With tropical weather and incredible attractions, Florida is a popular destination for visitors year-round. But did you know that the state’s population grows about five percent in the fall and winter months with the arrival of the snowbirds? Nope, we’re not talking about red and white-winged crossbills or northern goshawks migrating south to the Sunshine State; these snowbirds typically are retirees who travel to a seasonal home in Florida to avoid the chill of winter!
From October to April – with the peak in January – these seasonal residents flock to Florida, and many are renting vacation homes while they are here. Thanks to the growth of the vacation home industry, there are more rental options for snowbirds than ever before. Gone are the days when snowbirds would have to commit to purchasing a second home or pay excessive hotel fees all season long! With property management companies like Kong Vacation Homes offering single-family rentals in sought-after Florida locales, snowbirds can experience different communities and amenities in various cities to find their best fit
If you are interested in joining the flock and trading your northern winter for Florida’s snow-white beaches, Kong Vacation Homes has some tips for you, so you can make the most of your extended stay in the Sunshine State:
1. Know What Type of Florida Experience You Want
Do you want to relax at the beach alone or socialize with other retirees? Are you looking for flexibility in your accommodations or do you want to stay in one fixed location? If you have friends who travel for the winter, ask them for their advice, too. Decide in advance what you want from your snowbird experience, so you can plan for it!
To help you pick the perfect rental home and prepare for your winter stay, check out the easily searchable listings for Kong Vacation Homes. The Tampa Bay area (including the suburb of Zephyrhills) and the South Florida beaches are popular spots for snowbirds, and just where our properties are located!
Using our website, you can compare and contrast the properties and their added amenities, which include resort-like pools and fenced backyards. We also offer discounted rates for longer stays, to help you keep costs down. Once you decide which house best matches your needs, we recommend that you book it as far in advance as possible, locking in the dates and any deals!
2. Pack for Florida
Keep in mind that you’ll be packing for an extended time, so make sure your clothes are appropriate for Florida weather (no winter coats or snowsuits necessary!) and that you travel with necessary medications, your medical records, and prescription information.
A great pro of vacation rental homes is that you won’t have to worry about packing towels, linens, utensils, or pots and pans. At Kong Vacation Homes, you’ll find designer furnishings, including comfy beds with clean, white bedding, fully equipped kitchens, and laundry rooms! Your vacation rental home will come with everything you need for an extended stay, including free Wi-Fi, and you’ll have much more privacy than you would in a hotel!
When it’s time to head south, get into the car instead of flying. Driving on your own may take longer to get to Florida, but it will allow you to bring more of your personal items with you. If you know you’ll be returning to the same property or area, you may consider storing larger belongings locally – the property manager may have storage space, so make sure to ask!
3. Budget Wisely for Winter
The great news is that, in addition to including furnishings and maintenance as part of your booking, the monthly costs for a vacation rental home are predictable. If you’re a homeowner, you are responsible for the costs of upkeep all year long – even when the property is empty – so having a budget is important.
Before you book your vacation rental, make sure to ask the property owner if there are any additional costs beyond rent, like electricity or Internet. At Kong Vacation Homes, all utilities and Wi-Fi are included in your stay! However, there are extra fees for your pet (if you have one) and cleaning.
4. Make Sure Your Permanent Home Is Winterized
If you are planning to be gone all winter long, consider shutting off your plumbing, turning down your heat, forwarding your mail, and unplugging the electronics you are leaving behind. Have a trusted friend or neighbor keep an eye on your home while you are away. If your home is in a particularly snowy area, think about hiring a plow service!
5. Get Connected
Through social media, you can connect with like-minded snowbirds! We hope that you also will connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube at @kongvacationhomes.
If you are interested in the snowbird lifestyle, Kong Vacation Homes can help find the right winter home for you. Contact us at 866-499-9026 or check out our website to see available properties. When you rent with us, it’s “Your Experience, Your Way”…no matter the season!