Record-high temperatures and torrential rains are affecting people's long-needed summer getaways. As the climate warms, vacations may not be what they once were. People are figuring out how to adapt.



Climate change makes wildfires, hurricanes and heat waves more frequent and intense. The devastating effects are in the headlines regularly. A warming climate also changes lives in subtler ways.

NPR asked how extreme weather affects your summer plans. And our correspondent Jeff Brady has this sample of responses.

JEFF BRADY, BYLINE: For graduate student A. Carey, summer means traveling from Maryland to the Bahamas to see family for Emancipation Day. The holiday celebrates the end of slavery and includes music, dancing and a parade.

A CAREY: You just hear this, like, thumping drumbeat, like a heartbeat. Coming out of the distance, you hear this, you know, gradual, like, brass swelling.


BRADY: Carey says this video from YouTube is exactly as she remembers the parades. She says, saving for and planning this trip each summer is a tradition that's changing.

CAREY: You know, I have to be a lot more aware about when I travel. I have to think about trip insurance. What's my Plan B, Plan C of returning to the U.S. if it is hit by a hurricane?

BRADY: And, Carey says, there's a lot more talk in the Bahamas about rising water levels and what that will mean for the future.

In Tampa, Fla., Sara Brogan says, summers are getting hotter. Going to the beach to cool off is a decades-long tradition for her family.

SARA BROGAN: We've been to the beach once this summer.

BRADY: That's because of red tide. These algae blooms are increasing, likely because of human pollution and warming temperatures. They produce toxins that kill sea life, which is why Brogan is staying away from the beach.

BROGAN: A lot of times it's - before you even get there, you can smell - the smell of the dead fish is very strong.

BRADY: Health officials say people with breathing problems, like asthma, should stay clear of red tide areas. Brogan, a registered nurse, says her family doesn't have chronic breathing issues. But it's still uncomfortable.

BROGAN: For us, it would be like, you know, just a tickle in the throat. Or else, then, you know, you're having to, like, clear your throat more, or you cough a little bit.

BRADY: Brogan canceled plans to rent a pontoon boat for Father's Day to go fishing. She still hopes to get to the beach before hurricane season gets intense.

On the West Coast, Valerie Christensen says a heat wave interrupted her plans to compete in summer dog shows.





BRADY: Christensen, who lives on Bainbridge Island in Washington state, has three dogs. One of them is a border terrier named Henry, who's won some ribbons this summer.

CHRISTENSEN: He doesn't like the heat. I don't know any terriers that like the heat. They sort of wilt when it comes to, like, 75 and above.

BRADY: She canceled plans to attend a June show in Oregon because it was a record 114 degrees. Now she looks for shows in cooler locations and away from wildfire smoke.

CHRISTENSEN: You know, obviously it's not good for the animal. And it's not good for me either 'cause you spend pretty much a whole weekend, sometimes as many as four days outside.

BRADY: Climate-fueled wildfires also mean more smoke in special places.

Heather Duchow and her husband celebrated their 20th anniversary last month in Montana's Glacier National Park, where they also honeymooned.

HEATHER DUCHOW: When we got there, it was very smoky. And it was disappointing. We just - you can't see the distant vistas that the park is known for.

BRADY: Duchow is an amateur photographer. And the smoke made it difficult to see the awe-inspiring views she remembered.

DUCHOW: Everything that should have been green and white and blue was very orange and brown.

BRADY: Duchow says for future anniversaries, they may go sooner in the summer, hoping to avoid the worst of fire season. And she knows this is nothing compared to losses from fires and flooding some people have experienced. Still, how she, and everyone else, navigates a warming world is changing. And people are figuring out how to adapt.

Jeff Brady, NPR News.

SIMON: This is NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.