As a Canadian, if you yourself are not a snowbird, you at least know someone, such as your neighbor or your parents, who likes to spend a couple of months in Florida during the winter.

Often Florida is the chosen destination but there are a lot of other options out there. You may want to give Florida a miss this year and I’m going to highlight just a couple of different destinations so you have an idea of what is available.

Oceania Cruise

How does spending a couple of months on a cruise ship sound? You don’t have to worry about chores such as housework, grocery shopping and deciding what to cook. All of that is taken care of! You’re not just escaping the winter; you’ll be visiting beautiful islands, treated to daily entertainment and get to meet new people. Take your pick from a 72-day voyage or a 58-day voyage, both Miami to Miami and with special snowbird offers. You get the convenience of escaping winter and added variety as you sail to different islands. The ships are small enough that you will feel right at home quickly and make friends, yet large enough that there will be plenty to keep you entertained. With these snowbird offers, this option may be a lot more affordable than you think.


If you like the idea of a change in scenery from Florida but don’t like the idea of a cruise, head to Portugal. Portugal is very popular with Europeans looking for long winter breaks and it’s easy to see why. There are countless options for renting villas and you’ll still have lots of golf to choose from (they have 90 courses) all of which are blended into the stunning natural beauty of Portugal. It doesn’t matter where in Portugal you decide to spend a couple of months as the whole country also produces wine. You may want to expand your knowledge on Port and Madeira wine after indulging in delectable Portuguese cuisine, most notably their seafood dishes. Portugal has a mild climate and 3000 hours of sunshine per year, making it the perfect destination for snowbirds. It’s also ideally situated for mini getaways to other European countries and cities during your months away from winter.

Snowbird Checklist

While you may think it must be easy to just pack your bags and head to warmer weather for 2 months, there is actually a lot to think about. No matter where you decide to spend the winter months, you still have to properly prepare before the migration so you are not caught out missing bill payments, dealing with burst pipes at home, being denied at the border or having inadequate travel medical insurance.

Thankfully, there is a website with an online checklist specifically created for snowbirds. You can sign up for this free resource and easily find in one place information about preparing your home for when you’re away, travel insurance, travel documents, finances, taxes, legal issues, accommodations and so much more.

Head to and sign up for more information.

About the Author

Rhian Torontow is a Family Travel Consultant with Magical Family Adventures. Rhian creates travel experiences that foster connections in your family that will last a lifetime and transforms your children into open-minded, flexible, well-travelled people. During Rhian’s childhood, her father travelled for work constantly and it was always travel that brought her family back together. You can follow Rhian on Facebook at, Instagram @MagicalFamilyAdventures and you can also connect with her on LinkedIn