Every winter, millions of people – largely seniors and retirees – pack their bags, load up their RVs or book their flights with warm destinations in mind. Soon after they start sharing photos of themselves sipping tropical drinks on sandy shores while the rest of their family members are likely shivering in icy drifts back home.

This seasonal migration has become the norm for a distinct demographic who prefer to ride out the winter in locales that are free from snow, ice and frigid temperatures. The term “snowbird” was first used in the 1920s to describe seasonal workers who moved south for the winter months, and in 1979 it was used in reference to tourists who headed south each winter. According to Vacations Made Easy, around 10 percent of the snowbirds who head to the southern United States each winter are Canadian. Florida is one of the most popular destinations for snowbirds.

A significant percentage of snowbirds eventually will make their southern residences permanent. In the meantime, shoppers who want to give a fitting gift for the snowbirds who are still traveling each year can consider the following ideas this holiday season.

· Golf course guide: Retirees often spend time out on the golf course. Offer a guide to various courses in southern states, and they can plan their trips by making road trips as they visit each course.

· GPS device: While many snowbirds have cars already equipped with built-in navigation, those driving older vehicles may benefit from a GPS device they can mount to the dashboard, which will provide directions if they have to divert from their normal routes or when they want to go off the beaten path on their way to sunny skies.

· Decorative stationery: Make it easy for snowbirds to communicate with friends and family back home in a traditional way. Decorative note cards, post cards or other stationery can be a nice gift, and these notes can serve as mementos for recipients, particularly grandchildren.


· Customized T-shirts: Have T-shirts monogrammed or customized with messages that play to snowbirds’ love of travel and/or sense of humor.

· Beach essentials: Put together a gift that makes spending time on the beach more enjoyable. A beach caddy stocked with sunscreen, towels, an umbrella, and flip flops will give beachgoers a head start on gathering seaside essentials.

· Food and wine carrier: Keeping items cool is critical in hot climates. A well-insulated food and beverage carrier can make picnics or snacks by the shore comfortable and safe.

· Lounges: Whether you offer a zero-gravity lounge to set up on the lenai or a floating beach lounge for relaxing in the waves, a gift that brings relaxation to the next level will be appreciated.

Snowbirds travel many miles to reach warm destinations and ride out winter in comfort. Gifts geared around this annual tradition are guaranteed to make snowbirds smile.

Comments are not available on this story.