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Snowbird Travel

Updated on November 12, 2012

What is a Snowbird Anyway?

There's a term used to identify seniors who reside in their hometown during the Spring and Summer months, but then when the snow flies they head to a Southern locale for the duration of late Fall and Winter. They're called Snowbirds.

The most popular destination for snowbirds to take up residence, when heading South, has proven to be Florida..with Texas coming in a close second. Still others favour the drier climates of Arizona and New Mexico.

Snowbirds get to experience the best of both worlds- Canada's beautiful summer months and the warmer climate of the Southern USA in the winter months. The perfect way to spend your golden years!

Snowbirds
Snowbirds

3 Pros and 3 Cons to Snowbird Travel

by Tanya

When surveying a group of seniors you will be sure to find a number of different arguments to support the benefits of maintaining two residences and having the option of braving out the cold winter months in a sunny climate. You'll also undoubtedly find a group that would fiercely defend the negatives associated with displacing yourself for half the year and leaving everything that is familiar. Here are 3 pros and 3 cons to 'snowbirding'...

3 Pros & 3 Cons...

Pros:

1. Experiencing a way of life that is a marked difference to your everyday routine in your hometown location. It can prove very refreshing to be able to wake up in the middle of January and have the option of heading out into the sun for a warm morning walk, or spending an afternoon poolside when you know that everyone back home is fighting, yet another, blizzard! Seniors may also find restaurants and shopping that are different than the usual at home and enjoy the variety and change of scenery.

2. No shoveling or winter driving/car maintenance. Shoveling the snow after a wild blizzard can prove challenging for someone who is young and reasonably fit, but for a senior it can possibly present serious risk of injury and health complications. Winter driving and the maintenance required for your car is also a headache and a danger that seniors do not have to consider when they are in a warmer, more moderate climate during the colder, snow-filled months.

3.The vast majority of seniors who spend the winter in the South reside in communities where most, if not all, of the residents are doing the same thing. There are whole complexes and villages of 'snowbirds'. For seniors the expanded social network and the anticipation of the change of scenery can be a real bright spot in their year.

Cons

1. Health Concerns. If seniors have failing, or unpredictable health, the thought of travelling, and being displaced for a good segment of the year from familiar and trusted health care providers and pharmacists may be enough of a reason to deter them from booking the trip. It is extremely important, even for 'snowbirds' in good health, to purchase travel insurance for seniors prior to their trip! There are companies that will provide plans specifically for 'snowbirds' to best suit their concerns and needs with regard to their health.

2. Costly Travel Insurance. Even when seniors are aware of their need for travel insurance, if they don't find the right company, it can prove to be very costly. With many seniors being on a fixed income or just being frugal, expensive insurance can be a deal breaker. Finding a company that searches for the best rates from a number of snowbird travel insurance providers will insure that seniors get the coverage they need at an affordable rate.

3. Safety and Security Issues. Leaving a home unattended for months at at time can be a security risk. Even in a controlled environment like a locked-door apartment complex, there are still other safety issues to consider, like leaks, fires and pipes bursting. If seniors don't have family or friends who can be relied on to check in on their property (at home, or in the South), they may not feel confident leaving for extended amounts of time. Luckily there are services available where snowbirds can hire a university student to stay in their house while they are away or there's the option of hiring someone to check in on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.

With some preparation, reasonable health, comprehensive travel insurance and a trusted person to check your property, joining the ranks of the 'Snowbirds' can be a fabulous, positive and exhilarating way to spend your retirement years.

About the Author:

Tanya is a married, work-at-home mom with 2 fabulous kiddos. You can find Tanya on her personal blog Dreams, Diapers & Dilemmas, Twitter, Facebook and Hubpages.

Free as Snowbirds
Free as Snowbirds

5 Destinations for Snowbirds

by Ruth Patton

Snowbirds (who are they?)

A snowbird is someone who moves to a warmer climate once the cold winter weather has come. Some snowbirds view this lifestyle as one of their retirement options.

It is something that you should try out before deciding that this is the choice you want to make for your life. Spend time renting in various locations before you decide where you would like to stay on a more permanent basis.

If you are planning to try out the snowbird lifestyle, there is a great article that shows 3 Pros and 3 Cons to Snowbird Travel
.

In this article you will find some great tips to enjoy your vacation (whether snowbirding or not) - 10 common Mistakes to Avoid
.

Where To Start?

Florida - Florida seems to be one of the top destinations. It is on the top of the list because there are so many things to do there. You could spend your time at one of the many beaches along the Florida keys. You could spend time sightseeing and taking in the amazing attractions that Florida has. There are many great locations for fishing and also just for relaxing or enjoying a scuba diving trip.

California - Indian Wells in California boasts the best massage and spa treatment and for an all around relaxing experience. When you feel like exploring a little away from the spa, you can take in a day of golf or a game of tennis. The weather is beautiful here and being served and catered to is a wonderful way to vacation.

Texas - South Padre Island in Texas is another wonderful location. It is along the Gulf Coast and has beautiful beaches as well. South Padre Island also has a variety of other unique activities to enjoy, such as fishing, boating and bird watching.

Arizona - If you are they type who would like to do more then just golf or fish, then Arizona has a lot to offer. From Mesa with piles of RV parks to Quartzsite where you can enjoy the rock and flea markets. Oh, and don't forget the attractions of all attractions in Arizona...the Grand Canyon!

New Mexico - For those snowbirds who enjoy the warmer weather but still want to experience the fun aspect of the winter (skiing, snowshoeing etc...) Alamogordo is the place to go. Spending your days in the lowlands, with an average 70 degree temp, and head to the mountains in the afternoon. There are also many attractions, including the White Sands National Monument.

...and don't forget

Exploring what it is that you want can be fun. Everyone is unique in their likes and dislikes. As you can see above, there is a vast array of options for snowbirds.

A few things to remember as you plan your next excursion

* Don't forget to make sure your passport is up-to-date and in order

* Make sure you have the correct snowbirds travel insurance

* Expect to HAVE FUN!!!

About the Author:

Ruth is a married working mom of 5 beautiful children. You can find Ruth at Mom's Musings on Twitter, her personal blog Mom's Musings and on Hubpages as ruthcpatton.

Snowbirds watching
Snowbirds watching

Snowbird Safety Issues

by Ruth Patton

Enjoying Your Travel

When snowbirds make the choice to "fly" south for the winter, they should do everything possible to make sure that their experience will be a positive one.

There are some things that can be done ahead of time to be prepared so there will be no surprises.

First, because snowbirds will generally have long stays, they need to make sure that their current home and belongings are safe and will be protected for the duration of the vacation.

The following lists some other factors to think about when leaving to ensure you enjoy the full extent of your trip.

Always Be Prepared

* When you are in public places, make sure you never leave your purse, wallet or keys out of your sight. Hanging a purse on your chair, the hook on the bathroom stall or even on the table, may be an open invitation for a thief to help themselves.

Instead, keep your belongings close to your body. Your purse can hang on your knees while at a restaurant, your money can be kept in a hip bag, your keys can be kept separate, in a different area then your money.

* Having the right travel insurance is a must. When you are not prepared it rains...and you don't want a downpour during your vacation. Make sure that you have the right kind of insurance and for the right length of time.

Seniors who are travelling, especially need to make sure they have adequate insurance to meet their needs. Making sure that every aspect of health is covered will lead to less worrying and less stress while on vacation. Even if there are no ongoing medical concerns, peace of mind is achieved with any form of seniors travel insurance.

* Make sure you do your research first. Where are you going? What foods are available? What are the dining establishments you will be visiting? Make sure you are knowledgeable and wise in your decision making.

Most places have certain requirements that they need to meet in order to function. You can check restaurant ratings, Better Business Bureau ratings, read reviews and talk to people who have already been there. You don't want to spend your money somewhere that you are not going to enjoy. Research is good so you know what to expect.

All in all, do what you need to do to ensure that you are prepared and protected, safe and sound during your vacation. Make it the experience of a lifetime.

About the Author:

Ruth is a married working mom of 5 beautiful children. You can find Ruth at Mom's Musings on Twitter, her personal blog Mom's Musings and on Hubpages as ruthcpatton.

Snowbirds fishing
Snowbirds fishing

If I Were a Snowbird

by Ruth Patton

My Top 5 Destinations

I live in Canada, and our winters can be pretty harsh...One day, I hope to be able to travel during the winter and soak up the sun in some remote, island location:-)

I know that you can find websites galore listing the top destinations for snowbirds, so this list is going to be different!

I am going to share MY dream destinations...dreaming is good...

I am a big dreamer and truly believe that I will visit all of these destinations in my lifetime!!

The List...

1. My first destination of choice would be Hawaii. I have dreamt about travelling there, enjoying the sandy beaches and the clear blue water. Soaking up the culture and the sun while taking advantage of some vastly different opportunities such as camping at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park!

2. Second I would love to go to Australia. It has a uniqueness that can't be compared to anywhere else. It seems like such a friendly and welcoming location. They have beautiful beaches and again a very vibrant culture to learn about and immerse yourself in. I would love to experience the various wildlife that Australia has, Kangaroos, Koalas and of course the Platypus.

3. Barbados is a place that I have already been to. I loved it and would love to go again! I got to experience the beautiful white sand, the underground caves and the clear, blue ocean. I watched the Jolly Roger ship going by from the yard of the house I stayed at, and also watched the monkeys climbing through the trees. It is a place I will never forget and one day may be able to visit again!

4. Florida would be a great destination as well...and maybe more achievable;-) I do love to dream, and knowing that it was attainable would be great!! I would love to stay at some of the local beach fronts in Florida, maybe along the Key West, or Fort Myers Beach to name a few. Florida is a great place with so many different attractions to keep one busy and enjoying new experiences.

5. The last place that would be on my list would be Cuba. There are so many great deals that you can find online for the different resorts in the area. It is also a very inexpensive destination. To enjoy a week of just sitting on the beach, soaking up the sun and destressing my life...would feel like heaven!

Just The Tip of My Dreams!

This is just a little bit of what I am constantly dreaming!! I can't wait to enjoy these trips and share them with my readers.

Remember to dream big!! Dreams are thoughts that become reality when we put our minds to it!!

What are your dream destinations?

About the Author:

Ruth is a married working mom of 5 beautiful children. You can find Ruth at Mom's Musings on Twitter, her personal blog Mom's Musings and on Hubpages as ruthcpatton.

Canada Travels
Canada Travels

Top 10 Reasons to buy Travel Insurance

by Shan

There are hundreds of reasons that could force you to seek emergency medical treatment while travelling or that could cause you to cancel your trip or return home early.

To demonstrate the importance of purchasing travel insurance, here are some examples of what could go wrong during your trip:

1. You're involved in an accident and adequate medical treatment is not available. Who will help arrange and pay for medical evacuation?

2. It's your first visit to Europe, and your passport and wallet are stolen. Where do you turn to for emergency cash, and how will you get your passport replaced?

3. Your bag was lost with your medication inside. You need help locating your bag as soon as possible and having your emergency prescription filled.

4. You suffer from a leg fracture while skiing in Colorado. Who will pay for your $45,000 bill?

5. Your cruiseline, airline or tour operator goes bankrupt. Who will pay for your non-refundable expenses? Who will help get you to your destination?

6. You're walking down a street in Prague and twist your ankle. Who can help you find an English-speaking physician?

7. If an immediate family member becomes seriously ill and you must interrupt your trip, who will help you coordinate your return?

8. You arrive in Bermuda but your luggage doesn't. If it's lost, who will help you find it? If it's delayed, who will pay for your necessities? If it's stolen, who will pay to replace it?

9. You are retired and fall down the stairs in Florida and end up with a hip fracture. Who will pay for your medical bills and coordinate your air ambulance evacuation so you can be cared for in your province of residence?

10. Your baggage's arrived at the airport but are severely damaged. Who do you turn to for compensation? (or your bags are lost, like mine were!)

Have you ever been in any of these predicaments? I have! Thankfully when I was in the hospital in the US, I had purchased Travel Insurance. Same thing when the airline lost my bags!! I hear of all the horror stories how people just "popped" across the line for a quick trip, got injured or sick - ended up in a US hospital - and now have an astronomical bill outstanding. The average cost of a night in an American Hospital is between $5,000 - $10,000 A NIGHT!!!

My niece, who recently moved to the US, told me a story of a friend of hers, Canadians who were visiting friends in the US, she was pregnant and went into labour early. They had not purchased travel insurance prior to leaving Canada and the bill was $165,000!! How in the world does a young couple in their early 20's, just starting out in life with a new child, ever pay that back?!

It's not worth traveling without insurance. It's like playing Russian Roulette!!

Trust me, it's not worth the risk!

About the Author:

Shan is a married, work-at-home mother with 4 amazing kids. She is a social media butterfly and can be found on her personal blog Shasher's Life, her travel blog Canada Travels, Twitter, Facebook, Hubpages and LinkedIn.

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