As i get older, I’m interested in adventures with my husband and family that are a bit off the beaten track of group tours but are not entirely independent trips where we have to make all the plans ourselves. Letting someone else be cruise director sounds more and more appealing, and takes a good deal of the stress out of traveling. Perhaps some of you are interested in the same thing. So I have been doing a little research….
Road Scholar is the name for the programs developed and offered by Elderhostel, Inc., the not-for-profit world leader in lifelong learning since 1975. They’ve made connections with educators and other local “insiders” all around the world, creating learning opportunities that show you the world in a way that just can’t be done on your own or on a “tour”, and they offer 6,500 educational tours in all 50 states and 150 countries. Alongside local and renowned experts, you can experience in-depth and behind-the-scenes learning opportunities, from cultural tours and study cruises to walking, biking and more. We’ve had the Roads Scholar catalog coming to the library for years, and the other day, in an idle moment, I picked it up and began to peruse. It’s not a bargain; some of the trips, particularly to exotic places, are pretty pricey. but the emphasis is always on lifelong learning, so the tours are quite different from standard group tours. Their website states that Road Scholar programs all share the following attributes: exceptional opportunities for learning and exploration through special behind-the-scenes access to the world’s most fascinating treasures; the shared fellowship of learning and warm camaraderie; and comfortable accommodations and appetizing meals. Intergenerational adventures are encouraged.
Overseas Adventure Travel has been around almost as long (1978) and is a spinoff from Grand Circle Travel which my in-laws used for three extended winter stays in Spain back in the early nineties. I have a cousin in her 80s who travels alone (her husband died years ago) and swears by these Overseas Adventure Travel. To my mind, andon my limited funds, these trips seem a bit pricey, but I did notice that they offer “last minute deals” for substantial discounts.