Traveling in bad weather_ 13 tips on how to deal with it

Traveling in bad weather: 13 tips on how to deal with it

Traveling in bad weather is never fun. What to do when you experience bad weather during your trip? Check this blog post for practical tips.

Traveling in bad weather: it’s part of your trip

Whether you travel a lot, or just once or twice a year, you can always experience bad weather. During my travels, I’ve had my share of bad weather. A tropical storm and a typhoon in The Philippines, a few scary days in Florida with heavy rain (yes, it was hurricane season), floods, and a lot of mud at Glastonbury Festival in England, crazy thunderstorms in Cuba (which caused power outage), severe winter storms in Peru, strong winds when I was hiking on a mountain ridge in California and camping with cold weather (-10 degrees Celsius, 14 degrees Fahrenheit) in the desert in Arizona.

And of course, bad weather can also mean that it’s really hot. When I was hiking the Camino del Norte in Spain, temperatures rose up to over 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit). It was safer to stay inside.

Bad weather can also mean its very hot
It was so hot when I arrived in Bilbao, Spain.

When you read this, you might think I’ve had some bad luck during my travels, but it’s good to know that most of the time, the weather is great! The most important thing is to realize that bad or inclement weather can be part of your trip, but it should not ruin your travels! In this blog post, I’ll share a few tips on how to deal with when you’re traveling in bad weather.

Prepare yourself before your trip

The best thing? You can prepare yourself for traveling in bad weather.

Check the local weather report

Know what to expect! The only way to find out if you’ll experience bad weather during travel is by checking out the local weather forecast. If you notice there might be some bad weather in the coming days, download local weather apps or follow the Facebook page of the local authorities.

The last option was the best for my trip to The Philippines because they updated it very often, and I knew what to expect and when to expect it. It’s easier to prepare for bad weather when you know it’s coming, and even better, you might be able to change your travel plans in time.

If you plan on traveling in the United States, check the national weather service and local radio stations. You don’t have to check non-stop, but make sure to stay up to date.

Make sure your accommodation is weatherproof

Are you expecting a lot of wind and rain? Then it won’t be fun to sleep in a tent or a bamboo hut on the beach. Make sure your accommodation is steady and has a good roof. Will there be floods? Make sure to stay in a place that’s on a hill or on a higher floor in a hotel.

Tip! I always use to reserve my accommodation. A lot of places offer free cancellation, which is convenient if you need to change your trip due to severe weather situations.

Get the right clothes & accessories

There’s nothing more irritating than walking around in wet clothes all day, so make sure to get some warm and waterproof clothing. Always get a (lightweight) rain jacket, waterproof shoes (Goretex), or wear shoes that dry quickly. Water shoes or flip-flops can also be convenient. Especially in tropical countries, it doesn’t really matter if your feet get wet.

Useful accessories are also a must. Get some waterproof cases or bags, so you can keep your valuables dry, like your phone, passport, and camera. I never go anywhere without a dry bag, I’m always prepared for bad weather conditions.

I always travel with a dry bag
I always bring a dry bag.

Bring extra food and water

Always bring some extra food or water if you’re not sure about the weather conditions. Just in case something happens, it’s always a good idea to have food and water.

Bring a first aid kit

Accidents can happy quickly, especially when you’re out in bad weather. Always bring a first aid kit.

Check your vehicle

Are you planning on going on a road trip? Make sure your vehicle is ready for poor weather conditions. Check your windshield wipers, check if your fog lights are working, and get winter tires if you think you might experience severe winter weather or slippery roads.

Think of an emergency plan

If you think that bad weather can affect your trip, think of an emergency plan. What to do when you have to change your plans? Is there a safe place you can always go to? You don’t have to do this in detail, but it’s smart to have a backup plan in mind, so you can act on it in case of an emergency.

Thunderstorms during a hike
Hiking during a thunderstorm is not the best idea. Do some research before you go out.

Get a good travel insurance

Having good travel insurance will give you peace of mind. There are many different kinds of travel insurance, not just for accidents, but also for bad weather conditions. Check your travel insurance policy, some even offer trip cancellation. Are you still looking for good travel insurance? Check Insubuy to find the travel insurance that fits your needs.

Dealing with bad weather during your trip

What to do when the weather gets really bad during your trip? A few ideas.

Have fun indoors

Wherever you are, there’s always something fun to do indoors. Have a long lunch or dinner, visit a museum, read a book, watch a show on Netflix (I love that you can download shows and watch them while you’re offline), listen to a podcast, go shopping, or play a card game with your travel companion.

Follow your intuition

Always follow your gut feeling when it comes to bad weather. Are you not sure whether to go on a trip, go out or do a tour because of the weather? If it doesn’t feel right, change your plans. When I was in Peru, I really wanted to see Rainbow Mountain. However, according to the weather forecasts, there would be a snowstorm on the day I wanted to go on the trip. I asked the tour office if it was safe to go out, and they confirmed it was fine.

However, I never felt really comfortable with it. On the day of departure it was snowing, and it was a really scary right. We had to drive up a mountain in icy conditions and when we finally got up there, the tour was canceled, because of the snow. But because they brought us up there, they wouldn’t give us a refund. It all felt so bad! On the way down, one of the tour buses even crashed into rocks (luckily, everyone was fine).

This day was a confirmation for me to always trust my instinct. If it doesn’t feel right, it doesn’t feel right for a reason.

Snow on rainbow mountain
White was the only color I saw on Rainbow Mountain.

Choose alternate routes

Sometimes, the easiest and safest way to deal with bad weather is to change your itinerary and choose alternate routes. It might take some time, but you’ll be glad not to have your trip ruined because of extreme weather conditions.

Stay calm

Whatever you do, stay calm. If you’re driving, keep a safe distance. If you don’t know what to do, focus on your breath for a moment, that will calm you down. You’ll be fine!

Try to stay positive

The weather doesn’t get any better when you’re annoyed or irritated, so try to stay positive. You’re traveling and you’ll have a new experience! And you’ll definitely remember the moment when the sun finally came out and everybody was super happy. The good news is that good weather will come!

Dark clouds at Bahia Honda State Park in Florida
Dark clouds can also result in beautiful travel pictures!

Did you ever experience really bad weather during travel? Share your story in the comments below!

More travel tips

Are you excited to go on a trip? These are some fun books filled with useful travel tips:

Travel Hacks: Any Procedures or Actions That Solve a Problem, Simplify a Task, Reduce Frustration, and Make Your Next Trip As Awesome As Possible (Keith Bradford)

International Travel Secrets: Take Shorter Trips, More Often, for Less (Michael Wedaa)

In addition, you can also find more practical travel tips on this website. You might like to read these articles as well:

And sign up for my newsletter for great travel stories and travel tips for the most beautiful destinations.

This article was published in January 2018. Latest update with more tips: January 2023.

Traveling in bad weather - tips on how to deal with it

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As a girl from a small town in the Netherlands, I always dreamed of traveling. I thought it would always be a dream, but nowadays, I travel 6 to 8 months a year and I hike thousands of miles on the most beautiful hiking trails. On this website you can read all about my favorite destinations.

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