We are not talking about the availability of health care in the country of choice on this page. Nor are we talking about the security of your home at your summer, off-Snowbird-season home. That info is on other pages on this site. On this page we are talking about your overall snowbird travel security, the situation that is “on the ground” in the country of choice and the area in which you might choose to winter over.
Some countries are not Snowbird visitor safe, period!
There are some South American and Caribbean countries that have tourist welcome areas yes, but stray outside of these areas, and you are at a great deal of risk. Armed persons can be found on corners, in convenience stores and gas stations. They wouldn’t be there if there wasn’t a need for them.
The Canadian Consul and travel advisories recommend that Canadians don’t visit some countries. If you must go to these non-recommended countries, go with extreme preparation and care. Is this really type of environment where you want to spend 3-4 months every winter in your Snowbird home away from home? Not us, for sure.
Snowbird Security at our Snowbird home.
The things that concern us about the location of our Snowbird home location are…
- will we be safe in our Snowbird home/apartment/condo?
- are there areas outside of our potential Snowbird home/apartment/condo area that are unsafe to be in at night or on foot?
- in the select area of our Snowbird home/apartment/condo, how likely are we to be robbed, or have our car broken into?
If you are just starting to look for a Snowbird home and safety is a concern of yours, consider using a browser search about “what is the safest town/city” in your possible Snowbird location . That may bring guidance to help a potential Snowbird to decide where to start looking to acquire a home.
Once a home is acquired, will we be safe in our home/apartment/condo?
Boy, this is a tough one to answer, as the answer really is, it depends!
If you are looking at a specific area, the browser search for “xxxx crime rate?” for that area, where the xxxx is the name of the town or city where you are considering a Snowbird home. Browse a number of pages on that topic, not just one. Many I found are sensationalist, but if you take the time to compare the stats from many sites, you’ll come up with a good sense about what the crime stats really are in an area.
Consider the potential home/apartment/condo security.
- Does your apartment building have security, and are you comfortable with the level of safety it provides tenants?
- Talk to the neighbours if at all possible – ask for their thoughts and tips.
- How accessible is the Snowbird home for spontaneous break in? Fences, large hedges, well lighted, motion detectors and motion lights etc.
- How fast will the local police respond to a call (call them and ask!)
- If in a home park, what security, if any, is in place?
Are there areas outside of our Snowbird home/apartment/condo area that are unsafe to be in at night or on foot?
- Your potential new neighbours can provide help here. Ask their opinion.
- Take the time to drive around all the areas near your potential Snowbird home to check things out yourself.
- Of particular concern to us was what we would call “sketchy” housing developments nearby. If we weren’t comfortable being in these areas in daylight, it’s for sure we wouldn’t be comfortable walking them by night. Remember, in winter and depending on where your prospective Snowbird home is, the streets can become dark around 5:00 pm.
In the area you are considering for your Snowbird home/apartment/condo, how likely is it to be robbed, or have our car broken into?
- Talk to the prospective neighbours.
- Check the websites for crime statistics in the neighbourhood.
- Is the area homogeneous, or is there a wide income disparity close by?
- Where in the residential area will your prospective home be, at the edge of the development, or surrounded by like homes/condos/apartments?
- Is the neighbourhood or area have a lot of Snowbird residences?
- Regardless of where, when you park, lock all the vehicle doors… all the time.
Ultimately Snowbird Travel Security for your destination is your choice!
No one can determine your comfort level as to where your Snowbird home will be but you. Some folks have no concerns at all. Others will have grave concerns and be extra careful.
As for us, we acquired a modest home in a 55+ park. Before we bought, we drove through it completely to be entirely comfortable with the homesite development. We drove the roads all around the home site quite extensively and in so doing managed to avoid acquiring a home that was too close to an industrial areas for us, and avoided another that we really liked that just happened to have a main railway line just over the trees. We talked to many potential neeighbours in that park to get their sense of the place. During the drive though we noticed the licence plates in the park to see who came from where to try and determine our comfort level there. We decided to buy in a park which is slightly away from the commercial areas of town with the restaurants and bars, the shopping, and the major part of the population in the adjacent area.
We are not ancient but find now that we are rarely out and about after dark, by choice, not by fear. Though, in so doing, we remove ourselves from the areas around where, later at night, the local jackals come out to feed.
And after six years of Snowbird living in our cottage home in Florida, it’s still so far, so good.
Good luck in your home choices, and stay safe.