An elderly couple ready to travel with their suitcase

Travelling snowbirds, what should you pack?

Heading to a warmer climate for the winter this year? Escaping the snow for a few months takes a lot of organization. By carefully preparing your departure, you can leave with peace of mind. Here’s a checklist to help you pack your luggage.

The basics

  • Travel documentation (passport, visa, plane ticket, reservation numbers, rental addresses, websites, etc.)
  • Medication and prescriptions (copies of your medical files and prescriptions)
  • First aid kit
  • Emergency contacts (important addresses and phone numbers)
  • Toiletries
  • Literature (travel guides, maps, etc.)
  • Clothing (neutral colours are easy to match and to layer come nightfall)
  • Money (currency and credit cards accepted at destination)

Put the essentials in your carry-on baggage. If you’re taking the plane, pack items in your checked luggage that aren’t allowed in carry-on and bring a change of clothes with you in case your baggage is delayed. Compression socks can be very helpful in promoting blood circulation in your legs during the flight.

Other items

Whatever your transportation mode or destination, you may need the following items:

  • Bedding and towels
  • Cleaning products
  • Some kitchen supplies (e.g. small coffee maker, can opener, corkscrew, condiments, etc.)
  • Paper, pens, etc.
  • Board games (cards, dice, etc.)
  • Prepaid calling cards


  • Make your own checklist: Ask your travel partner to look it over with you and check off each item as it goes into the suitcase. Keep the list and do the same for your return trip.
  • Follow the golden rule of savvy travellers: Think you’ve got it down to the essentials? Place everything on your bed and try to eliminate some items. It’s always better to travel light, especially if you’re flying and want to avoid excess baggage fees.
  • Check your suitcases a second time: Forgetting a hat is one thing, but leaving without your medication or passport is another.

Prevention is best

Aim for a worry-free trip and relax knowing everything is under control. Snowbirds need specialized travel insurance and emergency coverage. If you plan on heading to a warmer climate come the first snowfall, learn about our insurance for snowbirds.

Have fun preparing and packing!