October and April can be the best months in the year here in Tucson. Snowbirds normally arrive sometime from November-January and leave at the end of March or sooner. Golf rates go down after April 15 and back up again around the first of December. The reduction in prices also happens with all the rentals in the area too.
Many people that I know started their snowbird life here in the southwest by renting an apartment. I have never actually done this but those people that live around me have stayed in apartments during their first few years here. I never could get a grasp on how to do that. When one of my friends told me how they did it, I was surprised at how easy it could really be.
While some snowbirds rent their apartment in advance, our friends just came to town with a box of kitchen necessities, toiletries, clothing, bath towels and a set of bedding. They brought an inflatable mattress that they used as their bed...there are some wonderful styles now that will even support overweight people. They found an unfurnished apartment near a local golf course and signed a short term lease. Then they headed for the thrift stores where they picked up a couple of chairs and a table. After they learned more they even went to a rental furniture store and rented some furniture so they could be more comfortable. At the end of the season they donated what they had purchased back to the thrift stores. They golfed on the money they saved by living this way. They saw it all as a wonderful adventure!
You can rent furnished condos but they are very expensive. Even renting a furnished park model here in this resort can cost you up to $1800 per month during high season. (Take a look at Arizona Snowbird Rental). If you are ambitious enough and willing to live modestly for a while during the shoulder of the season, you can keep the cost down. Our friends did this for many years and then discovered our RV resort's park models and bought one.
If you are planning for next season you had better get busy and do something now! Snowbirds are traveling home but you can bet they will be back next year...and there will be more than ever. If you are traveling on the shoulder of the season, you will find that making arrangements for your stay will be a lot easier.