Snowbird Bucket List

Snowbirds are magnificent creatures – you have transformed cold, unbearable winters into a reason to travel and experience the world, the warm sunny parts at least. As connoisseurs of southern holidays and tropical vacations, Snowbirds seek out the crème de la crème of warm winter destinations. The following are the best experiences for travel in winter, and essential destinations on any Snowbird’s bucket list.

The Bucket List

  • Swim with whale sharks in Belize. These gentle giants are magnificent creatures, so much so that you can snorkel alongside them! This is an experience you will never forget. Snowbirds can head to Gladden Slit, Belize or Ningaloo Reef, Australia in March when the sharks arrive each year. If you are planning an early winter trip, South Ari Atoll in the Maldives is a year-round destination.
  • Golf in Key West, Florida. This is one of the best places to spend your winter and a Snowbird must-see. Unlike other Florida destinations, Key West is the most relaxed, and the furthest south. There are beautiful white sand beaches, dozens of pristine golf courses, and endless opportunities for drifting through your tropical days with sailing, fishing, swimming, and snorkeling.
  • Go on a shamanic vision quest in Sedona, Arizona. Sedona is a magical place to visit. Enjoy the luxury spas, the art galleries, and the dining, but center your trip around of the fantastic spiritual retreats that the area is known for. Who knows what you might discover? Bucket list mystical adventure, check!
  • Take a hot air balloon ride over Napa Valley. Napa is wine country. Visit the wineries, stay at a charming bed and breakfast, and ride in a hot air balloon over one of the most beautiful valleys in the world.
  • Eat curry in Thailand. With lush gardens, tranquil beaches, and friendly people, Thailand is a must-experience for Snowbirds. Luxurious and affordable, it is a great place to spend a month, or four.
  • Hike around the Grand Canyon. One of the world’s best natural wonders, the Grand Canyon is a must-see, and an excellent hiking destination. Plan a long stay, there is plenty to do in the area, from rafting to relaxing.
  • Visit the Snowbird mecca, Yuma, Arizona. Yuma is a city of Snowbirds, literally. The population doubles during the winter when tens of thousands of northern travellers flock to this hub of sunshine, art fairs, golfing, and RVs. Yuma is famous for warm, sunny days, with an annual average of 313 sun-filled days a year. Every Snowbird has to come to Yuma at least once in their life to meet the gurus of the annual migration south. You will find plenty of other Snowbirds, and endless activities to try out from cultural shows and health seminars, to hiking and swimming.

Do’s and Don’ts

Checking destinations off your bucket list is fulfilling, but make sure you travel wisely and safely to get the most out of your adventures.

  • Do research your destinations before making plans. Find out when the open seasons are and what tickets, permits, or other items you may need to get ahead of time.
  • Do take a friend. Bucket lists are best undertaken in the company of great friends and partners.
  • Do pack four more memory cards than you think you need. You will want to take a lot of photographs.
  • Do set up travel insurance before leaving.


  • Don’t make spontaneous trips abroad. Go ahead, heed the call of the sunshine and warmth, but in order to have a great time, make sure you plan well before leaving.
  • Don’t miss the opportunity to bond and share. Invite others to come along and experience the journey. Show others how fun it is to be a Snowbird!
  • Don’t rely on your smart phone for photos.
  • Don’t rely on your government health plan, it will not cover you abroad.

1Cover Travel Insurance policies are available for all ages, with emergency medical coverage and helpful features like 24-hour LiveTravel assistance and BagTrak to help with lost luggage. Travel anywhere in the world with travel insurance you can count on, so you can focus on conquering your bucket list worry-free, one great vacation at a time.


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Further Reading


EuropeEurope is great for a getaway but make sure you're prepared. Check out our Europe guide for travel tips. 


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Keep yourself safe on your next trip to the states and check out our travel information.


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