of travel insurance to understand is “Trip cancellation and interruption protection is based on the occurrence of unforeseen events.” As Grace explains, “Once a storm has been publicly identified, it can only spell trouble for travelers without insurance protection. You need to purchase travel insurance coverage before a storm is predicted and named, not when it’s bearing down on you or your intended destination.”

Armed with knowledge and a plan, a savvy vacationer can still enjoy the beautiful weather of an Atlantic coast autumn beach vacation. Check out the many great timeshare rentals available for that fun and relaxing getaway.

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