Cruise Bruise

Cruise and Stay Snowbird Packages
South Carolina Beach Winter Rental Deals

Retired on $2000 month - Cheaper than you think - $490+ Monthly September to March

Cruise Ship Overboards Suicides
Cruise Ship Deaths Murders
Missing Passengers Crew
Cruise Ship Listing Sinking
Cruise Groundings Collisions
Cruise Fires Explosions Pirates




Cruise and Stay Snowbird Packages
South Carolina Beach Winter Rental Deals

Retired on $2000 month - Cheaper than you think - $490+ Monthly September to March

Cruise Bruise Investigates - Cruise and Stay Winter Snowbird Travel

Retired and living with an oceanfront view on a $2000 a month budget. Is it possible?

Earlier this summer we were contacted by a long time Cruise Bruise fan to assist them with research for a planned winter snow bird cruise and stay vacation. We discovered the couple are part of a growing group of unique winter snow birds who have mastered retirement life on a budget. They no longer comprise just northerners going south. Retired couples from southern inland areas are going north to inexpensive, off season, milder climate beaches for the winter.

The Wikipedia definition of a snowbird is an accurate assessment of a snowbird's life. "A snowbird is a term often associated with people who move from the higher latitudes and colder climates of the northern United States and Canada and migrate southward in winter to warmer locales such as Florida, California, Hawaii, Arizona, Texas, or elsewhere along the Sun Belt of the southern and southwestern United States, Mexico, and areas of the Caribbean. Snowbirds are typically retirees who wish to avoid the snow and cold temperatures of northern winter, but maintain ties with family and friends by staying there the rest of the year ". The coined term describes the migration of Canadian geese, hence the phrase, snowbirds.

Bob and Mary Johnson (not their real names), have a unique retirement lifestyle. They don't fit the definition of snowbirds, they are from Texas and migrate north in the winter as part of their extended stay cruise and stay itinerary. The retired couple spend the summer months living with their daughter, her husband and their children. They take care of their grandkids while their parents work from May to Labor Day. When the children go back to school in September, the Johnsons go on a luxurious Caribbean cruise to begin their snowbird life.

They end their cruise in Charleston, South Carolina and travel to the resort beach community of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The Johnsons stay in Myrtle Beach through the fall and winter, going back home to Texas at the beginning of May.

The resort where the couple normally wintered was bought out by a large corporation which no longer offers snow bird deals. However, prior to the acquisition, it was one of the few Myrtle Beach resorts which extended the snowbird deal to April and September at a bargain rate. This was the reason the Johnsons contacted me. They sought information on other snowbird winter rentals which might cover their stay from September through April at a reasonable rate.

They certainly came to the right person. Our Cruise Ship Wave network’s Myrtle Beach View website specializes in free things for families to do on summer vacation. But, since 2005 we have also specialized in snow bird winter rental information, listing 75 resorts with oceanfront winter rentals priced at $495 to $3,150 a month which include a wide range of amenities including all utilities, local phone and internet. The resort Bob and Mary used in prior years had been on our resource list through winter 2014, but was removed after the corporate buy out.

The Johnson's liked the location due to the proximity to Broadway at the Beach and the Market Common which fit their lifestyle. So, they wanted to stay in the south end for winter 2016. I consulted our list of Top Five Snowbird Winter Rentals in Myrtle Beach to find a property which would meet their needs.

Our Top Five Snowbird Winter Rentals list offers properties which begin at $495 a month to the high end at $1000 a month. The property which best met their needs was Myrtle Beach Resort. The resort is located near the Myrtle Beach/Surfside city border. Snowbird winter units are priced at $620 to $1,150 for efficiency, studio and 1-3 bedroom units.

This property has three oceanfront buildings of the four communities on the property with numerous fitness rooms, indoor and outdoor pools, indoor Jacuzzis, steam rooms and saunas on the property. As well, there is a library and a postal mail center with mail box rentals available.

The resort has an oceanfront restaurant with bar on the property, which is open all year. Free snowbird activities are held weekly both at the restaurant and in community rooms. There is a Walmart Neighborhood Market across the street for easy shopping along with a selection of other businesses including a nail salon, restaurants and a liquor store. Myrtle Beach Resort is on the Coast RTA bus routes schedule with transportation covering Myrtle Beach, Georgetown and inland to Conway, something the Johnson’s need.

A condo which will meet their needs is priced at $620 and up a month for the winter. Winter snowbird rentals are priced by the month on a sliding scale based on supply and demand. Unlike summer rentals, snow birds who stay 90 days or more pay no sales tax on their accommodations. This adds to the bargain value.

The Myrtle Beach Resort offers a fixed monthly rate, which is unique to the area. The Johnsons will pay only $620 from October through March. But, they will have to pay a weekly rate for September and April as an add-on to winter rates. Averaged out over the course of their stay, the averaged total monthly housing cost will be around $965 a month.

The supply and demand pricing of most Myrtle Beach resorts is lowest in December with summer prices decreasing in October and November and hitting rock bottom in December. Then, prices slowly increase again in January and February, finally peaking in March due to spring break. Then, summer pricing begins and oceanfront condos become very expensive.

The Johnsons have a really great retirement lifestyle plan. To keep winter costs low, the Johnsons fly out of Charleston to Myrtle Beach. They arrive at the airport and travel by bus to their resort instead of renting a vehicle or taking a taxi. They do their shopping and meet their weekly needs along with regular health screenings using the Coast RTA buses with a discounted senior bus pass. Their vehicle remains in Texas for their summer use with the kids and grandkids, keeping the vehicle’s mileage and wear and tear low.

The transportation cost for the Johnsons is based on a Coastal RTA bus Value Pass for both Bob and Mary at a cost of $25 a month each, bringing their eight month snow bird local travel cost to $400. This allows the Johnsons to live comfortably on a joint retirement income of $2000 per month without tapping into their retirement savings.

For an ocean view, they traded off some of the conveniences of their life in Texas. Summer they enjoy doing things with their grandkids, ending summer with a luxurious cruise. The Johnsons have gamed the retirement system in the United States, beyond anything I’ve seen. They have set the new standard for a low cost, active beach retirement lifestyle on budget.

For more information on Myrtle Beach snow bird life see the Supporting Information & Resources below.

Popular Myrtle Beach Deals!

Supporting Information & Resources:

  • Wikipedia Snowbirds Page
  • Myrtle Beach Local Information
  • Myrtle Beach Winter Snowbird Rental Deals
  • Myrtle Beach View Facebook Fan Page
  • We Love Myrtle Beach Facebook Group

  • Featured or New Cruise Ship Illness

    Suggested Reading Cruise Ship Illness