Some snowbirds go back and forth between the same seasonal jobs every year. Others try new adventures and move around every season. The great thing is that there is an abundance of seasonal work opportunities that snowbirds can tap into. Here are just a few of the many opportunities available to snowbirds.

 

Campground Host

Campground hosts, or workampers, manage campgrounds across the country. In exchange for a free site to pitch a tent or park an RV they perform small tasks – greet guests, answer questions, do routine maintenance, light cleaning, and possibly collect campground fees. It’s an easy job that anyone who enjoys traveling, living outdoors, and not paying a mortgage can do. You can commit for a season or only for a few weeks, but you always get to move on to someplace that’s just as cool as the last.

Campground hosts can find jobs by contacting parks or RV campsites. Check with state and government groups like the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, or the US Forest Service. Also look into jobs with private companies like KOA, Recreation Resource Management or Aramark. These companies employ a large number of campground hosts across the country. Private companies are more likely to pay you for your services, while a government site will want volunteers.

 

Pet Sitter

Do you consider yourself to be a dog lover? Are you willing to welcome a stranger’s dog into your home? Would you prefer to leave your 9 to 5 job, have a flexible schedule, and get paid to play with dogs? If you answered yes to any of these, then it’s time to find a job in the peer-to-peer pet sitting niche.

By using specific smartphone apps such as Rover or DogVacay, Pet owners can search for pet sitters by zip code or location. They can browse pet sitter profiles that highlight experience, property type, dog details, certifications, rates, services, and other information. Then they select the best person for the job, coordinate further arrangements via the app or website, and drop off their dog. Anyone can do it – students, retirees, stay-at-home moms, freelancers, families, and dog lovers. It’s easy to work part-time, full-time, or whenever you want. There is never any pressure to work, but the more you work, the more you can make.

 

Resort Employee

Resorts of all shapes and sizes across the Sunbelt increase their staff during winter months. You might find work in any number of capacities, from bartender or gardener to parking valet or room cleaner. If you love golf, there might be openings in the pro shop or as a groundskeeper. Boaters should check out marinas for odd jobs. Gambling fans can investigate Gulf Coast casinos. Fitness professionals such as massage therapists and Pilates instructors may find seasonal jobs with a resort’s spa operations.

 

Seasonal Retail

Most malls and retail outlets need extra hands during the holiday season and if you’re a pro at customer service, pop into stores you think you’ll enjoy working and ask about opportunities. Lots of local businesses and stand-alone chains need additional help through the holidays and sometimes beyond, and you may be able to land a gig super close to home by broadening your search.

 

Restaurant Staff

The food and beverage industry covers a wide variety of restaurants. They cover different menus, preparation styles, prices, atmospheres, and goals. From fine dining to fast food, nearly everyone goes out to enjoy a restaurant once in a while. It’s a multi-billion-dollar industry that has been successful for centuries. Yes, restaurants come and go, but people are always looking for a good meal, some snacks, or a cup of coffee.

 

If there are restaurants near you, you can find jobs like these. You can also find these jobs at most restaurants around the world. Lodges, resorts, casinos, hotels, national parks, cruise ships, franchise restaurants, grocery stores, airports, and fine dining establishments are always in need of people like you.

What to pack, store or leave behind is a huge issue when deciding to head South for the winter. We advise creating a list of essentials beforehand.  However, many people often forget. So, we’ve provided one for you!

  1. Bring all of your important documents.

Packing all of your important documents is essential in the case of an emergency or simply to help clear up any of those little life problems that can happen anywhere. Documents to bring include insurance policies (health, car, home, rental, and any other insurance you have), tax documents for preparing your tax return, and any medical history and list of pharmaceuticals you may use (see #2 below). It also means anything relating to your home and your home away from home, including leases and utility information.

Also, make sure you have your bank cards, checkbook and contact information for important people (e.g. your landlord, handyman, neighbors, doctor and dentist, emergency contact, etc.) in your winter location as well as back home. By scanning or taking photos of key documents, you can save some space and avoid ruining some of the most valuable papers in your life. Save them on a secure software program so you can access them with your digital devices wherever you are.

2. Be proactive about your prescriptions

Prescriptions can get complicated when you travel. For example, if you have a prescription for Schedule II drugs — which generally include opioid painkillers, steroids or drugs that may cause dependence — it may be tough to get your prescription refilled out-of-state. Schedule III, IV and V drugs, on the other hand, can often be filled at any pharmacy if your doctor faxes a prescription. If possible, consider coordinating the transfer of your pharmacy provider from up north to down south before you leave.

Paying is where things vary. If you have insurance through a national provider network, the answer to whether or not your coverage carries over to a different state is usually “yes.” If you have insurance through the Affordable Care Act, the answer is “probably.” If you use Medicare, things get fuzzier and you may need supplemental insurance to be safe. AARP has a good checklist on out-of-state Medicare issues you should look over.

It’s easiest if you just discuss this with your pharmacist when packing and planning. If you can legally purchase a long-term supply of your prescription drugs before leaving, you can cross medicine off of your packing list and avoid living in fear that you may be without your meds.

3. Consider your hobbies

Whether you’ll be passing your time in the same ways you do at home or using your new location as an opportunity to try out different hobbies and entertainment options, figure out what supplies you’ll need to bring with you. It may be that equipment can be easily rented or bought where you’re heading. If not, you’ll have to pack your own. Think about whether you’ll want specific books, arts, craft supplies or kitchen gadgets as well.

This will also include items for the road like MP3 players, laptops, books, games, and puzzles. If you plan on reading a lot on the way or after arrival, you should consider adding a tablet or e-reader to your packing list. Amazon’s 8GB Kindle Fire, for example, can hold over 6,000 books, saving you a little room. Also, don’t forget any recreational items like fishing poles, hiking gear, golf clubs, sporting goods, exercise gear and tennis or Pickleball racquets.

 

4. Don’t forget your chargers

Phones, laptops, cameras, and the like are obviously important, but in the bustle of packing, don’t neglect the chargers, cords, and extra batteries that keep your electronics going. Yes, you can almost certainly buy replacements for these things, but it’s easier to avoid the inconvenience and costs by packing them in the first place.

Seasonal migration offers the best of both worlds. It gives you the opportunity to keep ties to your family and friends while also enjoying a change in scenery during seasons you’d rather avoid. While being a snowbird is great, it can come with certain challenges that must be overcome. Here are some tips on what to consider helping ensure that you retire successfully as a snowbird.

Where should you go?

This is a very personal decision because you must consider what type of person you are. Think about what you like to do and where you like going. Do you prefer going to shows and eating out, or would you rather enjoy the outdoors and grill your food? It’s important to think about these things to ensure you’re comfortable where you’re staying and to find a place where the people living there enjoy the same things as well. With an abundance of locations to choose from across the nation, it becomes easier to find a place that you’ll thoroughly enjoy for part of the year.

How long should you stay?

This really goes hand in hand with the first question. Where you choose to go for your second home, and where you’re coming from, will determine how long you should, or could stay. If you’re coming from the North to avoid the winters, which is usually the case, around 6 months is about the average time snowbirds stay south. This provides ample time to enjoy the beautiful summer season in the north while avoiding the colder weather during winters. If the season of concern is a month early or late, it’s common to change to a 5/7 month schedule as well. Be flexible so you can enjoy the season how you want to spend it.

Should you fly or drive?

Sometimes driving is really just not worth the hassle. If it’s looking like you’d have to drive multiple days to reach your second home, you may want to consider flying. Many times, snowbirds find a good place to store their vehicles, disconnect the battery, and leave it behind for the season. It really depends on the costs of each. Calculate how much it’d cost to drive versus fly and choose the cheaper alternative. This is your first step in saving money throughout the year.

Take care of your mail

The post office will forward mail with a beginning and end date, making it easier to continuously receive your mail.

Turn off everything

This means water and everything electrical. Make absolutely sure that nothing is leaking, even the smallest leak will add up over several months. Also turn off the water heater if you have one as the tank will burn when the water has run out. Water damage can be expensive; this’ll create some piece of mind when you’re gone. When unplugging electrical appliances, unplug everything. Even if you don’t think it’d take much juice, just like water, it can definitely add up in cost over several months and no one wants to come back home to ridiculous expenses when they weren’t even there.

Think of your services

Most services such as TV, internet, phone, and garbage can be turned to a “vacation/hibernation” setting. When done, the services will be stalled and unable to use but you won’t be disconnected entirely. All you have to do when returning is make a call to turn everything back on and you’re good to go. There may be small fees with using this setting but it’s often much more costly to leave the services on or to restart the service when returning. The vacation setting is definitely something to look into and can save you a good sum of money.

Make it look like you’re home

Alarm systems are good to have but are intended to go off when a thief arrives to your home. It’s a good idea to make it look like someone is living there so no one thinks it’d be easy to rob. Leave the blinds open a crack, decorate the front door before leaving, or tell your delivery person not to leave a pile at your door so it’s not obvious. Also try to get some neighbors or relatives to check on your house every now and again to ensure all is well there.

With all of these tips and things to consider, you should have a good idea on what you’ll need to know when deciding to become a snowbird and retire in style living the life that you want.

If you’d like to see how Travelers Country Club on the Mississippi could fit into your retirement plans, just give us a call at: 320-743-3133, email us at: tccomoffice@gmail.com, or check out our website at: www.travelerscconmiss.com.

While many snowbirds plan their yearly trip around an exact location of preference, many others are less concerned with where and more concerned on how. At TCCOM, our summer residents  care about more than the lowest cost and cheapest rentals. For us and our residents, value is where it’s at. Here are some of the most affordable places to go to avoid the Minnesota winter weather.

Clearwater, FL

Clearwater offers a great value in vacation rentals in addition to thriving downtown nightlife and popular shopping district. Clearwater is perfect for snowbirds looking for a place to return to on a yearly basis, as the city’s rapid growth means that there will be something new to explore every time you visit.

 

 

 

 

San Antonio, TX

With a super low cost of living and an unusually high inventory of apartments and short-term leasing options available downtown, this major south-central Texan town is a natural pick for snowbirds looking to spend a little less. The area has even got plenty of attractions to entertain the kids and grandkid with, including its rich colonial heritage at the infamous Alamo and the San Antonio River Walk.

 

 

 

 

Green Valley, AZ

Green Valley is a huge community of developments in the southern part of Arizona with nearby hiking and even birding spots in the Santa Rita mountains. Of course, this is a hotspot for retirees looking for top conveniences and amenities such as golf courses, fitness centers, and swimming pools all at a great value.

 

 

 

 

Overland Park KS

This Midwestern suburb of Kansas City is very affordable with a very low average rent for a two-bedroom apartment. There are some cities with moderate climates worth considering for quality snowbird retirement living. It’s not all about golf and beaches; it can also be about shopping and cultural attractions, which Overland Park has in abundance.

 

 

 

 

Las Cruces, NM

Las Cruces lies 50 minutes north of El Paso, Texas, which is enough to get you out of the Lone Star State and into the quintessential New Mexico high desert landscape. It’s also a snowbird fave, as many have decided to settle down in this southern New Mexico area that happens to sit on the edge of the Chihuahuan Desert, at the foot of the Organ Mountains, and along the banks of the Rio Grande.