55places.com – a leading real estate platform for adults 55 and older – recently surveyed 1,274 snowbirds based in the U.S. about their travel plans for the 2021-2022 season. Snowbirds, a term often referring to retirees and 55+ active adults, are known to migrate south to a warmer climate during the winter season. Based on the 70% of participants who are moving forward with their annual migration, the ongoing pandemic is causing little impact.
For 70% of snowbirds, relocation plans are in motion.
• When asked about travel destinations, Florida was the most popular response, with 63% of snowbirds planning to migrate to the Sunshine State in the coming months. Other popular destinations include Arizona (13%), South Carolina (5%), Texas (5%), and North Carolina (3%).
• Traveling by car is the selected form of transportation for 65% of snowbirds, while 30% will fly, 3% specified an RV, 1% will ride by train, and 1% will use another vehicle to get to their destination.
• When asked when they plan to arrive, there were mixed responses. 5% of snowbirds plan to arrive at their destination before October of 2021, while 23% plan to arrive between October and November, and 24% plan to arrive at their destination between November and December. The remaining half will arrive between December and January (19%), between January and February of 2022 (22%), or between February and March (7%).
• Close to one third of snowbirds plan to stay in their destination for 2-3 months (32%), while 31% plan to stay for one month, and 27% plan to stay 3-6 months. Only 10% plan to stay at their destination for 6+ months.
“Although COVID-19 has caused disruption in the day-to-day, many things have progressed since last year, driving an improved sense of security for travelers in this age demographic,” said Danny Goodman, COO of 55places.com. “It should come to no surprise then that Florida remains a popular destination for snowbirds, likely due to its warm, sunny weather, abundance of 55+ communities, and low cost of living.”
On the other hand, the pandemic is the primary reason for halting 7% of snowbirds.
• As to why some snowbirds are staying put this year, there are various reasons; however, half (50%) selected that they do not want to risk getting COVID-19 as the primary reason for why they’re not traveling. Other reasons include not feeling ready to travel (27%), wanting to stay closer to family and friends (7%), worried about having adequate access to health care (3%), and being scared to fly and not wanting to drive (1%). 12% cited other reasons, like not wanting to get the vaccine and not being able to afford the trip.
Uncertainty remains for 27% of snowbirds who have not yet made a decision.
• As to why nearly one quarter of snowbirds are still undecided about traveling this year, there are various reasons; however, over half (59%) selected that they are waiting to see how the new COVID-19 variants will impact their plans. Other reasons include increasing COVID-19 cases within their selected destination making them reconsider their intended location (19%), not being sure of where to travel to (10%), not feeling safe traveling (8%), not wanting to leave friends and family (2%), worries about adequate health care access (1%), and finance concerns (1%).
To learn more about snowbird tips and trends in 2021, visit 55places.com/snowbird.