Snowbirds...where to start.
I was layed off recently and starting to think about doing some traveling to warmer climates. I have very little experience traveling outside Canada.
I'm looking at either a long road trip through southern U.S. or a couple months further south.
My problem is the high cost of accommodations. Staying at hotels for $100.00/night doesn't make much sense.
So what's my starting point to get decent accommodations at reasonable rates.
If I go with the road trip, I was thinking AirBNB...only problem I could see with this is that you have to stick to a strict schedule (most places offer no refunds unless you cancel 5 days in advance).
If I opt for longer term at 1 specific place outside U.S., what would be the recommended way of getting accommodations? (appt rental, time share rental, bed and breakfast ??) . Any recommendations for web sites?
How did existing snowbirds start out when planning their trips south?
We've taken this everywhere from Mexico to PEI to Florida Keys etc for years. No bed bugs,schedule,bad food or limits to your stay. Noisy neighbor? Just start engine & leave.
Last edited by Eder; 2017-01-25 at 11:39 AM.
CRAIGSLIST-search furnished apts wherever you want to go for warm weather.
Originally Posted by frdm45
You don't need a big RV. Look for a small used 22 to 24 foot class C. Fair mileage, comfortable travel and lots of overnight options from free to expensive.
I would say that what Eder proposes is a lifestyle choice. Some people love the whole RV experience, others don't. Some love it, even if it is not the best choice purely from a cost perspective.
My sister and brother-in-law have a fifth wheel RV they purchased new. I don't know what they paid, but it's fairly high-end and maybe came in at about $100,000. Then add about $70,000 for the big diesel pickup to pull it. Most years, they haul it from Ontario to Florida and park it in quite a nice RV park and have the benefit of what I think RVers call "hookups", internet, etc. They pay about USD1,100/mo. for the privilege.
That RV sees little use for the rest of the year. They pay to store it, insure it and maintain it. They pay for the extra fuel (above passenger car consumption) to haul it. It's a depreciating asset.
I would guess that, taking into account the capital tied up, the depreciation, the operating and "moorage" costs, etc., they could probably fund a 2-month stay in quite nice rental accommodation if they did not have their fifth wheel. But, as I say, the whole RV thing seems to be a lifestyle thing and that's what attracts them. They have the financial means not to care that their choice is an expensive one.
Eder's rig is a bit different, but many of the same principles apply. No truck needed to pull it, but many one sees in southern US and Mexico driven by Canadians have cars pulled behind. Some people do not care to drive a 50-foot bus to the local Publix to pick up a few groceries. It has also struck me that with no car available, if the bus or motorhome needs engine or other service, one is a bit stranded. I some places I guess a rental car is a prospect.
Or just use Booking.com and select when and where you want to stay on the day. No need to book too far in advance.
For the most part, US is much cheaper than Canada for places like Super 8 and so on (although the conversion rate might nullify that a bit), but it depends how upmarket you want your accommodation to be.
If you're going for a couple of months you could look into extended stay hotels. These normally have a lower per-night rate if you book longer periods, and they have kitchenettes in the rooms so you don't have to eat out all the time.
Or, on sites like VRBO, there are often longer stays available at a discount. I pasted an example below but there are lots, just put in your dates and sort by price. Or just set a hard ceiling in your filters and sort by whatever you want!
These are directly from my personal wishlist. I grabbed some rough prices by entering May 1 - May 15. In general look among the known-to-be-cheap countries, like Spain, Portugal (for their islands), and of course the balkans such as Croatia, perhaps Greece
Idea #1: Canary Islands
For example, Costa Teguise on Lanzarote. A quick search on booking.com shows Molino de Guatiza, 8 minute walk from the beach, at $803 or $57 per day ... I repeat, fifty-seven dollars a day. I didn't even optimize this search. Weather in May is about 20 to 25 C.
A few years ago I spent a week like this in Lanzarote, in an apartment that cost approx $50/day (the Canadian dollar was higher) or almost what I paid for my apartment in Canada. It was heaven.
Idea #2: European vacation packages
I discovered this when I was in London. Just as we here in Canada have incredibly good package vacations to Cuba, Europeans have access to excellent packages to places like I mentioned above, and many others. You could use their web sites like lastminute.com as a starting point.
I searched for hotels on Majorca and (within minutes) found Naika, which are apartments. Buy your own groceries, make your own food, etc. A studio apartment costs ... if I'm not having a stroke ... 343 GBP = $567 or $41 per day. I think the weather would be 15 to 20 C.
Always check tripadvisor for the reviews. Both of the properties I mentioned here are decent looking apartments.
So there you go ... take your pick. Two examples, $57/day or $41/day, for apartments located close to the sea, in western countries (and a LOT safer than southern USA)
This is assuming you book far in advance, and there's an art to this, and of course prices will be higher in the ideal seasons with the best weather.
How I envy you retired people! I'm still at the office at 9 pm (not focusing on work obviously) and you could be planning a trip to somewhere warm. My parents are in Cuba right now ... I'm very happy for them.
In all seriousness, southern US is not a very nice place to go. The US also has some ugly tax rules you must be aware of; if you exceed a certain # of days in the US (substantial presence test) you will have all kinds of tax problems because you will be a "US person"! No joke.
Skip the US. Go somewhere nicer... check out Cuba vacation prices, to start with
For long term vacation I would go to Southern Spain/Portugal. You may rent apartment/townhouse for 250 EUR/month... Beautiful, civilized countries and excellent weather