10 Important Travel Tips for Snowbirds Flocking South this Winterby Craig Sutton • February 03, 2017
More than one million Canadian seniors head south each year, and this number only continues to rise. Snowbirds, who are often retired and have no desire to deal with the cold Canadian winter, prefer to spend their time down south in warmer regions in the southern United States such as Florida, Arizona, and Texas. Some even spend their winters in Mexico and other Central American countries.
Who wants to have to deal with shovelling snow, icy roads, and slippery conditions, when they could be walking on the beach, right?
Travel Planning Is Extremely Important
Considering the age of many snowbirds, the length of time they are travelling (often up to 4 months), health considerations, and other factors, they are faced with a number of important decisions when planning their trip. Think about how much thought you put into travel planning for a one week vacation. Can you imagine how much more you need to consider when planning for a few months away from home?
Would you need or benefit from in-home care or even just a caring helper while in the U.S. for the winter? Our partner site ElderCare.com helps you to easily find & hire excellent senior care providers almost anywhere in the U.S and Canada including popular snowbird destinations like Jacksonville, Florida, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Tucson, Arizona and Galveston, Texas.
You can start the process from the comfort of your home, find the caregivers that meet your qualifications, narrow your list down to a few candidates, then interview them once you reach your southern destination. Here’s a list of 44 example senior care provider interview questions to help you out.
Canadian Snowbird Travel Tips
If you typically head south for the winter, we’ve put together a list of important tips that serve as a reminder and can help you when you are planning your trip.
1. Talk to your doctor
Health always plays a big role in travel planning for seniors. Therefore, one of the first things you need to do before you book accommodations is to see your doctor to make sure you are healthy enough to travel. If you have a pre-existing condition or physical limitation, talk with your doctor about ways to manage it while travelling.
2. Get your medical records and medication organized
Since you will be outside the country for an extended period of time, it’s important to travel with a copy of your medical records and make sure your medication and prescriptions are taken care of before you depart.
3. Book your trip early
If you already know the dates you plan to travel, start exploring your options as soon as possible. This will give you more time to research, take advantage of travel deals and get organized. Plus, you will also have more time to get everything else organized.
4. Invest in travel insurance
Having a reliable travel insurance policy is a must for snowbirds. It not only provides you with peace of mind in knowing that you are covered for things like travel delays and lost baggage, it also ensures you can get access to high quality medical care should you need to see a doctor or have a medical emergency. Without travel insurance, a simple trip to the hospital could end up costing you thousands of dollars.
5. Organize paperwork and travel documents
To ensure you get through customs without issues, it’s important to make sure you have your documentation in order. You could be asked to produce paperwork about your travel plans, accommodations, and even prescriptions for your medication. Have it ready and accessible when crossing the border.
6. Organize your finances
While it may have been more challenging in the past, online banking has made managing your finances much easier. Before leaving for your trip, make sure you either pay your bills, set up pre-authorized payments or have access to your bills online. It is also a good idea to talk with your bank and credit card company about your options for accessing funds when in the U.S.
7. Make sure your home is cared for while you’re away
While you are enjoying your time on the beach, you can’t completely forget about what is happening at home. Since you’ll be away for a long period of time, it’s a good idea to get a house sitter or find someone you can trust to care for your home (picking up the mail, property maintenance, making sure your home is safe and secure).
8. Make a list
Having a list of travel necessities will make the packing process much easier. Rather than trying to remember if you have everything you need, all you need to do is follow your list. Have your partner or someone else review the list to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything, and check off items as you pack them in your suitcase.
9. Research your travel destination
Research your travel destination beyond booking accommodations and finding a few places to see. Doing more thorough research and making note of the nearest hospital, grocery stores, theatres, coffee shops, and other places you may visit frequently will help you get a better sense of the area before you arrive.
10. Double check everything!
Amid the excitement of packing and looking forward to your trip, it can be easy to overlook something. This is why it’s very important to take some time to double check everything – your documents, luggage, travel plans, and make sure you have everything in order.
Following these tips will help you be better prepared for your trip down south and ensure you have a safe, relaxing and worry free time enjoying the warm weather while the rest of us deal with the snow and cold temperatures here in Canada.
ElderCare.com offers families & individuals looking for senior care a safe way to connect with a network of compassionate caregivers offering home care, nursing, companionship, respite care and other senior support services. So whether you need an elderly care job or looking to hire a caregiver— ElderCare.com is the #1 way families find compassionate and trusted senior care in over 30,000 cities across North America!
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