Great news for snowbirds: Making the transition once you get to your winter home is about to get easier. Rather than relying on the Internet or trying to figure out things when you arrive, you can now rely on snowbird relocation centres that are becoming more common in popular snowbird destinations in the US. These centres are starting to appear in states such as California, Texas, Hawaii and the main snowbird destinations Arizona and Florida.
This is great news for travellers, especially for Canadians making the trip to a location for the first time. It can be difficult to get things in order and learn about your surroundings in a new community.
In these relocation centres, you can get insurance, find a place to rent for the season, get tips for local places to visit and even get a bite to eat. They are meant to be a one-stop shop for all your travel needs.
The relocation centres are popping up at a good time, as it’s estimated that 10% to 20% of all people migrating south during the winter are relocating on a permanent basis. Moving is challenging, but moving to a new country and starting over in a new community is a completely different challenge.
What do relocation centres offer?
Snowbird relocation centres are designed to be tourist welcome centres that cater specifically to snowbird needs. They are meant to help ease the transition and provide assistance and information. Some of the things you can expect when you visit include:
- Information on local medical and health care facilities
- A guide to local restaurants and attractions
- The opportunity to meet locals and other Canadians who are relocating to the area
- Assistance finding cell phone and Internet providers
- Real estate agents and assistance finding a property to rent or purchase
- Assistance finding a doctor, lawyer, dentist and other service providers
These service providers in turn understand your situation and specific needs, and offer solutions that are catered to the snowbird demographic. For more information about preparing for your trip, read 15 Canadian snowbird travel tips to help you prepare for your trip.
If you are planning on relocating or simply heading south for the winter, see if your area has a snowbird relocation centre. It could be a valuable resource and help you make your transition a smooth one.