We’ve made the list, all you have to do is check it twice!

Each year as many as 500,000 Canadians head south for 3-6 months to enjoy a warm, snow-free winter. Whether you are a seasoned snowbird or new to the flock, we have compiled a list of 10 things-to-do before you go in order to make the trip as stress-free as possible.

Top 10 items on every snowbird’s to-do list:

  1. Winterize your home. This includes having your furnace checked, changing the air filter, turning off the outside water and draining any hoses, and conducting an overall walk around to ensure everything is in top shape.
  2. Mail collection. Even if you have your mail forwarded and use e-billing systems, your mailbox will continue to collect flyers, brochures, and other promotional mail. Have a friend, neighbor or family member get your mail at least once a week while you are away, as well as pick up any papers or flyers that are put at your front door.
  3. Garbage days. Let neighbors know they can put extra garbage bags in front of your house or ask them to occasionally put one of their recycle bins in front of your home on collection days. This will give the appearance that the house is occupied.
  4. Install and program timers. Light timers are a great way to make it look like someone is home.
  5. Arrange for snow removal. Nothing shouts “no one is home” like a build-up of unshovelled snow.
  6. Use a safety deposit box. Any valuables that you are not taking with you should go into a safety deposit box while you are away to alleviate stress or worry.
  7. Suspend utilities. Call your T.V., cable and internet provider(s) and let them know you would like to suspend services for the amount of time you will be away. Just be sure that this will not impact any home monitoring or alarm systems.
  8. Call your bank and credit card companies. It is important that your financial institutions know that you will be out of the country so they don’t put any unnecessary holds on your accounts.
  9. Make photocopies of all of your important documents. This includes travel info and the contents of your wallet such as your driver’s license and health card. Keep one copy with you but separate from the originals. Put the other copy in a sealed envelope and leave it with a relative or trusted friend to open only if needed. Don’t forget to get this back when you get home.
  10. Keep travel plans off of social media. As much fun as it is to share your adventures, save the social media posts until you are home.

Travelling is exciting, but it’s important to be prepared.

Safe travels!

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