What to Do When Your Beach Vacation is Cancelled Due to a Storm

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Welcome Storm Jonas!

Almost that is for me in NY sitting in my kitchen just having cracked open a bottle of wine. It is on its way and should hit in a few hours.

I know what some of you are saying – “F*** Jonas, this sucks!”

Trust me, I have been there and know how you all feel. For those of you sitting at the airport now sulking or at home sulking like I was last year, here’s the upside to it all.

Last year, lovely storm Juno ruined my vacation before it even started. I had bought a great deal for flights on Jet Blue from JFK to Curacao 9 months prior – that’s a long time to wait to go! I had the perfect hotel picked out and I was going to ring in 2015 with my first tropical getaway. I never traveled in January before and always was envious of others who did, so I decided why not. Let me get some summer action too.

Well, about 3 days before Juno was about to hit, I began hearing the news about it. I stayed calm and crossed my fingers it was built up too big to be true. One day prior to my flight, I was awake and at the Passport Office at 7am. Here’s the story on that here, it was all Ok in the moment.

At about 715am, I get the email that my flight to Curacao is cancelled. UGH! And tears.

I felt so defeated, and the snow had not yet even begun. I sulked and spent my days home in what was a bad storm. I was happy for that, because it made me feel better the flight really wouldn’t be able to go out. I couldn’t see one block away from me and it was coming down all angles. I survived and rescheduled my trip – take a look at Curacao here! In the end, it all came out for the better and that can be the same for you.

Everyone go through all the emotions you need to  – it helps to scream. Here’s the other ways I got through it and how you can too:

  1. Look at Timing

So you thought this would have been the perfect time to go away? There are other opportunities. For the month of January, many countries in the Northern Hemisphere experience the shortest days. If you can reschedule your trip for the spring or summer, you will have more hours of sunshine to enjoy at the beach.

For those who were going to a beach destination in the Southern Hemisphere, see if you can go within the next two months where you would still catch the warm weather. Even early fall before Christmas is a good time to go. I find many flights are cheapest 2-3 weeks after Thanksgiving and before Christmas.

More hours of sun = more time to play and bathe.

2. Think Cheaper Flights

Maybe, by chance, you had paid more for your flights and then saw them go on sale? Usually if there is a big storm coming, the airline will offer you a full refund or will rebook you to fly out a day or 2 after the storm. I took the full refund last year and rebooked myself for 2 months later. I ended up paying only $10 more because the initial booking was SUPER cheap. Many times though, you can find your flights for less.

Unless it is possible for you to fly out 1 or 2 days later and it is a necessary trip (such as for a wedding or medical need), I advise taking the full refund and finding cheaper flights for the future.

For hotels, many are sympathetic when it comes to storms or if you have travel insurance purchased, you should be able to lose $0 on them. I emailed my hotel and they kept my deposit of the first night for when I rescheduled. No loss in money.

3. Have a Fun Day During the Storm

Even though you would rather be somewhere else, take advantage. Catch up on TV, grab some wine, play some games, make phone calls to friends. There are so many things you can all do.

I ended up cracking open a six pack (or two maybe) throughout the day. I got into a marathon of some TV show – Drunk History is always good.

Don’t work, unless you want to. Be the couch potato and get that pizza if you want.

It’s all about making the best of it. Social media helps in this area.

4. Rebook that Vacation!

After I received my full refund, I was determined to set my new dates of travel and rebook everything. Guess what – I was successful within 9 hours!

Seriously though, I did not spend the whole 9 hours searching, but it was part of my day. I looked through my calendar as well as my husband’s and searched on JetBlue’s website when we can fly out again for the same cost.

It was tricky to Curacao, because Jet Blue only operates flights on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Not many airlines fly there and Jet Blue was the cheapest with no connections so I wanted to stay with the same deal I had before.

Between all the fun I was having in the snowstorm (and yes, I did play in the snow),, I found another weekend that worked out for me to go in March.

Once I hit “click”, I was so excited all over again!! The buzz was back, I was on a natural high, and life wasn’t too bad. It was less than 60 days to go for me. If I waited 9 months already, I could wait again.

Time is precious. It’s awful when it’s wasted or not spent the way we want it to be.

In this kind of moment, make the most out of it.

At my rescheduled trip to Curacao, I had perfect weather, still got the same hotel, and best of all, I GOT ENGAGED THERE!

So who knows, maybe the cancellation is all worth it for something far better 🙂

Have you had a trip cancelled due to a storm? Share your thoughts and how you battled through it.

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