The birds are getting ready to fly down south, and so should you! It’s time for snowbirds, or those who choose to escape the freezing northern temperatures by moving to warmer areas of the country for the winter, to pack up and head down for some fun in the sun! Here is a great packing and traveling checklist for snowbirds, especially those who choose to take their RV along!
A big trip across the country and settling in a new location calls for a totally fresh start! It’s time to deep clean the inside of your RV, so get out your cleaning supplies, broom, and vacuum and get ready to clean the upholstery, appliances, cupboards, bathroom, floors, walls, and anything else that needs a good cleaning! This is also the perfect opportunity to declutter and get rid of any items that you don’t absolutely need! Be sure to go through your tow vehicle and do the same (if you’re not traveling in a motorhome!).
Check Your Systems
You’ll want to give your RV a total check before you pack up and head across the country, even if you’ve been using your RV all season! You can do all of this yourself, like checking brakes, axles, seams, etc., but if you’re unsure or would just like a second opinion, bring your RV into our state-of-the-art service center for a full tune-up!
A few quick checks will ensure that your water system is up to par! Make sure that your water filter is still good, so you’ll be protected against impurities that could be lurking in local water supplies. It’s also a good idea to have a water pressure regulator installed if you don’t already have one, as water pressure can vary greatly between different locations, and extreme water pressure can severely damage your water lines! In any case, bring along extra fresh water hoses and connectors, just in case!
Before you set out, ensure that your holding tanks are in good shape and properly cleaned up. Also, make sure that all connections are good and all hoses are crack-free! Stock up on the proper chemicals for your holding tanks, along with any equipment you’ll need to maintain, empty, and clean the tanks.
Make sure you have an extension cord to ensure that you can hook up to power if you aren’t in a spot close to a power source. Bring along any power or voltage adapters too!
Give your tires some attention before you hit the road, too! Check closely for any cracks, excessive wear, thinness, or sun damage. A tire rotation may be a good idea as well, especially if you’ve had your RV in storage for a while!
Prescription Medications and First Aid
It’s extremely important to think ahead when it comes to snowbirding and your prescription medications! A simple call or visit to your hometown pharmacist can give you a lot of information on the course of action needed to stay supplied with your prescriptions! It’s possible that you can get a few month’s supply of your medication, that way you won’t have to worry about transferring your prescription. It’s also possible that your doctor can fax your prescription and you can get it filled at the local pharmacy in your new destination, but that is really dependent on your insurance plan. Check your policy and talk with your doctor to explore all your options!
Also, take an inventory of your first aid kit and supply of over-the-counter medications that you’ll need! You’ll definitely want bandages, rubbing alcohol, peroxide, antibiotic cream, aspirin or ibuprofen, etc. Be sure to bring along your physician’s information as well, in case of emergencies!
Bring Proper Paperwork
Just because you’re not at home doesn’t mean you can escape reality, unfortunately! Pack important paperwork, like driver’s licenses, insurance documents, passports (if you plan on leaving the country at any point), physician information, your rental agreement (if applicable), and don’t forget any tax forms if you’re going to stay past April 15! Also, if you’re traveling with pets, be sure to bring along their medical records, prescription information, and health certificate if needed.
Toiletries, Housewares, Etc.
The great thing about traveling in an RV is that you’ll have room to stock up on the essentials, and chances are, you probably have a lot of this stuff already in your camper! You’ll want things like soap, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, and RV-toilet-safe toilet paper in the bathroom, as well as paper towels, napkins, trash bags, and food storage containers in the kitchen! However, if you don’t feel like transporting everything you’ll need, or happen to forget, it’s not the end of the world if you have to stop by the local store for supplies once you roll into town!
As a general rule, you’ll want to prepare for any sort of weather, even if you’re snowbirding to a warmer climate! Even seemingly warm destinations have their chilly days and cold nights, so bring along some long pants and shirts, a jacket, close-toed shoes, etc., just in case! Of course, you’ll want to include clothing and accessories for hot weather too! Pack your bathing suit and beachwear so you can have fun in the sun! Just make sure you cover your bases with clothing for any weather, any situation, and any sort of event! Just because you’re camping doesn’t mean you can’t get dressed up from time to time!
Not every moment of your stay will be thrilling, so be sure to bring along items to keep you entertained! Laptop computers are great, but if you’re into reading, invest in a tablet or eReader, which can store thousands of books so that you don’t have to pack and store your whole library in your RV! Also pack plenty of chargers so that you never run out of power! Be sure to stock your cupboards with your favorite movies too!
Since you’ll be having fun in the sun, take the opportunity to unplug from technology! Board games and puzzles are great for getting away from screens! If you have a particular hobby, bring along your supplies or equipment and keep up with your latest project! You should also be open to trying new hobbies!
Should Snowbirds Invest In Personal Storage?
If you’re a snowbird that returns to the same location each year, you could consider renting out a storage unit to store items when you’re back up north! That way, you won’t have to transport every single aspect of your life every year! For instance, instead of hauling something large like patio furniture, you could just purchase it in your southern destination and store it in your off season! The convenience of not having to lug around all of your belongings each year could far outweigh the cost of a storage unit!
Hopefully this packing and traveling checklist will help you snowbirds bring along everything you’ll need for your enjoyable sunny getaway! We’ll all definitely be envious of your time in the sunshine once the snow starts to fly! What other important items do you include on your snowbird travel checklist? Leave us a comment and let us know!