What to do and know before snowbirds go

Dec 8th, 2022 | By | Category: Adventures

By Omar Kaywan

Senior snowbird season is approaching, and with COVID-19 restrictions lifting nationwide and internationally, the 2022 travel season is expected to be huge. But traveling to escape the cold this fall and winter isn’t going to look the same. There’s a new set of risks, COVID-19 requirements, and many more preparations that need to take place before seniors can confidently hit the road or the skies.

Check health advisories.

You can stay up to date with health notices and advisories at cdc.gov/travel (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Travel Advisory). Not only does this site provide insights on COVID-19 travel health information, but environmental, political, and other virus information that is crucial to staying safe.

Purchase travel insurance.

Original Medicare plans travel with you between states, but if you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, you’ll have to check if your policy will make you face higher costs for a doctor visit out of network. A travel medical insurance policy can help cover unexpected medical bills, hospital visits, prescriptions, etc.

If you plan on flying, look for a trip cancellation/interruption travel insurance that can cover the cost of unexpected issues like an airline canceling your flight or unexpected illness.

Keep someone in the loop.

Whether you’re traveling alone, with a spouse or friends, it’s crucial to keep someone in the loop about your safety. Let someone such as a close friend or family member who isn’t going with you know your departure time and when you should arrive. There’s a variety of apps on the market that can let someone track your location while you’re road-tripping and be sure you arrive safely. If you’re flying, giving someone your flight number and airline can allow them to track when the plane takes off and lands.

If a designated person hasn’t heard from you in a long amount of time, or you haven’t arrived to your destination on time, they can alert authorities to make sure you’re okay.

Be safe, not sorry.

 Many of us have daily medications we rely on for our health. If you’re driving and have your medications delivered to your warmer-weather home instead, be sure you have enough to last a few extra days in case there are delays.

For snowbirds flying to warm temps, pack medication in your carry-on and checked bags. This way, if your luggage is lost or your flight was delayed, you don’t need to take your medication late and can have enough for a few days until you can get to a pharmacy.


Omar Kaywan is a travel expert with Goose Insurance, an insurance app for the U.S. and Canada markets.