Sourcing news and weather for your overseas holiday destination
If you are travelling off on your holidays abroad, then it pays to be aware of the local weather and news for your chosen destination.
If you’ve booked a package holiday through a tour operator, then your travel company will obviously keep you informed of any potential issues in the run-up to your departure. However, for the growing numbers of people who are arranging their own flights and accommodation separately, it’s especially worth doing your homework!
In the worst-case scenario, for example, you wouldn’t want to arrive on holiday to find that there’s been a tropical storm, earthquake or coup. You’ll also want to keep up to date with the weather and news whilst you’re on holiday, so that you’re aware of any severe weather warnings or other dangerous situations that might affect your destination.
Happily, the invention of the Internet makes it easy to keep up to date with information from all around the globe. The Internet is a great source of local and international news that’s updated as the stories are happening, and many UK news websites carry news from around the world. You can also check the local news websites for where you’re travelling to – a quick Internet search for your destination and ‘local news’ should bring up all the relevant English-language news websites.
The local consulate website for your destination will also have regular updates on travel advice for the area and any situations that you should be aware of. Don’t forget the power of social media, too – Twitter is a great source of on-the-ground news updates when any important situation is unfolding.
The Internet is also a great way to stay abreast of the weather in your destination – the major UK news websites also provide international weather services, and local news websites will usually feature weather too. A good Internet weather site is weatherunderground, which is a website that gives you daily and long-range weather information for millions of locations around the world.
Whilst you are on holiday you should tune into the local TV or radio stations. These will be able to give you information on all that’s occurring in the local area and will have broadcasts if there is any severe weather on its way. Local TV and radio stations may also have websites that you can view, so even if you do not have a radio or TV you can still listen or watch all of the news and weather reports online. Weather maps look much the same the world over, so you can normally see what’s happening even if you don’t always understand the language.
If you do not have access to the Internet, radio or TV in your holiday destination, then talking to the locals, in a bar or on the bus, is a great way of finding out information. For example, if bad weather is approaching then people will be talking about it and discussing what they will be doing to avoid it.
Another way of finding out news and weather information is to use your own eyes. If you see people boarding up windows, battening down the hatches or suddenly panic buying canned and preserved food at the supermarket, then this is a telling sign that things are not going too well in the area! Similarly, if a tropical storm is about to arrive then you may see lots of cars heading away from your destination as they follow an evacuation route. If heavy snow or ice is forecast then there will, as in the UK, be an increased presence of gritting lorries on the roads.
If you cannot use any of the above methods for finding out the weather and news in your holiday destination then as a last resort you could get a friend at home to check the UK news for you and call you if there is bad weather or other problems forecast for the area.
The good news, of course, is that most holidays are entirely trouble-free, and the chances are that you can lounge by the pool, enjoy a mountain walk or soak up the local culture without encountering any unusual events. Still, it never hurts to be prepared – and you can relax even more if, should the worst happen, you know where to look for all the important information!
Photo credit: Lizard Lick