Many countries across the world have what is known as a ‘rainy’, ‘wet’ or ‘monsoon’ season. These differ from continent to continent and also have a significant bearing on the price of holiday packages, flights and holiday facilities available at certain resorts.
Central America, some parts of North America, areas in sub-Saharan Africa, northern parts of Australia and southeast Asia are all affected yearly by the rainy season, in which the vast majority of the areas rainfall will fall in the space of a few months or even weeks. In some areas, the rainy season is welcomed with caution, due to the increased risk of flooding, landslides and destruction of crops. In other areas, such as Sudan, the wet season is necessary for providing much needed rainfall.
Southeast Asia experiences a stormy wet season from June to September, which can cause inconvenient flight and travel disruptions. In many cities throughout the densely populated Asian continent, the monsoon is welcomed as a refreshing break from bad air quality and hot, stuffy conditions. In many Asian countries, the monsoon will bring relief from the humid and uncomfortable temperatures preceding the heavy rain. However, rural areas often face localised flooding, destruction of dirt roads and damaged homes, and cities will face overloaded drainage systems.
There is, of course, a difference between the northern and southern hemispheres in terms of seasonal weather. For instance, in subtropical and tropical parts of Australia, the wet season is predominant from December to March.
For those travelling in the rainy season there are quite a few advantages. For one, it will be low season in many countries and tourists can look forward to cheaper accommodation and day trips, less crowding at popular tourist sites, fresher weather and an abundance of flowers and nature that result from the rain. However, some facilities and sites may be closed and there may be reduced service at some resorts. It is also quite possible that some rural routes are restricted or even dangerous. On the up side, you may find that, although it is the rainy season, the rain may fall for a few hours in the late afternoon or early morning, clearing the skies to an otherwise pleasant day. If magnificent thunderstorms with lightening displays are your thing, then this is the time to travel.
Packing for a wet season trip can be cumbersome; it is not always practical to pack your wellies in your suitcase! Bring a lightweight raincoat, umbrella and some rubber shoes or flip-flops. Shorts are better than long trousers, which will just get muddy, and a mosquito net and insect repellent will be necessary in malaria risk areas.
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