Destination Hurricane: Welcome to Mexico! It's a place of great hotels, good food, and a steady breeze -- and sometimes a place where the wind blows a bit stronger than usual - or expected.

Welcome to storm prone Central America! The last thing you want for your summer or fall vacation is the serious threat of a hurricane - that mystical, tropical blow that has claimed the lives of millions and cost Central America billions in development.

Hurricanes in Mexico are not unusual. But Mexico and its people have lived with hurricanes for thosands of years and have learned to live life, rebuild, and move on.

Though some vacations have been interrupted from time to time by these treacherous and potentially deadly coastal storms, there are actually adventuresome travelers out there that flock to the coast each year with the hopeful intent of experiencing just such a weather phenomenon - and hope to live to tell about it. Are they thrill seekers, extreme adventurers, or just plain nuts?
Who can say? But are they really any different than mountaineers, deep water divers, skydivers, spelunkers or astronauts? The lure of high adventure, the yearning for the thrill of the ride, and the excitement of risk and danger - they are apparently worth it to the many who laugh in the face of the storm.

But before you head off into your first storm be aware that these storm chasers can get sound advice and training from the pros at  Stormchasers.com. Each to their own.

Most of us, however, have the commonsense to leave this sort of adventure alone and prefer our beautiful Mexican beach vacations and a calmer experience. However, if you do happen to be in the tropics when one of these ugly storms rears its head, you want to be prepared to deal with it.  Here are some tips to save your vacation and possibly your life in the event you find yourself staring down the throat of an unexpected storm:

1. Check your airline policy and what they offer in case of a hurricane. If you are already in the trpoics, will they get you out sooner and are there costs associated with this? Will they put you up in a hotel if you are stranded beyond your departure time? Will they refund your ticket if you were scheduled to leave for your trip but can't because of the hurricane?

2. Find out if your hotel has a hurricane refund policy, will they reimburse you or will you be given a chance to come back at another time to complete your vacation? Also you will need to know if  the facility has an evacuation plan and is there a suitable evacuation facility on site.

3. If you are really worried about the possibility of a hurricane ruining your vacation, purchasing travel insurance might not be a bad idea. Just make sure you read the fine print and understand what is covered and what isn't. Some policies will only pay if an evacuation was put into effect and will not cover your trip if you decide to leave before that time.

4. Make sure if you are evacuated that you have all your medications and as much drinking water with you as you can carry and, of course, all travel documentation.  If you can get a phone call out to family or friends let them know where you are and where you are going to be.

The nice part about being in Mexico is if you are stuck in one of these storms, knowing this is a government and people that have survived thousands of years of these storms and they know how to deal with it is encouraging. In fact their resilence and fortitude in recovering from past storms is admirable and certainly something the U.S. should use as an example. Many travelers buy additional travel medical or Travel Guard cruise insurance if they know their trip is planned near hurricane season.

The motto here is be 'prepared' and enjoy your vacation. The chances of you being caught in a storm are rare, but even if you are, you will have set some things in motion to protect your vacation and your life.


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