Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Anyone use RoadScholar for traveling?
Old 06-14-2012, 10:15 PM   #1
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Chuckanut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: West of the Mississippi
Posts: 6,334
Anyone use RoadScholar for traveling?

Has anybody used the Road Scholar group to do any traveling? If so, what did you think of it.

They used to be known as Elder Hostel, but changed the name to Road Scholar a few years back. I knew people who went on Elder Hostel trips, and they were generally inexpensive, lead by very knowledgable professors, and very informative. I wonder if that has changed since they adopted the new name.
__________________

__________________
The worst decisions are usually made in times of anger and impatience.
Chuckanut is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 06-14-2012, 10:38 PM   #2
Moderator Emeritus
Bestwifeever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 16,375
Not related to your question, but that's so interesting--Elderhostel became Exploritas in 2009. I remember discussing taking an Exploritas trip with a friend back then and talking about the name change. And then the outfit seemed to have disappeared. Apparently Exploritas got sued a few months later by a travel outfit called Explorica and lost:

Elderhostel, Briefly Renamed Exploritas, Now Road Scholar | Suite101.com

So it's been called Road Scholar since May 2010.
__________________

__________________
“Would you like an adventure now, or would you like to have your tea first?” J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Bestwifeever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2012, 07:29 AM   #3
Recycles dryer sheets
bltkmt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Fairfield County, CT
Posts: 208
My parents have gone on countless Elderhostel (and successor names) trips over the past 25 years...they are now 86 and 89 years old and just got back from a 3 week boat trip down the Pacific Coast to Costa Rica. They love the groups generally and find the trips very interesting.
__________________
bltkmt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2012, 07:29 AM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Amethyst's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,896
I remember reading about Elderhostel. Gee, sounds like their target customer base did not want to be referred to as "elder," doesn't it?

Amethyst

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bestwifeever View Post
Not related to your question, but that's so interesting--Elderhostel became Exploritas in 2009. I remember discussing taking an Exploritas trip with a friend back then and talking about the name change. And then the outfit seemed to have disappeared. Apparently Exploritas got sued a few months later by a travel outfit called Explorica and lost:

Elderhostel, Briefly Renamed Exploritas, Now Road Scholar | Suite101.com

So it's been called Road Scholar since May 2010.
__________________
If you understood everything I say, you'd be me ~ Miles Davis
'There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way.’ Christopher Morley.
Amethyst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2012, 06:27 PM   #5
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,618
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuckanut View Post
I wonder if that has changed since they adopted the new name.
The parent organization does almost all of its contracting locally. The quality doesn't change with the name.

My parents-in-law came out to Hawaii for an Elderhostel version of Aloha 101. I was impressed with the heavy hitters they were getting from government & culture. They have an equally good reputation with Civil War topics, and my PILs use the program to check out every new city they go to.

My problem is the format. I don't want to jump up in the morning and spend the day on a bus or in a seminar room or at organized meals. I want to wander aimlessly, figure out my own version of a guided tour, and change my mind at a moment's notice. I much prefer the way the Kaderlis do it, living locally and finding their own local tours.
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2012, 08:59 PM   #6
Full time employment: Posting here.
ohyes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 649
DH and i have been on two Road Scholar trips (i think they went under the name of Evergreen for a bit). One was Boston Red Sox/Milwaukee Twins spring training in Fort Myers, FL and the other was this last March to San Antonio. They were both great trips! You interact with several involved/educated experts/locals. You feel like you are getting a genuine behind-the-scenes understanding of the locale. The other travelers were mostly in 60's-70's-80's and they are energetic, positive folks.

We highly recommend Road Scholar. I hope to go one trip with them each year. Time on your own is always worked into the schedule. I cannot say enough good things about the organization/leaders. They do not disappoint, according to (Googled) reviews and based on our super experience.
__________________
ohyes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2012, 12:06 PM   #7
Full time employment: Posting here.
ohyes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 649
(i think they went under the name of Evergreen for a bit).


Oh gee, i apparently made that up. I Googled it to double-check and only found Elderhostel-Exploritas-Road Scholar. When i told my DH what i had done, he laughed and said Miss Know it All.
I try not to lie, but sometimes i confuse facts with what is in my head.

But, the rest of the post is true...great experiences with RS both times.
__________________
ohyes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2012, 02:13 PM   #8
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 339
I have been on three Road Scholar trips in the past 18 months. As a 53-54 year old, I was on the younger end of the group. I have found them to be a good value meaning one must be willing to accept group travel, and less than top of the line food/lodging. The groups were relatively small.

1. Digital Photography course in the Phoenix/Sedona Area -- approx. 15 people.

2. Cross Country skiing/snow shoeing in Southwestern Utah -- Cedar Breaks - Bryce National Park area. Approx. 15 people. Lack of snow required that the leader scramble at the last minute to re-arrange the first leg of the trip to get us to an area where the was actually snow on the ground. The alternative hotel was very nice.

4. Golf School in Ocean City Maryland -- 24 people divided amongst 4 pros. Several people complained the food could have been more exciting. They missed having a salad each night. But we did have 2-3 choices for our entree. The folks at the golf school and the trip coordinator could not have been more accommodating. When the forecast called for rain, they immediately re-arranged the schedule to insure we took advantage of the best weather to be outside. We ended up getting an extra half-day of hands on instuction out of it.

Bottom line -- as long as you are not expecting the Ritz and are open to mingling with strangers, you should have a good experience at a very decent rate.
__________________
LauAnn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2012, 03:46 PM   #9
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 25
I am scheduled to go on a Road Scholar trip in August. The approximate $650 price is unbelievable for 6 nights lodging (own room in a 4 bedroom, 2 bath dorm), all meals, and all kinds of interesting stuff to explore (geology, dune buggy riding, 70 mile trip on the beautiful Rogue River, visit to and speaker on Native Americans, a local playhouse, etc).
__________________
cocobird is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2012, 12:46 PM   #10
Moderator
rodi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 8,817
My parents did quite a few elderhostel trips... especially when they were trips that would be harder to do on their own. Like a boat based trip from Montreal to Lake Ontario... They often combined personal travel before and after the elder hostel portion of the trip.

To address Nord's issue... I agree. I prefer to plan my own vacations and be on my own schedule. But I can see the advantage of ElderHostel style trips in some cases. My parents went to Malta... My mom enjoyed the lectures, while my dad blew them off and went exploring if the lecture was too boring. And the pricing can be very attractive. I will admit I was intrigued by an elder hostel group that was staying at the same pension in Vienna when we were there. It was an Opera focused tour. In talking to trip members, they paid quite a bit less for their opera tickets than we did for ours. Definitely sounded like a neat trip if you wanted to explore a single subject in depth.
__________________
rodi is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2012, 12:53 PM   #11
Moderator
MBAustin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 4,158
Quote:
Originally Posted by LauAnn View Post
I have been on three Road Scholar trips in the past 18 months. As a 53-54 year old, I was on the younger end of the group. I have found them to be a good value meaning one must be willing to accept group travel, and less than top of the line food/lodging. The groups were relatively small.
Thanks for this info LauAnn - I'm about your age and was wondering if RoadScholar might be something I would enjoy (DH is disabled and doesn't enjoy traveling as much as he used to so I think I'll be traveling some on my own within a few years). I'll look into it now - I'm not for the high end accommodations anyway.
__________________
"One of the funny things about the stock market is that every time one person buys, another sells, and both think they are astute." William Feather
----------------------------------
ER'd Oct. 2010 at 53. Life is good.
MBAustin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2012, 05:37 PM   #12
Recycles dryer sheets
Bram's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 214
Dh & I just completed an RS 17 day adventure "in the footsteps of Lewis & Clark". We journeyed from St.Charles, MO (near St.Louis) to Astoria, OR. The on-board historian, the tour leader, & the motorcoach driver were excellent. We & many of the other participants had read & were inspired by Stephen Ambrose's Undaunted Courage, the story of the Corps of Discovery's 1804-1806 exploration of the Louisiana Purchase.

This was our first RS trip, but we're certain to schedule more. I'd had a few concerns about that long of a time frame with strangers, but we enjoyed our fellow travelers, who were interesting & interested. One lady has taken @ least 50 other RS programs/trips. I'm guessing the age range was 60's -80's.
__________________
.
.

Every step of the journey is the journey.
Bram is offline   Reply With Quote
Road Scholar
Old 12-13-2012, 09:01 AM   #13
Confused about dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 2
Road Scholar

I am almost 50 and using Road Scholar soon for a trip to Central America, traveling alone, although I will bookend this trip 4 days on either end with solo travel outside of their tour. The itinerary looks great and I am totally looking forward to it! I will post my review, but in general, looking over their catalog of offerings internationally and domestically, there are some super trips offered- you have to pick and choose. My lodging, setting, and the food on this tour are all very highly rated (through Tripadvisor), as are other hotels for tours I have looked into... certainly that is probably partially because it's a Central American country without the US prices, allowing Road Scholar to put together well priced trips with amenities in some locations better than others. Check out their reviews and lodging on tripadvisor.

Not every tour they arrange appeals to me, but to travel to a country like India, a Central American or Asian country- or even to see a city like Paris through different eyes makes Road Scholar worth checking into instead of striking out solo, at least for the first visit.

I do think they are going to want to (and have begun to) shift their itineraries to "somewhat younger /getting older" demographics; having said that there are "free time" spaces in the daily agendas for travelers to sight-see, visit, and eat wherever they want.
__________________
marin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2012, 09:47 AM   #14
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 582
I haven't been myself, but a friend recently went on a 3-week trip to China with them and had only good things to say. He and his wife are in their early 60's and relatively active.
__________________

WM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2012, 11:16 AM   #15
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Brat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 5,914
I have taken several and find that the quality of the host programs fantastic. I suspect to keep the cost affordable the housing is safe, clean but not fancy (hence 'hostel').

In the last couple years we went to Peru and the Galapagos Islands (learned a lot not only about what we were seeing but the communities and their concerns) and the Sacramento Jazz Festival (sessions every morning with performers, learned what it is like to be a professional musician).

We just booked a trip to India with them for late next year.
__________________
Duck bjorn.
Brat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2012, 01:41 PM   #16
Moderator
MBAustin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 4,158
I have not but have friends who have, including a couple who went to Tuscany this fall and were very pleased.
__________________
"One of the funny things about the stock market is that every time one person buys, another sells, and both think they are astute." William Feather
----------------------------------
ER'd Oct. 2010 at 53. Life is good.
MBAustin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2012, 04:14 PM   #17
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 91
My sister went on a bird watching in No. CA trip when she was in her late 50s. Her only issue was that the trip was supposed to be for fairly active people, and several people were not able to walk the distances or get in and out of the bus with ease, although the trip had been advertised as walking certain distances. She ended up helping people out of the bus. The birding was good, though, but she's a bit leery of going on more trips because of the activity discrepancy.
__________________
PawPrint53 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2012, 08:32 PM   #18
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 123
I've done 3 trips with them:
1) Copper Canyon trip from the Davis Mountains in Texas, then down to Chihuahua City for a train through the Copper Canyon to the Gulf of California and back again. It was wonderful and something that I wouldn't have done on my own.
2) "Quite difficult" 5 day hiking trip in Glacier National Park in September. We did this to be sure we were on track to be in shape to do a "Very difficult" Grand Canyon trip. It was a great trip and we really enjoyed the guides and educational components. The group of about 24 split into 2 for the hikes, those who wanted to limit the difficulty and those that wanted to do the hardest hikes.
3) 5 day hiking trip from the South Rim to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and out again. We did this with them because the reservations at the bottom are hard to get on your own. Again, the guides and education were really good.

There is usually a lot of time allocated to do whatever you want to do, and people do split off from the group to do things on their own. The cost for each of these trips was as low as we could have done them on our own. I highly recommend Road Scholar.
__________________
Mmm Rrr is offline   Reply With Quote
lodging through road scholar
Old 12-16-2012, 08:31 AM   #19
Confused about dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 2
lodging through road scholar

I would say that most of what I have seen as far as lodging goes much surpasses "hostel". Some of the more remote trips - including the service trips, such as "hiking at Death Valley', or going to remote nature areas in the south, take the best lodging they can get in the area, which could be something quite simple. My sense is they choose midrange for the most part, bypassing the luxe or overpriced places costing 500-800$ night for good reason.
__________________
marin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2012, 09:27 PM   #20
Full time employment: Posting here.
ohyes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 649
Booked our third Road Scholar trip today. Not going until September...certainly looking forward to it.

Barrier islands of GA: Jekyll, St. Simon's and Sapelo.

now...to figure out an all-inclusive vacation between now and then. DH suggested AZ! AZ for an all-inclusive??

no, no....thinking Dominican Republic.
__________________

__________________
ohyes is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
road scholar travel tour


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:58 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.