First, educate yourself. There is a bit of a geography challenge when it comes to what areas have actually been affected by the oil spill. While there is some cause for concern in some destinations, the vast majority of the beaches along the Gulf and all over Florida are clean and open for business. The situation is terrible to begin with, but it can only be made worse by people cancelling or not booking trips to destinations that are not affected.
Also, use the internet before you cancel or book to see where the oil spill has landed. Travelocity has launched a page, www.travelocity.com/oilspillinfo, that's constantly being updated with information and deals to the region. VisitFlorida.com is also providing real-time updates and educating the public about popular destinations and beaches around the state. Because the situation is changing daily, it's crucial you stay informed of what's going on at your desired destination.
And if you you haven't booked yet, and are looking for last minute deals, hotel prices have fallen all over Florida. And you don't have much to fear if you do end up having to cancel your vacation, because many hotels have relaxed their cancellation policies. Some hotels are even offering oil-free guarantees. So take the time to research the hotels in your desired area to figure out which ones have the best cancellation policy for you.
For more information on vacationing in the Gulf Coast region, and other travel tips, click here.
by Jenn Eaker