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Old 11-30-2008, 03:17 PM   #1
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One of my in laws raved about this organization and went on a couple of their weekends in his area. I went to their website here:Elderhostel: Educational Travel and Learning Vacations for Adults from Alaska to Italy but the things that they offer seem rather pricey to me.

Do any of you have any experience with travel/educational offerings of these folks?

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Old 11-30-2008, 06:23 PM   #2
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I have indirectly. They have inter-generational programs for families. My son and my dad have attended these programs together for many years. They both had glowing reports and I have great pictures.

Lodging and meals as well as all kinds of fees were rolled into the packages. over the years they've done all kinds of things - hiking in Denali, crewing on a tall ship, sea kayaking, they spent a week on an oceanic biology research boat off Galveston, sailed around the Greek islands, went horseback touring in Provence, space camp, the list goes on and on. They have a blast!

Most of the programs have a somewhat educational bent and are often off the beaten path. If you are looking for posh digs, fine wine and spas... this might not be for you. OTOH, if you are interested in meeting active, engaged folks with a passion for new experiences this might be good.

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Old 11-30-2008, 07:26 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by mickeyd View Post
Do any of you have any experience with travel/educational offerings of these folks?
Not directly but extensively vicariously.

My parents-in-law have been doing these for 15 years, especially Civil War battlefields and various town. My PILs kvetch & moan about 99% of the things they encounter in life, but they seem to enjoy just about everything to do with ElderHostel. They probably attend a half-dozen events a year, and there are a number of them that they've attended more than once.

The prices generally reflect the quality and the demand. When they visited us on one of their first Hawaii trips they took a one-week EH called "Aloha 101". They had talks with heavy hitters from UH and city/state politics. They met well-known local authors and chatted with people I'd only read about in the newspapers. Hawaiian activists. Hawaiian cultural experts. Kumu hula. Tours of just about every memorial and museum and tropical garden on Oahu, including talks with the senior staff.

Many of the programs consist of being put up in a nice hotel, spending half the day in a conference room or a classroom hearing lectures or talks, and then spending the other half of the day in a tour bus or tramping around various sites. Sometimes there are also evening events, especially movies or plays or music or dinners. Since you're a group you're usually able to attend special events and have advance reservations for hot tickets. I don't know if all EHs are this way or only the ones my PILs visit.

There are a couple of EH veterans who string together weeks or even months of them at a time from one city to the next. My FIL knows a man who at one point hadn't been "home" in over eight years.

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Old 12-01-2008, 02:40 AM   #4
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Not sure where and when you were looking for accommodations but Europe... The USD was weak and prices were high in Europe.

The USD has strengthened some... but it is still weak (IMO).

Plus, I have noticed that some vacation packages are a bit slower to adjust forward prices (than the currency adjusts).
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Old 12-01-2008, 05:53 PM   #5
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We went on a Healdsburg, CA trip about wine and food. It was great. Tour members were doctors, lawyers, teachers, etc. and very interesting. Food was excellent and the speakers were memorable.

We also went to a Vermont one again about food of Vermont. Stayed in a historic inn in an interesting little town. Good info and again a fun group of travelers. One couple found out another couple lived in the same town they did.

We would go again but it is wise to read the detailed descriptions of each trip (since they vary widely) and pick according to your interest. Some have too much free time, some too little, and some are all spent in a hotel.
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Old 12-01-2008, 09:57 PM   #6
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My parents used to go to many of these when they were in their 60's and 70's. All the ones they visited were in the USA, I'm pretty sure. Usually one of the topics was something they were interested in, the other was just for the fun of learning about something new.

They are 80 and 82 now and no longer travel. Their Elderhostel trips are probably some of their best retirement experiences.
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Old 12-09-2008, 02:20 PM   #7
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I know few people including my mom, who have gone on several elderhostel trips. One lady has even been the host of a couple her in Hawaii. Obviously the trips and experiences vary, but in general people have been very enthusiastic about them.
Looking at the catalog at least for the ones in Hawaii, I think they are good bargains also.

There are a few reasons to look forward to getting older but when I turn 55 signing up for Elderhostels trips is high on my list.

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