Two Alternate Travel Options To Get to Your Destination

Midlife Snowbird Nashville Tennessee skyline
Nashville Tennessee skyline

Two Alternate Travel Options

How to Get to Your Warm Weather Destination Without Driving Yourself

At some point, every snowbird must decide whether to continue driving themselves to their destination. It's a tough decision snowbirds face for various reasons. 

As snowbirds age, it becomes increasingly challenging to navigate traffic and long distances to get to and from one's destination. I typically assist my husband with routes and traffic as we travel through Indianapolis, Indiana; Louisville, Kentucky; Nashville, Tennessee; then Birmingham and Montgomery, Alabama. Our snowbird friends from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Colorado and Ohio must endure longer distances including traversing metro areas such as Chicago, Illinois; St Louis, Missouri, Memphis Tennessee and Atlanta, Georgia.

Add hills and mountains, poor weather conditions, traffic accidents, road construction, low lighting due to nighttime travel and you get a potentially treacherous mix. None of this is particularly easy when in your 50's and 60's and it feels that much more distressing in your 70's, 80's and 90's. Fatigue is a problem at any age, but it only gets worse when combined with declining health, limited vision and/or solo travelers who don't have anyone with whom to trade driving duty. Safety is always a concern when traveling, especially when solo or elderly.

I spoke with several friends who are all facing the dilemma of what to do about travel alternatives. Two are solo women and one couple will be 80 and 90 years old by next season. After much thought and discussion, these are the pros and cons for alternate travel options for snowbirds who no longer want to continue driving to their warm weather destinations.    

Two Travel Options When You No Longer Want to Drive to Your Snowbird Destination


Air Travel

Not everyone is a good candidate for air travel, but for those who can make it work, go for it! Bus or train travel has similar considerations to air travel and may or may not be a good option for snowbirds.


Eliminates the need to drive to your destination; is typically faster than driving; can potentially accommodate some pets; usually eliminates the need for hotels to/from your destination.


Weather travel delays; need to rent a vehicle OR store a vehicle in the off-season; proximity to/from the airport may require a long drive; a shuttle or transportation to from/airport is required; air travel may or may not work for all pets; air, bus or train travel may not work well for all humans; shipping belongings may be necessary; flights can be expensive and not flexible for travel dates

Additional Considerations for Flying Snowbirds

Hire a Driver or Enlist the Assistance of Family/Friends to Drive

As with any other mode of travel, enlisting the assistance of family or a professional driver is not without advantages and drawbacks.


Provides bonding time with a friend or family member; accommodates most pets and there may be some flexibility with travel dates depending on the driver who will be assisting you.


Must rely on the schedule of others; professional drivers will charge a fee; must trust the driving skills of someone else; driver/s must travel to your area for pick-up and drop off; compatibility during travel could be an issue; it does not eliminate the need for hotels to/from your destination and possibly requires a second room for your driver/s; requires paying for meals and incidentals for your driver; airfare to/from your destination for your driver is necessary and you will need to rent a vehicle OR store one on site in the off-season.


"I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”

-- Jimmy Dean, American country music singer, actor, businessman


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