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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The weather, part 1: how much does it impact your travel plans?

Do you check weather reports before you travel? And if you do and it's turned especially bad before you're due to travel, do you change your trip plans? I'm talking really nasty weather. Consistently dreadful, such as the snowfalls in the UK, the heaviest in 18 years, which have severely disrupted flights. Or the heatwave south-eastern Australia has endured over the last weeks which has caused power blackouts, transport disruptions, cancellation of outdoor events, and even deaths. Or the floods in Northern Queensland which in some areas have caused horrendous damage and led to the closure for several weeks of the Barkly Highway, the main route connecting Queensland to the Northern Territory. Do you adapt your plans at the last minute and change the destination or direction if you can? Or do you continue on and risk disruption to your itinerary, and possible disappointment? I've posted about this before on Best time to visit Australia? It may be summer, but don't head Down Under but it's something that continues to intrigue me. From what we've been observing on our travels in Australia, many people simply don't check weather reports in advance and continue with their original plans despite a change in weather. Some appear to be happy to go through the motions of being tourists, despite the miserable conditions, taking photos, doing tours, and, like the couple pictured in the distance of this photo, embarking on a long distance walk that would be far more enjoyable in better weather. What do you think? And how do you react to the onset of weather so terrible that it disrupts your travel plans? Or are you the type of traveller who tries to ensure you're not in that position in the first place? I'd love to know what you think and how you travel. And I'd love you to complete my poll (top right). Thanks.


jeanp said...

Hi Lara.
We are planning a trip and are trying to figure out the best time of year for our journey to Australia. In a perfect world of 3 weeks of traveling, we would like to see the Barrier Reef, Sydney, Melbourne and New Zealand, and spots in between and along the way. The Barrier Reef will only be a short stop,long enough to have a day in the water.We want to see the Reef, hike and/or bike in New Zealand or rent a car and drive around the island to see as much as possible,staying in small inns along the way,most likely South Island. In cities,public transport, of course, unless you think a car is the way to go. We have a TomTom, so navigation shouldn't be too tough.Getting lost a couple of times is always a good thing in my opinion anyway! We will spend a couple of days in Sydney on the way in and out, as that's our airport destination.

OR- if there is a part of the country that is worth a flight and a few days to see, we are flexible there..

A friend had said he thought that April would be the best,latter part into May. Of course, the airlines are starting a big blitz at the moment for travel between now and Dec of '09.... then prices will ratchet up again...

I appreciate any tips/advice....thanks .. Jean

Anonymous said...

Well said. Mostly peoples pack up for the trip without checking out the weather condition & later will suffer. I myself has witnessed such problems.
But who knows, the weather condition may be good before starting & will go disastrous after reaching the destination. Such things must also be considered.