The original snowbird or snow bunting is also known as a variable junco or a dark-eyed junco. The songbird has a white belly and brown upper body. But that’s not exactly what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about typically grey-haired retirees who, like their avian counterparts, head south when the freezing temperatures wrap their cold fists around the northern parts of the country.
Human snowbirds are usually couples or groups of friends who go on extended trips to popular snowbird destinations such as Florida, Texas and Arizona in search of warmer climates. Warmer climates are much easier to tolerate when arthritis sets into their joints and bones.
Steps to Becoming a Snowbird
The snowbird lifestyle holds much allure, even for people with a few good years to go before they reach retirement age. But don’t let that hold you back. You can easily try on the snowbird life for yourself. Take the family and get out in nature, making some memories.
For some, the snowbird lifestyle just happens. The better balance of work and play tends to encourage better health and wellness. But for most of us, it takes a bit of planning. So, how do you plan to become a snowbird?
Decide that it is do-able. You don’t have to be a retiree to be a snowbird. With the increase in flexible work hours and remote workplaces, most of us are no longer chained to desks and set work hours.
Decide how long you’re going for. Many people decide to become annual snowbirds after their first winter trip to the south. But some decide not to return home and instead set up home in the south. You may have to do a few trips to make sure the lifestyle suits you.
Decide where you’ll live. Whether it’s for a few weeks in winter, the whole winter, or every year, you need to decide where you want to live. That goes for both the area and the actual home.
Snowbird Accommodation and Transport: To Rent or Buy?
Two of the biggest decisions (since they can contribute to costs) are transport and accommodation. Most snowbirds either take the long drive south in their RVs, or save on wear and tear by making use of car shipping services. If the RV lifestyle doesn’t suit you, you will have to think about renting or buying accommodation.
Then there’s the fact that you need access to your own car if you truly want to enjoy the many opportunities the typical snowbird locations offer. It can be difficult to maneuver a large RV around tight parking spaces, and your normal car also uses much less gas. So you have the option of driving down in your car and ship your RV (or vice versa), or buying a new car when you arrive at your destination. If you’re not staying permanently, you will have to look into storage.
These are some of the options to consider when you’re heading south for the winter.