An older couple in Florida driving to use a snowbird car shipping service.


Going home for the spring and summer isn’t as simple as packing your clothes and boarding a plane

Estimates suggest nearly 1 million seasonal residents flock to Florida in the fall and winter annually, spending the coldest months of the year in a warmer climate before returning home in the spring. Arizona also sees its fair share of sunseekers in the winter.

The individuals who arrive from northern states and Canada are known as snowbirds, and they travel back and forth between their residences to avoid poor weather. 

While the life of a snowbird sounds appealing, packing up your entire life every six months is a lot of work, and there are many things to remember along the way. The last thing you want to do is forget some essential items because recovering them will be expensive and challenging. 

Therefore, ensuring you’re prepared to return home in the early spring is vital because it makes the transition far more straightforward. 

Here’s a look at four essential tips to streamline this process, including information on snowbird car shipping. 

Key takeaways

  • Snowbirds spend their winters in warmer climates
  • Returning home takes some preparation
  • Shipping your car can save on travel time

1. Make a checklist

One of the most straightforward steps you can take before returning home is creating a pre-departure checklist to avoid leaving anything behind. It’s easy to overlook certain items when spending months in a location because they can seep into your subconscious to the point where you barely notice them. 

A checklist makes it less likely you’ll forget your valuables because you can spend weeks remembering and adding to the list. 

Items to put on your checklist include your travel documents, medication, and electronics, which are objects you won’t want to be without when you return home. 

Your checklist might also include the other ideas on this list, which are jobs you’ll take care of closer to your departure date.

2. Plan your travel route

A significant part of your planning should involve determining how you are getting home. Many people will drive their vehicles to their summer residence, which takes a lot of time and puts additional wear on the car. 

It’s possible to fly home and use a snowbird car shipping service for your vehicle. That way, you don’t have to worry about traffic, driving long distances, or taking hotel rooms along the way. When you factor in the stops you’ll have to make, using an auto transport service might save you money, and it’s far safer.

If you decide to drive, figure out a route that avoids major cities as much as possible. This strategy means less traffic, and there are often cheaper hotel rooms in outlying areas. 

You’ll also want to look at the weather forecast while planning your return home because a late-season snowstorm could create significant travel delays. Servicing your car before departure is also advisable.

When flying, you should know that transporting your belongings becomes more challenging. You might choose to ship certain items or use a moving company rather than paying for baggage because it could save you some cash. You’ll probably throw any perishable items you don’t consume in the garbage, too, because taking them on the plane isn’t feasible. 

Carefully think about your travel plans well before it’s time to leave to avoid a chaotic scene at the last minute.

3. Close up your winter home

Of course, if you own your southern home and aren’t just renting it for the season, you’ll have to close it up for the year. This process could involve simple tasks like removing the linens, cleaning the house from top to bottom, and emptying the refrigerator.

The goal is to ensure your home is ready for you to return next fall and is in as good condition as possible for when that day arrives.

Other jobs you can do before leaving for the season include setting your air conditioning to a higher temperature to limit energy consumption and adjusting the humidistat to its summer setting, so you don’t return to mold and mildew. You might also unplug all your televisions, radios, and lights, preventing them from using power when you aren’t there.

If you have mail or newspapers delivered to your winter home, you’ll want to cancel those services along with your television and internet subscriptions. You can leave some of these services active if you’ll be renting the house out to other parties in the summer, though.

Remember to contact your security contractor before you leave for the season, too, so they know the building will be unoccupied until the following fall.

4. Reconnect your services at home

Once you’re all ready to leave, it’s a good idea to reconnect the services at your summer home. This job could include contacting your phone, cable, and internet providers so these amenities are available when you arrive back at your other property. 

You might also want to arrange for some basic maintenance when you return, such as having an HVAC contractor clean your filters and inspect your air conditioning system. Cleaning your vents is also a good idea because mold can form over time.

The goal is to ensure your summer home is as comfortable as possible when you return and minimizing potential service disruptions helps you get there.

Developing your travel plan

Deciding how you’ll get home is perhaps the most critical part of this process because it determines how much time you’ll spend on the road and what you can take with you. It’s a good idea to begin looking early if you’re seeking cheap airline tickets or a snowbird car shipping service because that gives you more time to find a good deal

Mercury Auto Transport offers car shipping brokerage services, presenting you with quotes from reputable carriers in your area. These snowbird car shipping service providers will return your vehicle to your summer home, saving you the drive. Contact Mercury Auto Transport today to learn more or receive a free quote.


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What Our Customrs Are Saying


We feel it’s important for you to know how we determined your quote. Quotes are based on what the market demands for cars to be moved at a given time. Each quote is compared with the current rates on the National Load Board before being sent to our customers and will be reviewed periodically through the process.

Other companies might offer you a lower price to obtain your business. This method is ineffective because if the car does not pay the correct amount of money, it will run the probability of not getting loaded or transported on time. You will not get this information from our competitors. Truck drivers always take the loads that pay the most first, leaving the loads that are mispriced to be moved last or not at all. We try very hard to avoid this with our customers by quoting a fair but realistic quote up front. Visit our How we determine your quote page for more information.

Understanding auto transport insurance is important and we think it’s valuable to explain how it works. As part of providing a great car transport service, it is our job to guarantee that the carrier we assign to pickup your vehicle is licensed and insured. Click here to check out our license.

When you go with Mercury to ship your vehicle, you can rest assured that the carrier assigned to move your car is fully insured and licensed with the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier and Saftey Administration).

Your vehicle is covered by the carrier’s insurance policy that is doing the shipping. Depending on the type and size of the truck/trailer that is shipping your car, the insurance policy can cover from $100,000 to $1,000,000 of damage.

We have also provided a checklist to explain what you need to do at both pickup and delivery in case there are any issues so, you can file a claim and know that everything will be taken care of.

It is rare but, time-to-time there may be accidental damage while in transit and it is good to know that your carrier’s insurance will protect your auto shipment in that event.

To view a sample BOL (Bill of Lading) and learn what to do in case of accidental damage, please check out our Condition Report and Procedure checklist.

When comparing auto transport companies, keep in mind that low-priced quotes often result in delays in getting your vehicle loaded. Choosing the right broker is vital to getting a reputable carrier for the lowest price possible.  

We feel it’s important for you to know how we determine your quote.

When you’re looking for a car shipping rate, you want to understand how auto transport works. Prices are based on seasonal market demands for cars to be moved at any given time. Each quote is prepared based on the season and the current national rates.

When comparing auto transport companies, keep in mind that low-priced quotes often result in delays in getting your vehicle loaded. Choosing the right broker is vital to getting a reputable carrier for the lowest price possible. Not all brokers are created equal in this talent.

Mercury does a thorough background check with each carrier for every shipment. We verify their ratings, references, and in addition, we obtain a certified copy of their insurance certificate, directly from the government agency that it is on file with.

You can have peace of mind knowing that the carrier shipping your vehicle is the very best and that there are no surprises guaranteed.

Mercury Auto Transport is licensed, Bonded and Insured. Our FMSCA Motor Carrier Number is MC647319.

While we do our best match your auto shipping needs with the most responsible carriers with the best track records, from time-to-time there may be accidental damage while in transit, it is good to know that the insurance of the carrier we locate for you will protect your auto shipment in that event.

Shipping a vehicle can be stressful if you don’t know what to do.  This is why we believe it is paramount to have our highly trained agents be your main point of contact from start to finish.

They will go over everything you need to know so you can relax.  In the meanwhile, we prepared this checklist.  This includes everything from pickup to delivery and how to make sure your car is ready for pickup.

When it comes to car moving, we want you to be ahead of the game!  For any questions and further assistance our agents are standing by, (800) 553-1828.  Please read our checklist to prepare your vehicle to learn more.

There are several ways you can ship a car.  The options include enclosed trailer, open carrier transport, flatbed truck, door-to-door shipping services, and to or from a terminal as well.  The most popular of the options is a 7 to 10 car open carrier.  These large trucks can accommodate almost any size vehicle including carsSUVstrucksjeeps, and vans.

Open car transport, door to door is also the best way to get the cheapest auto transport rate possible.  To learn more and see what transport method is best for you, please fill out our free quote form and one of our representatives will respond to you within minutes.  You can also call us at (800) 553-1828.

We present offers from FMCSA Licensed and Insured Carriers. When you accept an offer, we send your service agreement that guarantees the price, door-to-door service, and 100% bumper-to-bumper insurance. There are never any hidden fees or charges, guaranteed.