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Elder Hostel (online only)
March 2012
By Dr. Marion Somers

My mother passed on two years ago. In the last year or so, my dad has caught the travel bug, but he has run out of travel partners. He’s on a limited budget, and that makes it a bit difficult. Where can he go to find older people to travel with? Edna in Alaska, 39

I’m so glad to hear about your dad’s travel interest. The “Golden Years” can be the best time to experience the rest of the world. The good news is that there are organizations that cater to an elder population for travel experiences. One the most well-known groups is Elder Hostel. Realize that this is not usually 4-Star travel. Rather, it is geared towards an older population that may be on a more limited or fixed budget. Travelers stay in down-to-earth locations like college campuses, and the “Ys”. Elder Hostel also allows for specific needs of the elderly such as more bathroom breaks, rest stops, coffee breaks, and slower-paced adventures. They are more realistic about and experienced with the endurance and interests of the elderly. It can also be fun for your dad to meet other retirees and/or semi-retirees who have like interests. They could travel together or experience an educational get-away and/or cultural events in the local area. Finally, most elderly are not inclined to do the “ten cities in ten days” trip, so Elder Hostel’s adventures usually run from a week to not more than three weeks. You can find them at www.elderhostel.com.

Additionally, senior centers and religious organizations will often have day and weekend trips. All of these options need to be explored until your father finds the ones that meet his needs. Each experience usually varies according to time, interests, endurance level, and budget. Happy travels!

Dr. Marion (Marion Somers, PhD) is the author of \\\"Elder Care Made Easier\\\" and has over 40 years of experience as a geriatric care manager, caregiver, speaker, and expert in all things elder care. She offers practical tools, solutions, and advice to help caregivers everywhere through her book, web site, iPhone apps (Elder 411/911), cross-country speaking tours, and more. She is also the national spokesperson for 3in4 Need More, raising awareness for long-term care planning. Visit www.Dr.Marion.com for more information.


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