Tired of horrendous winters? Just need a change of scenery? Have you considered becoming a snowbird? Being a snowbird (a person who moves south during the winter months) can be an amazing, enjoyable experience, but is it right for you? This list of the pros and cons of going south for the winter provides you with a lot to consider so you can decide if skipping the winter and enjoying the sunshine is right for you!
If you have an adventurous spirit, snowbirding can be one of the most enjoyable things you’ve ever done in your life! If you know you’d like to move around, don’t commit to one location! Move around every once in a while and explore new places! Next year, you can choose a new location across the country and start fresh, especially when you have the convenience of traveling with an RV! Florida is a great place to set up camp and take tons of day trips!
Change Of Scenery
If you just like variety in your life, being a snowbird can provide the change that you’ve always craved! Tired of Michigan scenery? Enjoy the Everglades of Florida or the beautiful deserts of Arizona! Tired of your neighbors? Meet some new ones, and other friends along the way! For most, heading South leads to a feeling of having a more well-rounded life!
Potentially Less Dangerous
It’s just a fact that winter conditions are more dangerous that non-winter ones! Icy roads can lead to horrific accidents, and slipping and falling on ice can lead to permanent injury! And depending on your age, shoveling snow may not be physically feasible anymore (not that anyone ever really enjoyed doing it anyway!) Move somewhere warm and you won’t have to worry about cold-weather mishaps!
Experience New Things
Perhaps one of the best things about being a snowbird is the new life experiences you’ll enjoy! Want to immerse yourself in some new customs or culture? Pack up and enjoy! Our beautiful country features countless different traditions, cultures, and ways of life so you can get out there and try some new foods, meet new people, see some unforgettable sights, or anything your heart desires! Now is the time to experience all the things you’ve been putting off your whole life!
What’s Holding You Back?
Life is different for everyone, but you’ll have to evaluate your circumstances and ask yourself, "What’s stopping me?". Most snowbirds are retirees, so you won’t have to worry about a job holding you down! If you’re a young snowbird (yes, they exist!), chances are you’ll work remotely or you can get a "workamping" job, so what’s the holdup? These are the best years of your life, and there are always a million reasons to not do something, so take the time to think of yourself for a change and live life the way you’ve always wanted to!
It’s a Lot Of Work
Generally speaking, being a snowbird is a lot of work! There is a vast checklist of huge details to work over and loose ends to tie up, and you’ll want to consider if you’re up to it! For a number of couples, this can lead to some frustrations especially when one half usually takes the brunt of the responsibility while the other tends to kick back and hope for the best. It’s a huge responsibility that you’ll have to deal with twice a year. Can you handle it?
You’ll Have To Maintain Two Households
Regardless of if you snowbird in an RV or not, you’ll still have to maintain both your current vacation residence and your permanent residence back home, which can be stressful. Of course, it will be easy to keep things clean and maintained in your RV, but what about your home that you left behind? You’ll have to ensure that your thermostat is set at the correct temperature, all systems are in working order, and you’ll have to enlist the help of a friend or two to get your mail, shovel your sidewalks if necessary, take care of your pets if you can’t bring them along, and just periodically check up on your house to make sure it hasn’t been broken into and that no damage has occurred.
It Can Be Expensive
Between travel costs, ensuring your RV and tow vehicle are in perfect working order for travel, rental fees, and other expenses, if you aren’t savvy about your costs, the price of snowbirding could cost more than your budget will be happy with. Another thing to consider is that depending on where you choose, cost of living could be dramatically more expensive, including groceries and gas, so you may have to consider that as well.
Aside from the costs of getting there and staying there, again, you’ll have to take your permanent residence into consideration. You will have to pay insurance for both an RV and a house, and depending on your situation, you may have to pay a homeowner’s association fee as well, potentially for both locations! Again, depending on your situation and location, you may be responsible for paying income tax in both locations, which is certainly less than ideal! Luckily, a lot of this is situational and you may not have to deal with these problems!
Like Your Location
If you’re new to snowbirding, it may not be wise to purchase a rental property or RV plot without first experiencing what your stay is going to be like! You’ll want to make sure that you like the area, like the process of travel, and that it’s a lifestyle you can get on board with!
Likewise, you’ll have to consider your location and price point. Many areas of Florida are extremely popular, and you’ll have to make a reservation and commit to a high-profile, crowded RV park, if those are your tastes. What happens if you don’t like the park or your neighbors? Other RV parks in popular cities are more than likely completely booked for the season, and what can you do? Luckily you can get around this if you’re traveling with an RV, as you can see if state parks or other campgrounds have vacancies, but it may not be as glamorous as an RV park, and it may destroy your budget!
What do you think? Does the snowbird lifestyle sound good to you? Ultimately, the decision to embark on this journey is entirely up to you, and what may work for some people may not work for you! Just take all these pros and cons of going south for the winter into consideration to help! Are you excited to be a snowbird, or is the lifestyle just not for you? What other factors did you consider? Leave us a comment and let us know!