Have you ever wondered how to keep natural disasters from ruining your vacation? That's something that most tourism-promoting websites seem to downplay-the potential for disaster. No matter where you go in the world, there will always be a chance of natural disasters occurring. It's not merely a matter of traveling only "where it's safe." It's just a matter of using common sense, researching the land you are traveling to, and following all safety precautions.
Some of these safety precautions will not directly apply to escaping the natural disaster, but will involve the consequences of the disaster. Some tourists have discovered, much to their shock, that travel companies had little or no recourse for Acts of God and still wanted money for services rendered even if a natural disaster utterly ruined the vacation. The first step to avoid all of these problems is, obviously, to travel in a season where natural disasters are rare or non-existent. By consulting various travel sites online, you can find out if the winter or summer seasons are particularly dangerous for tourists and whether they might see hurricanes, blizzards or flooding.
As far as protecting yourself from insensitive travel companies, airlines and hotels it's best to research the policy thoroughly and specifically request information on refunds. Consult with a knowledgeable travel agent and make sure that the company has a plan for handling the worst-case scenario, whether it is in the form of a refund or in giving you credit for a replacement vacation. It is far more preferable to work with a travel agent because of cases like this, rather than buying vacation packages or buying items from airlines or hotels directly. The best companies will offer a contract with a clause pertaining to natural disasters that you should read carefully. Even if one door closes, try informing all of your contacts about the situation.
If a disaster strikes while you are on vacation then be ready to end it prematurely. Don't risk your life for some fascinating video footage or keep any rescue crews waiting on you. Phone your travel agent and have the airline company make rescue arrangements. Some tourists choose to linger, fearing that they will not get a refund on their hotel stay if they leave early. That may or may not be true, but trust us-nobody would pay for admission to ride inside a cyclone. This is not part of your vacation. Besides informing your travel agent contact your country's embassy or consulate and let them know your situation, if you are traveling overseas. Speak freely and emotionally-it never hurts to let the other person know you need help!