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Snowbirds – The Long Trip Home

Snowbirds – The Long Trip Home

March 13, 2020

Spring has officially arrived, the warmer weather will be returning to our northern states, and it is time for the snowbirds to start their long trip home. If you are one of the people lucky enough to live the snowbird lifestyle, you know that although the benefits are many, the transition between one domicile and the other can be daunting and exhausting. From closing down your winter home to re-establishing yourself in your old routine, a snowbird heading back north is a lot different than simply returning from a vacation. Nothing can make this process easy, but having a checklist helps, so we have complied on for you.

Closing Down Your Winter Home

  • Arrange for the occasional care of your winter home. Although you may not require someone regularly, it is always good for someone to check in from time to time, to make sure nothing is wrong inside your house. If you need lawn and yard maintenance while you are away, it is better to start trying to find a property manager or a service earlier than later.
  • Send notices for discontinuing water, electricity, cable, and internet.
  • Update any forwarding information with the post office.
  • Clean out the refrigerator and pantries. Everything perishable should be eaten or thrown out, and donating unused canned or paper goods is something nice you can do for your winter community.
  • Make sure all windows are locked and that the locks are in good condition.
  • Strip beds, cover upholstered furniture with tarps or drop cloths, wash and thoroughly dry all laundry, and organize linen cabinets.
  • Hang shutters where applicable.
  • Unplug all electronics, including light sources.



Road Readiness

Not everyone travels home the same way, so from this list, find the items that pertain to you and add special tasks that may pertain to you but are not listed.

  • If you are flying, book your tickets well in advance to avoid unnecessary spending, confirm your reservations the week of your travel, and check-in online 24 hours before your flight.
  • If you are driving, ready your vehicle with routine maintenance, making sure items like your spare tire are in perfect condition and that all hoses and belts are free of cracking and bulging.
  • If you are flying, plan for the transportation of bulky items or your vehicle.
  • If you are driving, measure your cargo space and plan for the transportation of any items that you do not want to have, or do not fit, in the vehicle.
  • If you are driving, check the weather for your estimated time of travel and make sure you have the clothing that is most appropriate, easily accessible. Investigate alternative travel routes in case of unexpected, severe weather conditions on the way.
  • Car drivers should book accommodations for the places they predict to be stopping on their journey.
  • Refill any medications you or your pet may need.

Get Home Prepared

Going home after months away is not only about the place we leave behind but making sure the place we are going is waiting for us in the condition we need it to be.

  • Make sure your home has been de-winterized before your arrival.
  • Make sure your HVAC and plumbing systems are functioning, and your utilities have been restored.
  • Remind friends and neighbors that you will be returning.


With a little preparation and forethought, coming home, although an enormous task, can be fun and seamless.

For any other advice or questions about enjoying your retirement, contact us directly or visit our website at

The views expressed are not necessarily the opinion of Social Advisors, and should not be construed directly or indirectly, as an offer to buy or sell any securities mentioned herein. Due to volatility within the markets mentioned, opinions are subject to change without notice.  Information is based on sources believed to be reliable; however, their accuracy or completeness cannot be guaranteed.