There is a blizzard warning out, the wind is buffeting the house and the temperature is plummeting. With conditions such as these in the middle of winter, many people decide they have had enough. They are on their way to becoming snowbirds.
Snowbirds are those who leave their homes in October or November to avoid the cold and snow to travel to an area with a warmer climate. When the weather becomes more bearable, usually in the spring, they return to their original home. Many repeat this scenario each year. Retirees often choose this way of life, especially if they are lucky enough to own a second home where it is warmer in the winter. However, those who are looking into this way of life should do some advanced planning.
The first step is to decide what their winter destination will be. Some of the more popular areas include Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head, South Carolina, North Carolina, Mississippi Gulf Coast, South Padre Island, Albuquerque, Texas, Hawaii, Florida and Arizona. Perhaps a new snowbird would like to travel where their friends or family stay in the winter. On the other hand, they may wish to go to a destination where they know no one.
Next, they need to know what their living arrangements will be. Many snowbirds own campers, recreational vehicles or trailers that they can live in while traveling to their winter home. Those who enjoy boating might choose to follow the Intracoastal Waterway down the East Coast until they reach their winter destination. Then, there are those who have two homes, one in the colder climate and one in the warmer climate, who travel between the two when they desire.
There are options a snowbird should consider when selecting a winter destination. Some thought should be given to the climate itself. Although they are looking for warmer temperatures, do they want to stay where it is actually very hot, or do they want more of a mild heat? Some areas are more windy and dusty than others. The humidity of an area should also be considered. Some snowbirds will not enjoy a hot and humid area, while others might love it. A community website will be able to give them all the climate information needed to help with their decision.
New travelers should also consider the affordability of the area in which they are searching. Areas such as Hawaii will be much more expensive to live in than the beaches in Florida. The snowbirds will have to decide if they wish to stay in a large city, with lots of nightlife, restaurants and places to shop, or a smaller one with a quieter and less hectic lifestyle. There is usually an area that will fit everyone’s budget, although it may take some research.
One very important consideration when planning a trip to warmer destinations is the availability of healthcare. Although this is important for any traveler, many snowbirds are retirees, and they might have more medical issues than the younger population. They should make sure that the appropriate care would be available to them in the case that they need it.
Becoming a snowbird is an exciting adventure. With the correct thought and planning, those choosing this lifestyle can throw away their snow shovels, and start putting on the sun tan lotion for their new year-round tan.