Lonely Planet Writer

Cayman Islands ease visitors' hurricane fears by offering vacation compensation

Traveling in the Caribbean between July and October can be a risky endeavor thanks to the onset of hurricane season and the unpredictable weather that comes with it. The Cayman Islands, however, are looking to ease traveler fears by promising to compensate them should their vacation by cut short or canceled entirely due to inclement weather.

Sunset off Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman.
Sunset off Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman. Image by David Rogers/Getty Images

As soon as it becomes evident that a hurricane will impact a trip, the destination’s ‘Worry Free Hurricane Guarantee’ will give guests a full refund for their hotel stays if the cancellations are made 48 hours before arrival, with guests facing a maximum of a one night penalty. Some businesses are even offering this policy with 24 hours’ notice or less, with no penalty.

The policy is being adopted by a number of hotel and villa properties across the Cayman Islands, many of whom are also offering a free replacement stay later in the summer, allowing visitors to rebook for the same amount of time as the originally planned stay, independent of how many days are affected by the storm. The Cayman Islands Department of Tourism has a list of participating properties on their website.

Hurricane season in the Caribbean usually runs from July to November, with the rains tapering off in time for the winter holidays. The Cayman Islands (which consist of Grand Cayman, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac) are located 180 miles west of Jamaica and 150 miles south of Cuba. Despite its small size, the destination fields two million tourists per year.