I already know what you’re thinking… chasing tornadoes! You can’t be serious! Well, yes I am. Not only am I serious, but enthusiasts who want to experience the power and excitement of nature first hand, turn storm chasing into an annual vacation. I have to agree that this is not for everyone, but if you’re feeling adventurous,and you’re just a little crazy, then this just might be the type vacation the doctor ordered.
Be warned however, because you might end up traveling 6 days in a van with five strangers, and you will get tired. There will also be times when you need to pee, but can’t stop anywhere, or you will have to ride down bad roads, battle bad storms that produce hard rain, large hail, vicious lightning, and thunder so loud it makes you flinch….If you think you can handle all that, then this is for you!
Every spring and summer, at least 800 tornadoes touchdown in ‘Tornado Alley’, but only a small 2% are classified as violent, less than a third are considered strong, and only two out of three are considered to be weak. Eight hundred tornadoes touching down in a year however, still does not guarantee you’ll see any tornadoes on your during your vacation.
So please, make sure that you’re going because you want to experience the whole package…super cell thunderstorms, lighting, hail the size of baseballs, massive wall clouds, and rain so hard you can’t see.
There are quite a few people offering storm chasing vacation packages, that range in price. I’ve seen them anywhere from $1,500 per person, to $2,800 per person.
It depends on the amount of days you choose. The requirements you must follow, will basically be the same for most storm chasing teams…pack enough clothes for 5 or 7 days, use a duffel bag for packing, shower regularly, wear clean clothes, bring headphones to listen to your music, bring your cameras and camcorders -they must also be packed light, and last, but not least…lots of money.
The money you pay for the package, goes toward hotel reservations, and maintenance and up-keep on the chase vehicles. You will be responsible for purchasing your own food and the other necessities you’ll need.
The guides will not allow any smoking, alcohol or drugs inside the chase vehicles, and if you have medical problems that will require any special needs, you may want to think twice before venturing on this type of vacation.
Storm chasing can be a really fast-paced vacation. Getting in and out of the chase vehicles quickly could be a problem for some people. As well as traveling some 400 miles a day, chasing storms. There is a great possibility the teams will chase a storm right on up to 10:00 or 11:00 at night.
So you should take this into consideration also. Stopping to eat could also be an issue. Most teams eat breakfast and they try to stop for lunch in the area where they are chasing the storm, but dinner may not be guaranteed, so you would have to take food or snacks with you to tied you over until then.
All in all, this sounds fun and exciting, for those that can handle this type of vacation. You can go as a single, as a couple or even as a family.
Some tours will accept children as young as 12 years of age if accompanied by an adult. The chase vehicles are well maintained and comfortable, and everyone gets to sit by a window. But you need to think long and hard about bringing young children on this type of vacation.
The teams are experienced and cautious. When you book your vacation, go on-line and read more about storm chasing and the different vacation packages that are offered.
I’m sure you will have the time of your life and memories to last you a lifetime, and since there has recently been an increase in tornadoes, your chance of seeing one has increased.
If this isn’t your cup of tea, then you might be interested in booking a hot air balloon vacation. You can go here to read more about ‘Hot Air Balloons: Flights of Fancy.’ Enjoy the little video below. I made it just for you!