Could oily beaches ruin your vacation?

By Andrew Wittenberg  - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Roxanne Towler with AAA in Columbus says their office has been fielding calls about possible oil contamination of the Gulf Coast beaches.

However, most travelers here aren't canceling their plans, yet.

"We feel there are educated travelers here for Panama City, Destin, the whole Florida panhandle. They know it, they go regularly, and they're comfortable with checking and making sure and continuing to talk to people," Towler said.

But she says that's not the case around the country, where those who may not travel to the Gulf Coast as often are considering canceling plans, out of fear of an oily mess.

So what do you do if you haven't yet booked your summer vacation?

"We deal with certain companies that offer "cancel for any reason" insurance, which we highly recommend this time of year. It doesn't have to be a health issue, you can cancel up to day of departure," Towler said.

If you have already booked, check the internet. has a daily update about the beach conditions, complete with pictures.

Various local governments and tourism departments have also set up blogs to update conditions every few hours.

And call the place you plan to stay or have booked your trip with.

They may still offer insurance that will let you decide when you want to go.

"We call it bad hair day. If you just don't want to get up and go, you don't have to. It's great protection to have," Towler said.

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