Travel agencies busy adjusting trips to Puerto Rico

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – First Irma and now, Maria. Maria is a Category 3 Hurricane and she is still lashing Puerto Rico with damaging wind, forcing people to cancel their vacations.

Springfield’s Puerto Rican community has many connections to the U.S. island territory. After getting hit by Hurricane Irma and now Maria, people like Elva Lopez are worried about her family and property in Puerto Rico.

“Terrible. I don’t like it. Terrible. That’s why I stay here. I have a brother and a family in Puerto Rico and I’m scared about that,” said Lopez, who lives in Holyoke.

Lopez and her family were set to travel to Puerto Rico Monday. Now they have to cancel.

Doreen Coakley Rodriguez here at New World Travel Adventure in Springfield said she recommends travel insurance to everyone who vacations to the islands. Especially during Hurricane Season.

“This time of the year I recommend it to people. I say do you want to purchase insurance? It’s good to cancel for any reason up until 24 hours prior, it is great at this time of the year. Why? Because of the status. Anywhere between August, September, October, that’s the hurricane alley. It’s better to have it than not have it,” explained Coakley Rodriguez.

Coakley Rodriguez told 22News travel insurance will allow you to pay a discounted destination devastation rate at hotels and resorts if you are unable to leave because of a natural disaster.

Most carriers will allow you to switch your vacation days without penalty, but check with your airline to be sure.

Related Coverage:

Locals with family in Puerto Rico react to Hurricane Maria

Hurricane Maria knocking out power, causing heavy flooding in Puerto Rico

Damages caused by Hurricane Maria could affect local residents financially

Hurricane Maria aims at Puerto Rico after slamming Dominica