Snowbird life hacks — tips and considerations for a hassle-free snowbird lifestyle.
There are many retired people who own an RV that is winterized and stored through the cold winter season. Some of these folks have thought of becoming a Snowbird and fleeing south when the cold weather blankets their northern abode. There appears to be two main reasons they choose not to make the leap, family ties and financial feasibility.
Well, involvement with family, especially through the holiday period, is certainly a valid reason. However, the ability to fly home for a special event is certainly a good option, albeit at an added cost. And, speaking of cost, how can one justify carrying the costs for two living locations? After all, while you are in the south you still must carry the overhead of your home. Sounds expensive!
Snowbird Cost Cutting
While it seems that two locations would amount to two times the cost, it may not be true. In accessing your winter migration budget the following considerations must be made.
- Your home grocery costs will follow you, amounting to little change. Actually, down south may be less costly, as the increase in seasonal population in many southern destinations often leads to price cutting in both food stores and restaurant offerings.
- Your home utilities, electric, gas, and water will be substantially reduced as the house will be empty. The hot water tank can be turned off and the furnace thermostat can be reduced to a minimum value.
- TV cable, phone, and internet may be suspended or reduced depending on your supplier’s policies. Satellite services may be able to travel with you using the same receiver and programming as at home.
- Any vehicles left at home can have the insurance reduced to storage comprehensive only.
- Your monthly gasoline and auto maintenance budget also travels with you.
- Any snow removal costs, if applicable, are gone.
- All other expenses such as entertainment, miscellaneous, etc, also go with you.
Your additional expenses of course will be the travel costs down and back plus the monthly campsite charges.
One great advantage to this is, if you already own an RV, you can try it for one season and see how it works. There is no long commitment like buying or leasing a home.
Alright, you are going to give it a shot! To get the most out of this you need to also make the traveling down and back part of this adventure. Make your days short. Stop and stay in some of the many unique parks and villages the route provides.
Some Quick Travel Tips:
- Watch the weather forecasts and travel in the best weather window opportunities.
- Travel during the daylight only otherwise you will miss the enjoyment of the scenery and will feel this is more chore than pleasure.
- Be prepared to hold up for a day or two should the weather turn bad or you find attractions along the way to want to enjoy longer.
- Reserve a site early at your selected RV park. During peak season they fill up quickly.
Wintering in the south in your RV has an additional advantage. You get increased use and pleasure from your RV investment.
Peter Mercer — With a Seasonal Choice