Prepare for another extreme summer: – No weather guarantees

HOT: From the beach in the Spanish town of Villa Joyosa on the Costa Blanca in Spain during the heatwave that hit the country in July. Photo: Gisle Oddstad / VG

Norwegian citizens should be aware of the risk of civil unrest and extreme heat when booking their summer holidays, the Foreign Ministry insists.

Last year, wildfires and heatwaves ravaged southern Europe.

Summer this year can also become extremely hot. Even if it is still a little early to say with certainty about the summer weather.

– We are receiving more and more requests from people who want to cancel their vacation because they are afraid, says Hilde Øverby, product manager at If Europeiske Reiseforsikring.

Hilde Øverby
Hilde Øverby

– Travel insurance does not cover cancellation due to fear. There is also no weather guarantee, says Øverby.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the travel and insurance sector will now prepare Norwegians before the summer holidays. The backdrop is a more troubled world and climate change.

UD: Be prepared

– Norwegian citizens must take the global situation to heart, including the risk of civil unrest and extreme heat, says Kristin Traavik.

She heads the operational center of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is the first contact with which Norwegians are abroad and need assistance.

Kristin Traavik
Kristin Traavik

– We don’t want to discourage anyone from traveling. The vast majority of trips go well, but with some fairly simple preparations, it can go much better, says Traavik.

Here are some good tips:

  • Check with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs travel information about the country you are going to. The Foreign Office also offers travel advice, but this only applies to countries or regions to which travel is not recommended.
  • Report in about where you are going to travel.
  • Have your papers in order! Valid passport, travel insurance, possible visa and vaccinations.
  • Check and follow the advice of local authorities.

Marie-Anne Zachrisson, director of travel agency Ving, says July remains the most popular vacation month, but more and more people are choosing to postpone their trip until the heat has passed.

– September seems to be a very popular month. There are natural disasters every year, but more and more people are aware of the heat, Zachrisson says.

– It is particularly wise to choose a reputable tour operator if you want to be sure that you will be well taken care of in the event of incidents of this type. The package travel law sets clear requirements for tour operators, explains Zachrisson.

Marie-Anne Zachrisson
Marie-Anne Zachrisson

Hilde Øverby from IF points out that the heat can pose greater challenges for certain groups.

– Especially those with young children or those with underlying illnesses should think about it a little more, says Øverby.

As in scouting, the slogan “always ready” applies.

– You might encounter scary situations that make you want to cancel your trip. But this fear is a risk you take when traveling, because for this reason, insurance does not automatically cover the return trip, explains Øverby.

More extreme weather conditions

2023 was the hottest year on record. Europe is also the fastest warming continent, according to new EU figures.

– We must take this, once again, as a warning of the world we are heading towards. These will be more extreme weather conditions and there will be no turning back, researcher Hans Olav Hygen from the Meteorological Institute told VG when the figures were published.

Rocky Maldonado

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