DestinationsFeatures

Snowbird Destinations for International Travelers

In a previous post, we highlighted the top snowbird destinations in the U.S., but what if you want to travel somewhere outside of the norm and perhaps a little more exotic? Fortunately, the world is full of awe and splendor and there are several destinations around the globe that have a mild climate year-round while also being picturesque places to visit. From Europe to Central and South America or Asia, snowbird-friendly communities are waiting for those who wish to find sunshine, relaxation, and unforgettable memories abroad. Here are the best non-U.S. destinations for Snowbirds:

Tamarindo, Costa Rica 

Situated in the Guanacaste Province of Costa Rica, this bustling tourist town is an ideal destination for snowbird travelers. The main draw of this region in Costa Rica is of course the coast with its gorgeous beaches such as Playa Tamarindo, Playa Grande, and Playa Azul a little further to the south. The town of Tamarindo has plenty of hotels, stores, bars, restaurants, and tour companies that can provide all the accommodations, amenities, and activities you’ll need for a great time. Additionally, the entire country of Costa Rica presents a wealth of excellent snowbird activities so if an extended stay is in the cards, you’ll find no shortage of great places, towns, and cities to explore with guaranteed excellent weather throughout.

Panama City, Panama

The neighboring country to the east of Costa Rica is Panama and its capital city is Panama City right along the southern coast. As a city of nearly a million people, it’s much different than our first suggested snowbird destination of Tamarindo, Costa Rica. It’s less of a quiet beach community and more of a bustling and exciting city on the coast. That said, you’ll find ample opportunity for rest and relaxation if that is what you seek. Furthermore, the people are very friendly, the weather is predictable and mild, and its an overall inexpensive city which also has the convenience of utilizing the U.S. dollar. Not only is Panama City an inexpensive city, but visitors will also find great outdoor activities, excellent bars and restaurants, and plenty of places for accommodations.

Medellín, Colombia

This one may seem controversial as the second-largest city in Colombia was considered one of the most dangerous cities in the world just 25 years ago. A sordid past and the stain of Pablo Escobar along with the birth of farc rebels loomed heavy over the region and country throughout the 80s, 90s, and into the early 2000s. Today, the city is considered one of the “most innovative cities in the world” and has one of the fastest growing economies of any city in South America. And most important of all, Medellín is now a wonderful place of law-abiding citizens and tourists that is as safe as its ever been. Also known as the City of Eternal Spring, Medellín has an idyllic climate with average highs in the low 80s and average lows in the high 60s throughout the year, making it an ideal destination for snowbirds. Additionally, the city features terrific parks and museums, a breathtaking botanical garden, great bars and restaurants, nightlife, and so much more. And connecting all of this wonderful culture is an efficient and affordable metro system making it very easy to explore the far reaches of what this city has to offer.

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai is an ancient city in the Northern region of Thailand that attracts millions of tourists every year. It’s calm and relaxing vibe provide a welcome respite compared to the more well known and hectic city of Bangkok to the south. The winter months are more mild and tolerable than the summer months as average temperatures top out in the 80s with lows in the 60s. In addition to terrific year-round weather, visitors will find excellent and affordable food throughout the city as well as affordable options for lodging, transportation, shopping, and just about everything else. The cost of living in Chiang Mai is a mere 10{8638ccd9af8282cbf0f67b1fdb6786def932c7d7210936cf91a8c530d7383d94} of that in the United States. The city is nestled wonderfully among beautiful foothills and lush green countryside and is simply a beautiful locale in a beautiful country. Visitors will be able to participate in a vast array of activities like touring the countless buddhist temples in the area or exploring the nearby rainforest or perhaps trying some of the best green curry you’ve ever had. Finally, Chiang Mai is surrounded by a tangle of superhighways and has some of the best infrastructure in the country with trains, luxury buses, and cheap flights available to travelers. If you’re looking for affordable transport to the country’s beaches such as Phuket or Krabi or even to neighboring countries like Vietnam, Cambodia, or Malaysia, Chiang Mai is a great jumping off point for those additional travels.

Penang, Malaysia

To the south of Thailand lies the country of Malaysia and just off the coast lies the beautiful and historical island and province of Penang. Once located on the Spice Route, Victorians coined the island as the “Pearl of the Orient.” It’s capital city of George Town was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008 and does a great job of blending the old and historical with the new and fresh. You’ll find innovative high-rise buildings amidst ornate Buddhist temples and old colonial homes. The island also offers terrific beaches along with breathtaking mountain peaks and jungle retreats all just a day trip away. You’ll find ample lodging ranging from 4-star hotels to budget hostels, great shopping, terrific street food and great coffee shops, and some really beautiful and unique street art throughout the city.

Algarve, Portugal

The southern-most province of Portugal is a region called Algarve with seemingly endless surf, sun, sand, and beaches. The region also features ancient ruins to explore from the days of Roman and Moorish rule. Travelers will also find dozens of golf courses, great hiking, cycling, yachting, and fishing options that will keep snowbirds occupied for weeks on end. This beautiful region on the Atlantic Ocean also has terrific cuisine and amazing regional wine offerings, all quite affordable while you satisfy your travel indulgences.

Christchurch, New Zealand

It’s no wonder Peter Jackson chose his home country of New Zealand to film the iconic Lord of the Rings films. The natural surroundings are downright breathtaking and the largest city in the South Island, Christchurch is no different. The region is blessed with a mild climate year round with the warmest temperatures actually coming in the months of November to March, perfect for snowbirds looking for a winter getaway. When visiting Christchurch, you’ll be in awe of the snow capped mountains in the distance. And if you are interested in amazing outdoor activities, Christchurch is the place for you. Visitors can experience horse-led treks, world-class hiking, great local cultural experiences, and a variety of gardens and museums around the city. As the gateway to the south side of the island, Christchurch is a golf-lover’s paradise with over twenty-five golf courses within forty minutes of downtown. And you’ll find all courses at a fraction of comparable U.S. establishments.