This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

For those of you in the Northeast getting ready to hit the road this Fourth of July, beware: The forecast is calling for a major heat wave throughout the region starting on Friday, which in addition to needing an extra bag of ice for the cooler, means your travel plans could be thwarted faster than a sparkler can burn out.

No matter your preferred mode of transportation, these hot and humid temperatures — predicted to reach the mid-90s — can wreak havoc on airports, train tracks and roads. On top of sweltering temperatures, thunderstorms are also in the cards “above the Great Lakes region…and across the I-95 corridor (DC, Philadelphia, New York City and Boston),” according to T+L

Here’s how sizzling temperatures can end up being a major roadblock this July Fourth.

Planes

Wired offers a thorough explanation of the science behind heat mixing with flight, but in a nutshell, higher temperatures cause air density to decrease, meaning a plane needs more runway than normal to generate adequate lift. That’s what grounded flights at the Phoenix airport (PHX) in June of last year.

If it looks like a flight delay due to weather means you’ll be watching fireworks from the gate on TV, check to see if your airline is offering a flight wavier. If not, remember that some top credit cards offer flight delay/cancellation insurance that will reimburse you for weather issues, including the Citi Prestige ($500 per passenger for 3+ hour delay), the Chase Sapphire Reserve ($500 per ticket for 6+ hour or overnight delay) and Chase Sapphire Preferred ($500 per ticket for 12+ hour or overnight delay).

Trains

For you Amtrak-ers out there, severe weather can do a number on train tracks. Like any metal or steel that comes into contact with high heat, railways can bend and expand in extreme conditions. To prevent accidents, trains are required to lower their speed when the temperatures soar.

As with planes, tap into your card network if your reservation is cancelled to find out what your options are.

Automobiles

Don’t be that car on the side of the road with a busted engine and a tub of potato salad that’s about to go bad. There are a handful of things you can do to prevent your car from overheating before it’s too late, such as keeping your vehicle properly ventilated and plenty of coolant in proper reservoir.

If you find yourself in trouble, many credit cards offer roadside assistance, but the terms vary widely between them. The Amex Platinum benefit is among the best because you’re fully covered for most basic services — in comparison, coverage on the Chase Sapphire Reserve (and others) is capped at $50 per event, so you’re on the hook for any amount above that. Amex limits complimentary towing to 10 miles, which should get you to a garage in most urban areas, or you can pay $3 per mile for any additional distance.

Above all else, it’s most important to stay safe during a heatwave. Keep hydrated, avoid alcohol and find shade when you can. Soaring temperatures can do serious damage to the body and can cause heat stroke or exhaustion. It can also be dangerous for animals, so if you’re traveling with your pets, make sure that they have plenty of water and access to cool air, however you travel this holiday.

H/T: T+L

Photo by Volkan Furuncu/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images.

The best beginner points and miles card out there.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game. Here are the top 5 reasons it should be in your wallet, or read our definitive review for more details.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
17.74% - 24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$0 Intro for the First Year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.