Elder Hostel


Elderhostel is a not-for-profit organization, meant for offering educational opportunities to the people aged more than fifty five. This is the largest education travel organization in the world for the adults. Education trips include cultural outings, discussions and meetings in over ninety countries. This offers convenient and economic way to travel and learn, because these trips are all inclusive and the organization is responsible for planning and handling all details.

There is no educational requirement to take part in Elderhostel tours. Each group is composed of taking people from various academic levels, backgrounds and cultures. Programs include discovery & exploration, different outdoor activities, service learning and study of individual skills. Though the program contains high-quality learning, but the participants are not burdened with exams and homework. Outdoor activities may include birding, golfing, tennis, water or winter sports and bicycling. Tours to national parks & signature city, holidays & cultural festivities are organized. In the individual skill category, activities include performing arts, computers, crafts, cooking and many more. Apart from these, activities may also include studies of fine arts, philosophy and history.

The Evolution of Elderhostel


The new name of the programs offered by Elderhostel, Inc. is Road Scholar. This grand organization was set up in 1975. Two visionary individuals, Marty Knowlton, a globe trotter and David Binaco, an able administrator, were instrumental behind the foundation of this organization. Knowlton got the idea of elderhostel from youth hostel which provides safe and economic accommodation facilities. He was also impressed by the folk schools of Scandinavia, where people of the older generations hand down traditional lore, music, dance and folk art to the people of the younger generations. Observing the senior Europeans making significant contributions for their communities and staying engaged in various activities, made him feel the requirement of similar types of organizations in the United States.

Knowlton shared his experiences and ideas to Bianco, then the director of residential life, at the University of New Hampshire. Then the idea actually materialized. First program was offered to two hundred twenty participants in 1975 by five colleges and universities in New Hampshire. Gradually, the idea gained in popularity. In a 1980 program, more than twenty thousand people took part. The first elderhostel international program was offered in 1981, in countries such as Scandinavia, Great Britain and Mexico. The trips combine experimental learning with education. This provides the participants the opportunities to explore the history, environment, culture and the people of the countries through in-depth discussions, lectures, trips, excursions and various activities.

Today, this has taken the shape of a big organization, with large number of programs and participants. Since its modest introduction in 1975, the programs offered by Road Scholar include an amazing range of formats, locations and topics in all the states of the United States, over ninety nations, and on overseas ships and vessels on waterways, spreading across the entire world. Programs are offered in various destinations such as North & South America, Europe, Canada, Australia, Asia and Africa. The accommodation facilities offered by Road Scholar tours are comfortable, luxurious and yet affordable by the participants. Generally, accommodations are provided in college campuses, retreat centers, inns and hotels. The cost to avail this program includes accommodations, meals, cultural excursions, field trips and insurance. Few scholarships are also offered for tours within the continental US.

The prices charged are clearly mentioned. Different types of plans are available for single and double. For the individuals who stay to very close by destination, in some cases, no accommodation is provided. In majority of the cases, cost for budget friendly program is less than $100 per day. The Elderhostel trips may also accommodate individuals with disabilities. Anybody can take part in the program and there is no membership fee to avail the program.

Categories of Programs offered by Elderhostel

With Elderhostel, the seniors can tour from different destinations spread across the world, in a fun-filled, easy and safe way. More than four million adults have taken part in the programs offered by this Boston, Massachusetts organization. Since 2009, the name of the program offered by Elderhostel has been changed to Exploritas.
A large variety of programs are offered by Exploritas. For the elderly people who are interested to re-examine their skills in arts and photography, the various outdoor and indoor programs offered by this organization in US as well as in Canada are quite handy. The senior citizens can enjoy singing in a performing arts event in the East Coast or in Colorado. The senior people of the country can study various crafts from various master artisans in the eastern states. For the people who like to cook, there are expert chefs to instruct. The participants also take the help of native speakers to learn local language.
Various other types programs are also available for the participants. Discovery trips include visit to different cities and national parks. Different types of liberal art activities, such as fine arts, literature and social sciences, are also organized for the elderly people. The trips provide good chance to hone one’s hobbies and skills. A wide variety of intergenerational activities and outdoor activities are on offer for the attendees. Some of the programs are offered in a university environment. Sometimes, the huge experiences of the attendees are engaged in community service programs.

Intergenerational Activities

A wide variety of intergenerational activities are offered by different Elderhostel destinations. The grandparents can also take their grandkids with them in various wonderful destinations and engage in world of fun. It would indeed be nice experience to watch the circus in Georgia, see the sea creatures in Alabama or raft the Grand Canyon with your grandkids. Popular places to visit along with the family members are Pennsylvania, Gettysburg and Branson. The individuals can study the topics of their interest and engage in different types of physical activities. Intergenerational tours are often preferred by the individuals.