The Captain and I are new at snow birding (which is defined as people from the northern U.S. and Canada who travel south to warmer climates, such as Florida, Arizona, Southern California, the Caribbean, etc. to spend the winter).
Some snow birds prefer a condo in one location. Others, like us, elect to have our home on wheels so we can move around and try out different areas.
We got our feet wet last winter (read about it here), and spent five weeks on the road, after picking up our RV in North Carolina. We left in mid-February, went to Daytona for the races up to and including the Daytona 500, and then went onto the Florida Keys for a few weeks before arriving back home in mid-March.
This winter, we have extended our stay on the road from mid-January until the beginning of April. We officially arrived at our first location one week ago in Marathon, Florida. And while it is certainly much warmer here than at our home in Maryland, it has been cold and rainy by Florida Keys standards. It has definitely not been swimming pool or boating weather. We are hoping for a warm up soon.
We are staying at the same place we stayed last winter; however, we are in a different spot this year. We have an obstructed view of the Gulf of Mexico, and since we are staying at a private campground, the RVs are packed in pretty tightly. If we upgrade to a premium plus spot, there is more room, but it also costs more. The cost to rent the RV space per month is just as much as a condo rental in Ft. Lauderdale one block from the ocean. The difference is, with our RV, we can stay in different places.
You walk a short distance, and there are amazing views everywhere.
This year, we are spending most of our time in the Keys, and taking some side trips up to Daytona, Disney World, Ft. Lauderdale, and one of my favorite hidden gems in Florida, Kissimmee Prairie Preserve.
Most of the people we encounter in the RV parks are very nice and more than willing to share their experiences on the snowbird RV life, and tips and tricks they’ve learned along the way.
The most challenging thing we’ve experienced so far, is getting reservations at the more popular state parks in Florida, such as Bahia Honda, Curry Hammock, John Pennekamp, and Long Key. You can make reservations up to 11 months in advance; however, the trick is to be lucky enough to snag a spot online when the reservations window opens at 8:00 a.m. each morning. Some people have multiple computers lined up to hit the button in order to get a reservation. Sometimes you’re lucky and but most of the time, not.
No complaints here.