A Guide To Snowbirding
Posted by Tom Westley on
For those unfamiliar with the term, a ‘snowbird’ is someone who resides in a colder climate and moves to a temporary RV residence in a warmer area for parts of the year. At Salish, we often find our park filled up with snowbirds coming down from the colder regions of Canada to enjoy the sights, sounds, and glorious weather on Vancouver Island.
This isn’t surprising given that a significant portion of snowbirds in North America come from Canada! Whether you’re a complete novice or a frequent traveller — this handy guide will take you through some of the benefits, helpful tips, and why you should choose Vancouver Island as your snowbird destination.
The Benefits Of A Snowbird Lifestyle
Escape The Cold
Escaping the colder weather isn’t just a matter of comfort and enjoyment, for older snowbirds it can be a true lifesaver. As the winter weather encroaches, the risk of slipping on ice, the effects of seasonal illnesses, and the limitations it creates when it comes to enjoying outdoor activities can all have an adverse effect on your health. It’s no surprise then that studies have shown snowbirds rated their own health higher than those who stayed at home in the winter months.
Beyond the health benefits, escaping the colder weather also means more opportunities for enjoying the world around you. Whether you’re keen to get out into nature, socialise with barbecues and parties, or you enjoy a spot of cycling or other outdoor sports — snowbirding turns all of these into a year-long proposition.
Home Away From Home
Despite the more nomadic trappings of the lifestyle, snowbirds often find themselves returning to the same spots each year. This is because of the sense of community and familiarity the lifestyle creates, you’ll find new neighbours, travel companions, and friends. As well as building your own second home in a new and exciting location.
While many snowbirds choose to leave their homes unoccupied, or with guests, for some there is also the potential to gain a second source of income — by renting out your home during the months you’re away. This is especially true if you live in an area with a nearby university or where short term rentals are in high-demand.
Useful Tips For Snowbirds
When it comes to travelling south for the winter, there’s a lot for snowbirds to consider whether it’s choosing the right location, prepping your vehicle, safeguarding your home, or one of the many other essential preparation steps. This guide will take you through some of the key steps for making your life easier before and after you leave.
Make Sure Your Home Is In Good Hands
The best advice for anyone leaving their home for a significant amount of time is to make sure it isn’t entirely unoccupied. Whether you ask one of your neighbours to check in periodically, or you ask someone to take a more long-term housesitting role. No matter what you choose, you should take steps to make it appear as if the house is unoccupied at all times, and ensure you have security systems and alarms in place. Some helpful steps you can take are, cancelling or redirecting your mail, leaving shutters and blinds partially open, and hiring someone to clean out snow or leaves from your driveway.
Your vehicle is undoubtedly going to need to be safeguarded against the changes in temperature and atmosphere as you travel south. And, even when you do reach your destination you should prepare for milder evenings and potential extremes. For your RV, this could mean adding foam insulation around the water supply lines and hoses. And for you, it means packing a wardrobe that prepares for every eventuality!
Why Choose Vancouver Island
When it comes to travelling south for the winter the traditional destinations of choice have often been in the United States, however recently Canadians are opting for something a little closer to home. Vancouver Island is an increasingly popular destination for those looking for a snowbird destination inside of Canada.
It has the benefits of a mild but still warm climate, one that will suit all visitors. This climate allows you to enjoy the spectacular scenery on the island, whether it’s heading in to bask in the towering waterfalls, or taking in the many sea views. There are also a tremendous number of outdoor activities for snowbirds to enjoy including fishing, climbing, cycling, sailing, and much more!
Vancouver Island also boasts a wide selection of great RV parks that can accommodate snowbird travellers. This includes our own Salish Seaside Haven, however, you shouldn’t leave it too late. Our places are filling up fast, book now to ensure your "nest" is ready for you at Salish for the winter.