Top tips for snowbirds to plan your “non-snowbird” travel

Travel planning tips for Canadian snowbirds

LAST UPDATED: May 12, 2022

For many snowbirds, escaping to popular snowbird destinations over the winter isn’t the only travelling they do.

In fact, many snowbirds are enjoying the freedom that goes along with a retired or semi-retired lifestyle to travel multiple times during the year, taking trips that include cruises, bucket list destinations and more.

If you’re a snowbird who likes to travel beyond your usual annual winter migration, here are some options, insights and tips to help you plan your “non-snowbird” travel.

In addition, Snowbird Advisor recently launched a new Travel Affinity Program - through a partnership with Merit Travel - to help Snowbird Advisor members with all their travel planning and booking needs.

This full-service travel program offers Snowbird Advisor members special offers, discounts, promotions and concierge service, as well as expert advice to help seniors, singles and people with mobility issues travel with ease. 

What are the hottest types of travel for snowbirds?

Snowbirds by definition like to travel, and many enjoy new adventures and exploring new places.

Most snowbirds are also at the stage of their lives where they are taking bucket list trips and exotic river and ocean cruises - or taking their extended families on special vacations together. Some prefer to travel as part of a group while others like to do their own thing.

Here’s a list of the top types of travel and vacation snowbirds are currently interested in:

  • River Cruises - In many ways, river cruises have become the favourite way of touring Europe - as well as some other areas of the world. Travelling by river takes you right through the heart of the countryside, as well as historic towns and cities along the way. The Rhone, Rhine, Seine and Danube are favourite rivers in Europe. It’s also an ideal way to travel because you don’t have to pack and unpack and it allows you to explore each day and travel by night while you are sleeping – or enjoying a meal and a drink.
  • Ocean Cruises – Ocean cruises were hit hard by the pandemic but have now become hugely popular once again.  A wonderful way to explore the world, today’s cruise ships are also a destination themselves with so many things to do onboard. The experiences range from budget to luxury and you can take advantage of as many activities as you like – or none!  

    You can choose many different durations from 3 & 4 - night cruises to one or two weeks, to several months. Like river cruises, you have the benefit of not having to pack and unpack each time you move to a new destination.  

    Some of the more popular cruise destinations for snowbirds include the Caribbean, Hawaii, the Mexican Riviera, Panama Canal, the Mediterranean, Asia, the Arctic and the Pacific.
  • Bucket List Trips - Many snowbirds are in the process of ticking off special trips that are on their bucket list. Often these are trips they would not have had time for when they were younger - or trips they could not afford back then.

    Bucket list trips don’t necessarily have to be hugely expensive or grand – what they are is personal and important to YOU. Sometimes it’s a trip to the land of your ancestors, or just somewhere you never had a chance to go. For others, it is the trip of a lifetime to see the ancient ruins of Egypt, the Great Wall of China, or cities like Athens and Rome. Or perhaps an African Safari or trekking in Machu Picchu.
  • Luxury Travel – More and more people are splurging on travel now that the pandemic is calming down and they can travel again. There is pent-up demand – and many would-be travellers are sitting on travel budgets that have not been spent for a couple of years.

    This has resulted in a trend where many travellers are now upgrading their vacation experiences and splurging on business class flights or luxury hotels. And with a little planning and expert advice, luxury travel doesn’t necessarily have to break the bank.
  • Group Travel - While some snowbirds like to do their own thing and avoid joining a group to travel, others prefer being in a group, meeting new people and enjoying having everything pre-arranged for them. In fact, there are some places you just aren’t able to travel to on your own.

    There are many benefits to taking escorted tours and travelling with a small – or larger - group, including having an experienced guide who knows the places you would never find on your own and not having to figure out where you are going or how to get there.
  • Single Travellers - Travelling solo can be a challenge unless you are an experienced traveller - and you enjoy the solitude. Most single travellers can benefit greatly by getting some expert advice when planning a trip. 

    Some companies offer special pricing for singles, while others specialize in organizing small groups for singles. These trips can be a great way to meet new people and if you’re lucky, make lifelong friends.

Travel tips and trends for snowbirds

If you are looking to travel again soon, you’re not alone - everyone else has the same idea!  There is a huge demand for travel everywhere now that people feel safe venturing out again. Here’s what you’ll need to think about when planning your trips in the coming months – and beyond:

  • Prices have gone up – In many cases, the cost of travel has increased dramatically – in part because of high demand but also because fuel costs have almost doubled and labour costs have gone up. This trend is expected to continue for the foreseeable future, so the sooner you book, the sooner you can lock in your price in most instances.
  • Plan well ahead - All types of travel are getting booked up quickly, even for trips several months or more than a year down the road, so it’s very important to book well ahead or you may be out of luck. Besides, once you book, you'll have something on the calendar to look forward to!
  • Use an expert travel advisor - There is so much to navigate today when it comes to travelling, including COVID entry and testing rules, cancellation policies, flight time changes and limited availability. More than ever before, we cannot stress enough the importance and value of having an expert travel advisor involved in the planning and booking of your trips. And if you run into an issue they will be there to assist you rather than having to navigate your issues on your own.

Take advantage of Snowbird Advisor’s travel affinity program

As mentioned previously, Snowbird Advisor’s new Travel Affinity Program provides our members, with access to special discounts and promotions on select travel offerings and allows you to enjoy the services of travel experts to help you plan and book your trips.  

Travelling today and be complicated and consulting a Snowbird Advisor Travel Affinity Program expert can help save you hours of time and frustration when planning and booking your next vacation!

Our new Travel Affinity Program includes the following features and benefits:

  • Special discounts and offers for Snowbird Advisor members
  • Travel concierge experts for every type of travel
  • Expertise in assisting travellers with mobility issues
  • Escorted tours for singles and seniors

You can learn more about Snowbird Advisor’s new Travel Affinity Program here.

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