Hurricane Irene Causing Travel Headaches

August 22, 2011 Updated Aug 22, 2011 at 11:17 PM EDT

By Allen Leight

August 22, 2011 Updated Aug 22, 2011 at 11:17 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - While residents in Florida and along the southeast coast are bracing for impact, many in Western New York are worried that Hurricane Irene may impact their late-summer vacations.

"It's been a very busy day for our travel agents," said Shaun Seufert from AAA of Western and Central New York.

"Many are worried about the hurricane in the Caribbean and hitting the United States."

Irene recently strengthened to a category two hurricane, and many experts say it could get even stronger before hitting the United States.

So what should you do if your travel plans put in Irene's path?

Well Seufert recommends a "wait and see" approach, as hurricanes are unpredictable. However, if you don't have time to wait or are not willing to risk it, cancellation is an option. But it may cost you.

"If you must cancel or make changes, you can certainly do that, [but] you are apt to pay change fees or cancellation fees," said Seufert.

As a way of avoiding penalties and fees, travel experts recommend travel insurance, which typically cost between 5.5% and 9% of your travel costs, and must be purchased before the final payment on your vacation.

For more on travel insurance and hurricane travel tips, click the links under 'Related Content'.