AAA Travel: Caribbean Islands Now A Go Following Hurricanes Irma And Maria

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.– AAA Travel says some of the world’s most popular travel destinations are open for business again following Hurricanes Irma and Maria. They say the Caribbean Islands are mostly unscathed and airlines have lifted travel bans.

“This year has just been a really weird year. I mean, it’s just one after another after another and that’s what’s caused more issues than anything, is the number of hurricanes and the strength of them,” said AAA Travel Agent Kay Parrott in Sioux Falls.

Parrott says most of her clients weren’t impacted by hurricanes.

Parrott said, “They’re doing harvesting and things like that, so we don’t have as many people traveling typically this time of year. What’s impacting us is people trying to plan for traveling in January and February, you know, trying to figure out, is this going to be a place that’s going to be okay to travel to three or four months down the line.”

Airlines placed travel waivers on the Caribbean Islands as soon as they found out the projected paths of the hurricanes. But those bans are now being lifted.

“Airlines have a tendency to be a little bit more proactive nowadays. They don’t want to get people there and have them stranded,” Parrott said.

Obviously, there are no flights to Puerto Rico, and she would stay away from the Virgin Islands. Key West should be open near the end of October. The Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Costa Rica, and the Riviera Maya though are all a go.

“Yes, there was quite a bit of damage in the Caribbean, but a lot of the popular tourist destinations sustained very, very minimal or no damage,” said Parrott.

But Parrot says hurricane season isn’t over yet. She recommends travel insurance. Parrot says it allows for changes in travel plans, but also covers lost or delayed bags, and emergency medical and dental care.

Parrott said, “Most people’s health insurance does not cover you once you leave the United States.”

Parrot says she only had to re-book one trip because of the hurricanes. The client was traveling to Key West and decided to head to California instead. However, now that area is dealing with problems related to wildfires.

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