Southern destinations are a top choice for winter-weary Canadians and there is no place like Florida to shake of winter’s chill. With warm temperatures, swaying palm trees, and crystal clear waters—it's a go-to destination for many travellers, including snowbirds.
Given the exchange rate, however, a trip to the Sunshine State can be expensive. With this in mind, here are five destinations in Florida that will help you stretch your vacation dollar further.
1. St. Petersburg
This charming location gives you the best of Florida. With convenience and amenities mixed together with affordability, this is a location that has it all. During your stay, experience the best of boating, golfing, beachgoing, and fishing. It is also the home to The Dali Museum, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, and Fort De Soto Park Trail that leads right to the Gulf of Mexico. The temperatures are mild, making St. Petersburg an excellent destination to escape the cold.
This is an affordable destination due to its location outside of the typical tourist areas and its small-town atmosphere that eschews big city prices.
2. Cocoa Beach
Just south of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station lies a tropical paradise. Cocoa Beach has an average temperature of 23 degrees Celsius which means you'll enjoy hiking through nature preserves, visiting galleries, or taking in the famous Kennedy Space Center. With Cocoa Beach being just an hour away from Orlando, it's an easy day trip. You'll have the quaint and laid-back atmosphere of Cocoa Beach, yet will be just a short drive from the city.
This is another destination that’s affordable due to its location. It's close enough to Orlando to visit but far enough that everything from accommodations to food is cheaper.
3. The Villages
Speaking of a day trip to Orlando, The Villages is another affordable destination that is close to the city. Known as "Florida's Friendliest Retirement Hometown" it is also visitor-friendly. There's plenty of shopping, endless dining choices, and the beaches are some of the best in the entire state of Florida. While a name like The Villages may sound tiny, this area encompasses three counties and has over 50 golf courses and three town squares.
This is a lower cost option because packages are offered that are designed specifically for retired travellers on a budget.
4. Treasure Island
One of the unique aspects of Treasure Island is that every area where you can stay is near the water. Just west of St. Petersburg, this area is known for its beaches. There are plenty of eateries, golf, tennis, and shops. For the water lovers, it has three miles of pure white sand on its beaches and boasts the "world's longest waterfront bar." Just two miles away is St. Petersburg and just a little beyond that is the Florida Orange Groves and Winery. With fiery sunsets, powder white sand, and clear blue water—Treasure Island is a real treasure of a place to visit.
This hidden gem is close to everything but is its own destination, away from the high prices of the bigger cities.
Hollywood is an iconic name for sure, but instead of the bustling city in Los Angeles, Hollywood, Florida is a tropical setting for those who want to get away from it all. Whether it's the sun, sand, or water that you love—there is plenty to enjoy. In fact, for decades it has been a popular destination. Don't let that scare you though, as the city remains casual. Visit the Hollywood Beach Boardwalk for a carefree experience. Of course, if you still crave an exciting nightlife, Hollywood is home to cultural and international music scenes.
The key to keeping within your budget is to stay a few blocks away from the city's main beach. You want to be close enough to walk to the beach and all the restaurants, but far enough to save your bank account from added expenses.
Seek the sun with affordable snowbird travel insurance
All of these destinations in Florida are budget-friendly, yet give you all that Florida has to offer. You'll find plenty of savings and more room to have fun while you're there. And since all are popular destinations for snowbirds, you will feel as welcome as you are entertained.
Wherever you choose to visit in Florida however, make sure that you have snowbird travel insurance to give you peace of mind when travelling. These insurance policies ensure that you are financially protected should you become ill or injured while travelling and require medical attention.
According to the Government of Canada: Your Canadian insurance is almost certainly not valid outside Canada. Your provincial or territorial health plan may cover nothing or only a very small portion of the costs if you get sick or are injured while abroad.
On this latter point, the Canadian Snowbird Association provides some additional insight on the types of costs you may incur due to a medical emergency abroad: Provincial government health insurance plans do not cover full medical expenses outside Canada and 80-90% of any medical bills will usually be your responsibility.
There is no reason to risk it when you have options to ensure you're covered, affordably. Compare snowbird travel insurance to ensure the best rate possible. It only takes little time to save your money.