A Snowbird’s Checklist: Tips for Seasonal Migration

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(BPT) - For many Americans, after the winter holiday season ends, a seasonal migration officially starts. A ‘snowbird’ is someone who migrates to warmer climates each winter, until the spring or summer season. As temperatures dip, snowbirds typically head south to warmer locations like Florida, Arizona, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Southern California or Nevada, to escape the winter wind, ice and snow in the north. But getting ready to migrate south for the winter months, and especially in today’s day and age, involves planning and preparation. If you’re an AARP member, there are many discounts and benefits available that can help with the transition into the snowbird lifestyle.

Here are a few things to consider as you get ready for a seasonal migration.

Prepare your primary residence.

For safety reasons and peace of mind, it’s always important to secure your primary residence if you’re going to be away for an extended period of time. SimpliSafe can provide that peace of mind, day or night, while you’re away. AARP members can save 15% on new home security systems, and the easy-to-install system offers 24/7 police dispatch with no contract required. You can sleep soundly in your home away from home while knowing your primary residence is safe and secure.

Obtain the necessary insurance.

Snowbirds both rent and buy properties to use as a second home during seasonal migration. If renting, find out the rental companies' policies for the duration of your stay. If you choose to purchase a secondary property for your seasonal home, it’s important to protect your home by securing the necessary home insurance. Mobile homes or manufactured homes are a popular choice for snowbirds thanks to the low maintenance and easy upkeep compared to a single-family or townhome. Mobile home parks can also offer various amenities and activities to their residents. The AARP® Mobile Home Insurance Program from Foremost® offers AARP members insurance coverage options designed for nearly every type of mobile and manufactured home — old and new.

Get ready for the road.

Before you depart, check out the current COVID-19 safety protocols and guidelines for your destination, particularly as new variants have recently escalated. You can locate this important information by checking city government websites and tourism boards for the latest updates.

If traveling by car, make sure you prepare your vehicle by completing your regular oil change with Valvoline Instant Oil Change. AARP members can save 15% off drive-thru, stay-in-your-car oil changes — including a free 18-point maintenance check. The discount also applies toward preventive maintenance services — including radiator, transmission and differential services, air filter or wiper blade replacements.

If you keep a vehicle at your seasonal home but want to road trip to your destination, consider renting a car from Avis or Budget. If you’re an AARP member, you can save up to 35% off base rates with Pay Now, plus get an upgrade on compact through full-size car class bookings (based on availability), an additional driver at no cost and more.

Check your health before you jet.

As you prepare to leave home for a few months, make sure you’ve scheduled a wellness check to cover your bases before being away from your primary physician. It’s also a good idea to do an eye exam. Vision problems can become more prevalent as you age, and AARP® Vision Discounts provided by EyeMed provide members and their families exclusive discounts at participating retailers and independent provider locations nationwide, as well as online. You can save 50% on prescription lenses with the purchase of a frame at LensCrafters, 30% on complete pair of glasses (frames and lenses) at Glasses.com, and you can save an additional $10 on a complete pair at Target Optical.

Find healthcare in your new location.

For older adults, taking care of your health is essential. If you’re living in a warmer climate location for an extended period, finding and obtaining healthcare services is of the utmost importance, so you can be ready for the unexpected and make an easy adjustment to a new environment. Primary care providers for Medicare-eligible adults like Oak Street Health can help you keep an eye on your physical and mental health and well-being by offering high-quality preventive care. With 130 locations nationwide, Oak Street Health offers the convenience of same-day or next-day visits, virtual visits and a 24/7 healthcare support line.

Need a prescription refill, but you’re hours away from your regular pharmacy? By using a free prescription discount card from AARP® Prescription Discounts provided by OptumRx®, AARP members not only save on FDA-approved medication but can also sign up for home delivery. The prescription discount card can be used at over 66,000 pharmacies nationwide.

Stay connected to loved ones.

Once you’ve arrived, it’s important to keep in touch with family and friends back home. The easy-to-use GrandPad, Powered by Consumer Cellular tablet, helps you stay connected to family and friends, and up to date on the latest news, while ensuring you stay safe from spammers and scammers. GrandPad has essential apps that easily enable video chats, photo sharing, emails, and access to the news. AARP members can save 5% on a monthly subscription, which includes unlimited service on a secure, private network.

Whether you’re continuing your snowbird lifestyle or heading south for the first time this year, there are many tools and resources available to help you transition during the seasonal migration. To learn more about the benefits and discounts for AARP members to help you prepare for your snowbird lifestyle, please visit www.AARP.org/save.