Even if you pick the best time of year to travel to a tropical island, there’s a good chance at least one of the days won’t be beach-friendly. If you take the right steps to prepare before you leave, you can get the most out of those days when the weather just won’t behave. While you’re filling your suitcase with swimsuits and thongs, take some time to plan for days when the sun just won’t come out.
Soak up local history
Fortunately, almost everywhere you go has a rich local history that you can explore on rainy or cloudy days, whether it’s museums, memorials or historical sites.In Hawaii, you can visit Pearl Harbour or the Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park . In Phuket, you might choose to learn more about the local tin industry at the Phuket Mining Museum, and in the Barbados, you can follow in the footsteps of pirates by visiting their hideawaysTo get the most out of your rainy days, it’s best to plan ahead and do your research before you get to your destination. If you have time, visit your local library or bookstore, to order a book about the history of the place you’re visiting: it will help put everything in context and maybe inspire a particular interest. Audio books are another great way to learn about the history of a place if you don’t have enough time to sit and read a book. Before I went to Hawaii, I listened to Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell on audio book, and it helped me understand Hawaiian culture and history so I could better appreciate some of the things I saw on my trip.Holiday hours are precious, so make sure you don’t waste any with a trip to somewhere that’s closed. Local museums often have unusual hours and can be closed in low-season, so call ahead of time to make sure they are open on the day.Some historical sites can be difficult to reach and have uneven ground, which can be especially slippery on a rainy day. Make sure you dress appropriately and wear enclosed shoes with grip. Add sneakers, a compact umbrella and a light rain jacket to your packing list to make sure you can get out and about when the sun isn’t.
Have a quiet day in
While you’re packing, also think about including the essential ingredients for a quiet day in, whether for you that’s books, magazines or games.If you’re travelling with your family, consider packing a few new board games. If you’re picturing luggage straining with Monopoly and Risk, don’t worry: fun card games like Sushi Go!, Jaipur and Port Royal are small, easy to pack and lots of fun. You could also pack a packet of old-fashioned playing cards and learn some new games.Bring along some books or magazines that will keep you in the holiday mood: light reading that isn’t too taxing. If you have a Kindle, Kobo or reading app on your tablet, stock up before you leave because it’s sometimes difficult to purchase e-books from your local store while you’re overseas. Rainy tropical afternoons are the perfect time to dig in to a juicy romance novel or mystery thriller.
When it’s not light rain but a hurricane
Some weather events you can endure, others are holiday-enders. Around the world, there are on average eighty major tropical cyclones each year. While most of these you can ride out in the comfort of your hotel room, some require evacuation and might require you to either cancel your trip or pack up and go home. Fortunately, you can prepare for the most extreme of these weather events by buying the right international travel insurance, which can cover both cancellation and trip curtailment due to natural disaster. Although it’s important that you purchase the insurance before the event occurs. If you have to cut your trip short and travel home because of extreme weather, your costs can be recovered under Additional Emergency for up to the amount in your policy to return home. Make sure your policy includes the Natural Disaster upgrade option to be covered if you need to return home due to a major storm. Sometimes, extreme weather can hit before you’ve even had a chance to get on the plane. If your trip can’t happen at all due to a natural disaster at your destination, cancellation insurance can refund you if you have purchased the Natural Disaster upgrade option on your insurance. Find out more about Cancellation Cover here