Travel Preparation Tips for Snowbirds - A Quick Checklist
The reason I write travel tips hubs is because I enjoy traveling very much, although I have not been able to go on trips as much as I used to. I've long held the dream of becoming a Snowbird to escape the cold, dreary Canadian winters like others do. In fact, it is a fervent wish of mine and I can't help feeling jealous occasionally.
Since I'm not yet at the age of retirement, or at the savings and investment level to finance my Snowbird-ship, I live vicariously through those who are. I read the exciting accounts of others who are already wintering in other climes and living my dream life.
Also, I write travel tips. When my turn comes, I'll know what I need in order to enjoy stress-free winters in the sun.
Quick Checklist for Snowbirds
Okay, here, in no particular order, is a quick rundown of things you'll want to take care of before leaving home. To make it easier, you may want to print off this reminder list and add little check marks or stroke items off as you complete them.
[ ] Secure Your Permanent Residence
You don't want to return home to find that you've been burglarized or that a water pipe has burst. Arrange for a trusted friend, family member or neighbour to keep an eye on your house and property, bring in flyers, etc. You may want to turn off the water, as well.
If you don't know of anyone you feel comfortable enough with to leave this responsibility with, you can hire a bonded, reputable service for the job.
[ ] Share Your Itinerary
Pass along your travel plans, phone numbers, etc. to at least one other person. That way, if there is an emergency, you can be contacted.
[ ] Don't Make Your Absence Obvious
This is a no-brainer but don't tip off would-be robbers that you home is vacant. Stop your newspaper delivery, have the post office hold or forward your mail. Again, have whoever is taking care of your property bring in any hand-delivered flyers.
[ ] Take Precautionary Measures
Remember that trusted person in the first tip? Give them copies of your important personal and travel documents, and a contact list for your next of kin. Just in case. I always recommend adding your country's embassy or consulate address and phone numbers, so you and your contact back home have them handy if you run into trouble.
[ ] Notify Your Financial Institutions
It's a good idea to inform your bank and credit card companies that you'll be away, otherwise activity on your accounts may seem suspicious and result in a very inconvenient disruption of your services.
Purchase All the Travel Insurance You Need Before Leaving
[ ] Make Sure You're Covered
[ ] Prepare Medically
Are you due for any new or booster shots? Make sure to take care of any health follow-up appointments or checkups that you've been putting off, before leaving home.
Also, don't forget about filling your prescriptions, especially if you're going to a foreign country where you may not be able to access the meds you need. It's a good idea to check with each country's requirements for bringing in and carrying prescription medications. In some places, you are only allowed to take as many as you need for the trip and they must remain in their original container with the drugstore's label.
Double-Check Your Important Travel Documents
[ ] Double Check Your Travel Documents
Maybe this one should have been first.
Will your driver's license or passport expire while you're gone? Do you need specific documentation to enter and enjoy an extended stay in the country you're traveling to? How about financial records to prove to customs officials that you can finance your winter visit? Find out what you need well in advance, so you have time to prepare the necessary paperwork.
Enjoy Your Winter Away From the Snow and Cold!
I hope these eight travel tips for Snowbirds and other seniors escaping the cold, help you prepare well for a fantastic trip. For me, this checklist is another tool waiting for me to use once I'm free to follow the sun and fun, all winter long. Meantime, it just gets me excited about the day that I'll be able to count myself as one of you.
Something Else to Consider....
Important Information for U.S. Residents
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