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Travel Planning For Snowbirds

Published on October 8, 2017   Snowbirds Tips Travel

Many Manitobans choose to escape our winter months by heading down south. While it’s great to get away, it requires quite a bit of work to get ready to go away. Proper planning and organization will help you avoid any issues and helping to ensure your trip will end up going smoothly.

If you are going away for the first time this winter, this list may serve as a great resource for you. If you are an experienced snowbird, you might learn something new!

Pre-trip planning
Renting

If you are planning on renting a place for your winter get away, make sure you book early. Many long term rentals are booked up as early as a year in advance. Most experienced snowbirds who rent will continue to rent from the same place, so finding your rental early is key.

Insurance

If you are leaving the province for the winter then travel insurance is a must. No one expects to experience the need for medical attention while their away but unfortunately it does happen. Late summer or early fall is the best time to start looking at your travel insurance options. Make sure you deal with an insurance broker will give you several options and ensure you receive the best coverage for the best price.

Medications

If you take regular medications it is important that you ensure you have enough to cover you for the time you are away. It is also best to travel with the medications in their original containers that can be clearly identified, this will ensure you don’t have any trouble at the border.

Travel Documents

If you are leaving the country make sure your passport doesn’t expire while you are away. If your passport expires while you’re away it will create great difficulty to re-enter Canada.

Preparing your home
Home Insurance

Your insurance policy will have special requirements to ensure proper coverage if you are going away for an extended period of time. Most insurance policies will require for you to arrange someone to come and check up on your home every few days. You can also drain your water pipes and shut off your water, install a monitored low temp alarm.

Inspections

Since you will be gone during the winter months, you should arrange for someone to check up on your home to shovel snow, check for frozen pipes and check your mail for you. 

Fridge

Clean out your fridge and freezer prior to leaving of all your perishable items and also empty your freezer in case of a power outage.

Lights

If you can, set up some of your lights in your home on timers to help deter break-ins.

Vehicles

If you are leaving your cards at home, visit your insurance brokerage and switch your cars to storage coverage while you are away. This can save you money during those months and provide you with comprehensive coverage (theft, fire and vandalism).

Packing

Try not to pack to heavy. While traveling its common to end up over packing and bringing clothes that you will never wear. Since you will have access to laundry just bring what you need and travel light.

You may be headed to a tropical destination, but at times it can get cold in the evenings or during a rainy day. Make sure you pack yourself a light jacket and/or sweater.

A few other things to consider are: 

  • Chargers for your phones, tablets, laptop, etc
  • Bringing your own beach towels
  • Bring sports equipment such as golf clubs or tennis racquet, etc

We hope this brief list helps you have a more enjoyable time away!

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