Whether you embrace the term whole-heartedly or it makes you cringe, the decision to move to warmer weather each winter makes you a “snowbird.”
People take this opportunity to enjoy a second home, live with family, or stay with friends for many reasons. You might need the warmer climates for your health, enjoy your retirement, or travel to see places you’ve always want to visit.
When you move south for the winter for a semi-permanent relocation, you’ll want some items to come along. That’s why this packing list is an essential guide that you’ll want to bookmark today.
What You Need for a Successful Trip to the Warm Weather
Once you know that you’ve got everything for your trip, it is much easier to focus on having fun and relaxing. That’s why you’ll want to double-check these categories before moving for the winter.
1. Clothes for every climate.
The winter months are typically warmer in the south, but that outcome isn’t guaranteed. You’ll want to bring shorts, capris, and khakis for the nice days and some thermals to layer on the cold ones. Although Florida and Arizona typically stay near 55°F or warmer in January, it can get below freezing when a cold front decides to blow through the area.
2. Equipment for your hobbies.
Life as a snowbird means you have time to pursue hobbies and recreational activities during the winter months. If you have something that interests you, the equipment should get packed for your trip. That means your golf clubs, camera equipment, painting gear, and other items can either fly or drive with you.
If space is limited for your trip down south, you can ship the items to your new address. You also have the option to hire professional movers to transport your items.
3. All of your essential electronics.
It wasn’t that long ago when snowbirds were packing GPS devices, portable televisions, alarm clocks, stereos, and more into a trunk for the trip south. All of that stuff is now contained in your smartphone! When you think of today’s electronics, you should bring cases, chargers, computers, fitness trackers, and anything else that you use regularly.
4. Pack all of your medications.
If you are moving south for the winter, don’t forget to transfer your prescriptions to a local pharmacy. Your other option is to have your doctor authorize a 3-month or a 6-month supply that you transport to your new home. When you have items in the Schedule II category, trying to get an emergency supply while traveling can feel like an impossible experience.
This option may not be available if you travel overseas for your winter home. You’ll need to update your health insurance records, print a doctor’s authorization, and have your medical records faxed to your next provider.
5. Bring your relevant documents.
You’ll need all of your paperwork when traveling south for the winter. That means your identification, passport, rental leases, and insurance information should be readily available. If you want to reduce the risk of having these items get lost, you might upload digital versions to the cloud or your smartphone.
6. Don’t forget about your pets!
Pets are part of the family. When you get ready to leave for the winter, they’re likely coming along for the trip. Once you’ve got your prescriptions ready for the journey, please remember to contact your veterinarian to get the necessary medication for your pet.
Where you plan to live might also require proof of your pet’s vaccination records. That means you’ll need to show their current status or schedule an appointment to get everything updated when you arrive. Most communities require you to buy an annual pet license, so make sure you’ve budgeted that expense.
7. Take your cooking supplies.
Some people take everything from the espresso machine to the microwave when they head to the warmer temperatures each year. You don’t need to bring the small appliances (they’re available when you arrive), but it does help to take a few essentials. If you have a cast-iron pan, a saucepan, and a griddle, you can handle most cooking needs.
Don’t forget about your other belongings up north! When you move south for the winter, your previous home becomes a potential target for trespassers. Although a home security system is helpful, you might want to keep your valuables in temporary storage to ensure their protection. Once you’ve taken these steps, you’re ready to enjoy the warm weather at your preferred destination!