Do you aspire to see the world and have unparalleled access to in-depth education? Do you want to build camaraderie between different communities? Are you thinking that you cannot possibly do all these because of old age? Well, you can stop sulking and turn all your dreams and wishes into reality. The answer to you dreams lies in an Elderhostel Program.
An Elderhostel is basically a non-profit organization, which aims to provide learning adventure and educational opportunities to those who are 55 years and above. The organizations arrange some trips that include discussions, cultural outings, and lectures in different parts of the world. This is the most economic and convenient way for a senior to learn and travel.
You don’t need to have specific academic requirements for participating in such programs. You will be put into a group and interacting with the other members of your group will let you know the different types of culture, education levels and backgrounds. You will uniquely blend with each other and develop a new characteristic of your own. And the best thing is, though you get high quality learning, there won’t be any exams or homework!
An Elderhostel Program is divided into a wide variety of activities. Each category has further subdivisions. Some of the main categories with their subdivision are as follows:
Discovery and Exploration Activities: if you would like to discover and explore new things, you can definitely join this category. This type has programs that consist of signature city tours, cultural festivities, national parks, and holidays.
Outdoor Activities: If you are an adventurous type and crave for physical activities, you should go for this type. Under this category you can do many things like tennis, bicycling, winter sports, golf, birding, and water sports.
Study of Individual Skill: If you would like to develop a specific and individual skill, this type of program would be of immense help. Under this category, you can learn cooking, computer, fine arts, craft, performing arts, history, philosophy, and much more.
Integration Program: Under this program you can explore a locale or activity together with your grandchildren.
The course fees for such programs include the cost of accommodation, meals, gratuities, lectures, field trips, cultural excursions, insurance, and of course last but not the least, the courses. The accommodations are mostly arranged in hotels, college campuses (separate apartments not dorms), inns, and retreat centers. However, based on certain conditions the accommodations can also be on a ship or in a tent. Being a US citizen you can also avail scholarships for these programs. Even those who are physically challenged can opt for such programs.
Steps to Choosing the Elderhostel Program
Prior to getting yourself enrolled into such programs, you need to make sure of certain facts. Some of them are discussed below:
Price: You should know the exact cost of such programs and also the breakups for different activities like food and beverage, accommodation, outdoor activities, lectures, field trips, and so on. At the time of enrollment you should inquire whether there is any group refund policy, in case some unexpected things turn up. You should take the refund policy in writing and also inquire whether there is any cancellation insurance offered.
Tours: You should know specifically in details about the different tour programs offered. Some organizations arrange for some special activities at certain times of the year. So, if you have interest to participate in the Rose Parade in Pasadena, you should inquire about that before booking.
Number of Members: If you would like to travel in smaller groups, you should ask for the maximum number of members the company allots for each group. You should get a complete itinerary before embarking and should know exactly what to expect on the tour, each day.
Check References: Before signing up with a particular company, you should ask for references. If they have an online presence, you can go through the reviews and feedback to know more about their track record, quality of services. You can directly ask the organization how many years they are into this program and how many tours they arrange. You can also ask how many repeat businesses the organization gets. You can also verify their information with some past travelers.
This Elderhostel Program is a great and unique way to learn while traveling. You get to meet with interesting people and know about different cultures. These programs will open such doors which otherwise might have remained closed. These programs let you explore the world and learn new things as long as you live.