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Old 07-14-2016, 01:39 PM   #21
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Interesting question. In all honesty, I don't know. I've long dreamt of spending winters out of the Upstate NY icebox, and next winter will be my first winter of retirement. The reality is that I'm not sure I'll be comfortable being away from home that long. I'll have to see how it goes. Of course, DW is not retired, and I don't plan on being away from her for 3 months at a crack, so it's not really time yet. But realistically, even if she were, I might not be comfortable with it. I might have to fly home for a week to make sure everything is intact, and remind myself of how much I don't like snow and slush over my shoe tops .

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Old 07-14-2016, 01:49 PM   #22
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I have several friends who snowbird from November to March but return to Canada for Christmas and New Years.

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Old 07-14-2016, 02:18 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Bestwifeever View Post
We don't have someone to keep an eye on things while we're away, other than a kind neighbor who has a life of his ow, so two weeks at one time is it for us. I'm thinking there must be services that would check the mail occasionally and drive by to see if the door was hanging open--maybe I'll look for that. Because I would love to be away for the winter.
In principle, the USPS will forward mail to a US address for a temporary period of up to 6 months (renewable for an additional 6 months). I used this service for 3 months a couple of years ago and it was a disaster thanks to my local P.O.

Anyways I see the P.O. now has a "premium forwarding service" for ~$20/week in which they collect each week's mail and then repackage and forward to you as priority express mail. Presumably this also forwards only to US addresses.

If you are abroad you could use the USPS forwarding to a commercial mail scanning service and get your mail as emailed PDFs. This is actually what I tried to do. I had some problems with the mail scanning service, but even bigger problems with the USPS forwarding.
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Old 07-14-2016, 02:31 PM   #24
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2 or 3 weeks is the longest I like to be gone from our 4 old dogs. When we take the RV we take them and have been gone for a month.
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Old 07-14-2016, 03:23 PM   #25
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We have eliminated as much of our postal service as possible. Every bill, bank statements have been converted to email. Our son checks our mail every week or so. When we are away for two or three months we are seldom in one spot for more than four or five days, and always in a foreign country. Forwarding mail would not work for us.

One of the reasons that we downsized was to be rid of the burden of the place while on vacation. Most especially in the winter months when the heat needs to be on and the sidewalks shovelled. Don't miss this at all.

At some point we may buy a place in the sun but not until we make a little more progress on our bucket list or just do not want to travel like this any more. Independent travel in a foreign country is very rewarding but it can also be hard work at times. At this point in time we have at least 2 more winters of potential trips identified.
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Old 07-14-2016, 04:35 PM   #26
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A month is common for us. We could go, longer as we have a mail service to fall back on. We might start doing more of a reverse snowbird thing in the summer months.

We thought we'd be doing more Europe travel in the summer, but it turns out shoulder season is best for most locations unless pretty far north. Fewer crowds too.
Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
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Old 07-15-2016, 10:01 AM   #27
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Last year we left on New Years eve day and returned home on Easter weekend. This year it was 9 weeks. We went a little later because of our daughter's destination wedding in Mexico.

Last year it was Ontario cottage country, Greece/Islands, and Paris for 2 months. This year it is driving from west to east (wedding), cottage country, with stops along the way plus Newfoundland and Ireland and back through Maine and Vermont.

This winter it will probably be South America, with hopefully a last minute cruise and Panama, or few months in Mexico trying to determine if it is a place we might consider buying a condo.
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Old 07-15-2016, 03:10 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Meadbh View Post
I have several friends who snowbird from November to March but return to Canada for Christmas and New Years.
Describes us. We need to be out of the US for set least 30 days to reset our visas. Time both in Canmore and Ontario visiting family.

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