As I sit on our lanai in Maui, I close my eyes and breathe in the sweet plumeria scented air, while listening to the pounding of the surf, and the mina birds' plaintiff calls.
As I come out of my glorious self imposed meditation, the headlines of the Vancouver Sun catch my eye. "Another storm, Another Weather Warning", I read. And then "We've been blown away by the wind, blanketed with snow, and drenched with relentless rain." The writer, Glenn Bohn, goes on to say "Environment Canada issued yet another weather warning for the Lower mainland Wednesday, this time about the frigid air coming in from the Arctic".
Should I feel guilty that I have escaped this terrible fate or just relieved and grateful that we are able to be snowbirds in this, our very favourite home away from home?
We are not alone in our need to escape the Winter, and as the baby boomers come up to retirement age more and more people are flying south. "Where do they go ?" and "Where do they stay?" are questions you might ask.
We know many Canadians who like to drive across the border in their RVs and head for Arizona, Nevada or Mexico. These people have their home with them so do not have the extra worry of finding affordable accommodations. If you are not an RV person and you find that you would like to spend at least 4 months a year in warmer climes, then how can you find an affordable place to rent? Renting from an owner has become a popular way to solve this problem. It is possible to find vacation rentals in Arizona, Nevada and Mexico that are affordable for long term rentals.
Many snowbirds on the eastern coast of Canada and the US, like to get away to Florida, as it is easy for them to drive there. This is especially attractive for those who dislike flying. But however you get there, you must now find lodgings that are affordable and comfortable. An example of such a place is a condo in Clearwater that you can rent from the owner for a very reasonable monthly rate.
Then of course there is the enticing Caribbean, offering many fabulous villas which allow a winter get-a-way with your family or friends. Yes these places are more expensive, however if you are sharing the cost with others, it is possible to pamper yourself and enjoy a luxurious vacation.
Now we are back to Hawaii, our favourite snowbird destination. Whichever Hawaiian island that you choose, you can be assured that the weather will always average at least 80 degrees over the winter months. We used to own a condo in Maui, but for the last 3 years have rented from owners for at least 3 months each Winter. Even if you are just a snowbird for 2 or 3 weeks, it helps you to get through the winter. There are many Hawaii vacation rentals to be found and it is nice to know that you can rent from an owner for a fraction of the cost of staying in a hotel. Taking your family is much more affordable when you can cook most of your own meals, and have comfortable accommodations for everyone.
So where have all the snowbirds gone? South of course. If you can suggest any other good places for snowbirds please leave a comment.