5 Important Lessons I Learned on How to Be a Snowbird


At some point, anyone who has lived through a Northeastern, Midwestern, or Canadian winter has likely dreamed of escaping sub-zero temperatures, three feet of snow, power outages, and ice-covered windshields for warmer climates. 

Unfortunately, the demands of modern life mean these dreams are usually indefinitely put on hold for most people. However, many others are able to turn such dreams into reality, at least for part of the year. These people are "snowbirds," flocking south to places like Arizona and Florida in the colder seasons until their home states (or Canadian provinces) thaw in the spring.

Millions of people from the U.S. and Canada count themselves as snowbirds, heading south every year –– usually by car or RV –– around Thanksgiving time, and then returning home around Memorial Day, before it gets too hot (in Arizona) and humid (in Florida).

Learn How To Be a Snowbird

It sounds fun, right? You get the best of the Southwest or Southeast and escape the worst, and vice versa with regards to the North. It certainly helps make getting through the winter much easier.

While you would think that becoming a snowbird itself is easy, there is actually a fair bit of preparation involved. It's time to take a look at what's been learned about how to be a snowbird to ensure you're fully prepared when it's finally your turn to spread your wings and fly (or drive) south for the winter.

Decide Where To Live As a Snowbird

The first thing you must do, obviously, is figure out where you want to spend your winters. You might think that your best bet is a place you've already vacationed at, and that very well might be the best. However, is it a suitable long-term (three or more months) community for you? 

Visiting somewhere can be very different from actually living there. Stop and think about your plans. Does your preferred locale fit your personality and lifestyle? Will you be able to make the most of living near Walt Disney World for several months out of the year, even if your friends are enjoying weekly dinners together across the country in Tucson, AZ?

Decide Whether To Rent or Buy As a Snowbird

Once you've decided where you'll (probably) be for the winter, your next step is a big one: Deciding whether to rent a home for a few months, or buy one that you can return to each year. If you're snowbirding in a city or region you're not that familiar with, it makes more sense to rent –– for at least your first winter –– to see if the location is a good fit. 

If you've already decided a certain place is right for you, then you might want to take the leap and buy a second home for the winter. You'll still need to keep in mind what you'll do with the place after you go home in the spring, but that's a question you can find the answer to later on.

What About Your Home To the North?

However, a similar issue those wondering how to be a snowbird must deal with is what to do with their homes to the north while they're away. It's not like you're going on a short vacation; you're going to be gone for a quarter of the year, at a minimum. 

Do you have family members or friends who are willing to check up on your primary residence even in chilly weather, while you're down south soaking up the sun? Will you forward your mail to your home to the south, or choose to deal with it all when you return? Also, keep in mind that your solutions for what to do with your primary house to the North can help you decide what to do with your residence in the South once snowbird season ends!

How To Stay a Healthy Snowbird

What if you get sick or injured while far from home? If you're 65 or older, Medicare will cover you if you need medical attention, but still do research before you go. If you're too young for Medicare, you'll need to check with your insurance provider to see what will be covered in the event you need medical care wherever you happen to be. 

Get doctor recommendations from your neighbors or new friends you make. It's better to get this all worked out ahead of time, if only for peace of mind.

How To Be a Happy Snowbird

You now know how to be a snowbird, but how can you enjoy the experience to its fullest? Get to know people, make new friends, and really think of wherever you are for the winter as "home." Become part of the community, introduce yourself to the neighbors, and live life to the fullest. After all, isn't "living life to the fullest" in winter the reason you wanted to become a snowbird to begin with?

Flock To the South in a Cruise America RV

If knowing how to be a snowbird makes you want to actually become one, there's something else you should know: Snowbirds and RVs were practically made for each other! 

And, there's no better way to drive south for the winter than in your own RV. Cruise America can get you on the road in a pre-loved RV in comfort and style. Contact Cruise America today to see about procuring your own affordable RV. The sooner you do, the sooner you can join the rest of the snowbirds living it up in the sun while everyone else back home freezes their buns off!