December 30, 2020 – A new survey from SnowbirdAdvisor.ca estimates that only 31% of Canadian snowbirds will make the trip south this winter. Problems crossing the U.S. border for non-essential travel, quarantines, and concerns about catching Covid are some of the reasons. Besides the impact on Canadians who will have to spend a winter in the cold, the communities that rely on them to support their winter economies will also suffer. According to the website about 1 million Canadians ordinarily spend the winter in the U.S. or some other warm climate.
Meanwhile, research from Storagecafe.com found that snowbird travel in the U.S. is picking up a bit from depressed earlier levels: last minute searches for seasonal rentals to warm parts of the U.S. are increasing. There are many reasons for this, such as people feeling that warm weather locations that allow them to be outdoors provide less risk of catching Covid. It posits that locations with a reputation for fewer Covid cases and strict health measures might enjoy a halo effect. Snowbirds are more willing to take the travel plunge because they are using different modes of travel such as RVs, or feel comfortable with the precautions they take while on the road. However, a concern holding back some snowbirds is wondering if they will be able to get a Covid vaccination if they go south for the winter.
Top 100 Snowbird Destinations
The Storagecafe release had a list of its top 100 snowbird destinations as well other interesting tidbits about snowbird travel this year. It found, not surprisingly, that Florida, Texas, and California are the most popular snowbird destinations in the U.S. Using a slightly odd rating system, it chose Boca Raton, FL as the most popular snowbird destination, followed by Jupiter, Palm Beach and Fort Myers. While those do get lot of snowbirds, we are not sure they are the most popular cities.
It also found that some of the most inexpensive snowbird destinations in the U.S. were in Texas. Towns like Brownsville and Harlingen offer monthly rents in the $700.
One upside to fewer snowbirds is less traffic. Many towns and cities in Florida, Arizona, and the Carolinas can experience gridlock at the peak of the winter, which might not be so bad this season. A downside to these communities is that many snowbirds turn into year round residents, so that process could be slowed down.
Comments? Have you changed your snowbird plans because of Covid concerns? If you have gone south for the winter, do you see fewer people and less traffic? Let us know in the Comments section below.