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What Is The Elder Hostel Program


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Mariette Burlingame



Welcome to the wonderful world of the Elder Hostel program! If you are looking for a unique and enriching travel experience, then look no further. The Elder Hostel program, now known as Road Scholar, is a specialized travel and learning program designed for older adults who are curious, adventurous, and eager to continue their life-long learning journey.


Whether you are a retiree, empty nester, or simply someone who wants to explore new destinations and expand your knowledge, the Elder Hostel program offers a wide range of educational opportunities, cultural experiences, and social connections.


This article will guide you through the fascinating world of the Elder Hostel program, exploring its history, purpose, benefits, and how it works. We will delve into the various types of programs available, the accommodations and facilities provided, the activities and classes offered, as well as the costs and financial assistance available. Get ready for an exciting adventure that combines travel, learning, and personal growth!


What is the Elder Hostel Program?

The Elder Hostel program, now known as Road Scholar, is an innovative travel and learning experience specifically designed for older adults. It offers a unique opportunity for individuals aged 50 and above to embark on educational adventures, explore new destinations, and engage in meaningful cultural experiences.


The program aims to provide older adults with the opportunity to continue learning and expanding their knowledge in a supportive and inclusive environment. It offers a wide range of educational activities, workshops, field trips, and immersive learning experiences facilitated by expert instructors and local experts.


One of the key aspects of the Elder Hostel program is its focus on creating a vibrant community of learners. Participants have the opportunity to meet and interact with like-minded individuals who share a passion for exploration and education. This fosters social connections and friendships that often endure long after the program has ended.


The Elder Hostel program operates on the principle of lifelong learning, emphasizing that age should never be a barrier to acquiring new knowledge and skills. It encourages participants to push their boundaries, step out of their comfort zones, and embrace the joy of learning in a dynamic and supportive environment.


The program is renowned for its accessibility and inclusivity. Participants of all backgrounds, abilities, and levels of education are welcome, creating a diverse and enriching learning environment. Whether you are a history buff, art enthusiast, nature lover, or have a passion for cuisine, the Elder Hostel program offers a wide range of themed programs to cater to various interests and preferences.


Furthermore, the Elder Hostel program promotes sustainable travel practices and responsible tourism. It encourages participants to respect local cultures and traditions, support local economies, and minimize their environmental footprint during their travels.


Now that you know what the Elder Hostel program is all about, let’s dive into its fascinating history and understand how it has evolved over the years to become a renowned and respected travel and learning program for older adults.


History of the Elder Hostel Program

The Elder Hostel program, now known as Road Scholar, has a rich history that dates back to 1975. It was founded by Marty Knowlton and David Bianco with the aim of providing educational opportunities for retirees and older adults. The program initially started as a week-long educational retreat in New Hampshire, with 220 participants.


What started as a simple idea quickly gained traction and popularity among older adults who were seeking meaningful and educational travel experiences. By the 1980s, the program had expanded to include destinations all across the United States, offering a wide range of learning opportunities.


In 1991, the organization formally changed its name to Road Scholar to better reflect the broad scope of educational travel experiences it offered. Today, Road Scholar is the largest and most respected educational travel organization for older adults in the world.


The history of the Elder Hostel program is marked by its commitment to accessible and affordable education for older adults. It was founded on the belief that learning is a lifelong journey that should not end with retirement. The founders wanted to create a space where older adults could continue expanding their knowledge, ignite their curiosity, and engage in stimulating intellectual discussions.


Over the years, the program has evolved and adapted to the changing needs and interests of its participants. It has expanded its offerings beyond traditional classroom-based learning to include a wide range of experiential activities and hands-on learning opportunities.


One of the notable milestones in the history of Road Scholar was its shift towards international programs. In the 1990s, the organization started offering educational trips to destinations around the world, allowing participants to explore different cultures, learn about global issues, and engage in cross-cultural interactions.


Today, Road Scholar offers over 5,500 educational programs every year, covering a vast array of topics including history, art, science, nature, music, literature, and more. The programs are led by expert instructors and local guides who are passionate about sharing their knowledge and providing enriching experiences for the participants.


The Elder Hostel program has left a lasting impact on the lives of countless older adults, providing them with transformative experiences that go beyond ordinary travel. It has become a beacon of lifelong learning, encouraging individuals to stay curious, embrace new challenges, and never stop exploring the world around them.


Now that we’ve explored the history of the Elder Hostel program, let’s delve deeper into its purpose and the many benefits it offers to participants.


Purpose and Benefits of the Elder Hostel Program

The Elder Hostel program, now known as Road Scholar, serves several important purposes and offers numerous benefits to its participants. Let’s dive into the purpose and explore the advantages of this unique travel and learning experience for older adults.


1. Lifelong Learning: One of the primary purposes of the Elder Hostel program is to promote lifelong learning. It recognizes that education should be a lifelong journey and provides older adults with the opportunity to continue expanding their knowledge and acquiring new skills in a supportive and engaging environment.


2. Intellectual Stimulation: The program offers a diverse range of educational activities, workshops, and classes that are designed to stimulate the mind and challenge participants intellectually. It encourages active participation, critical thinking, and meaningful discussions, fostering a deeper understanding of various subjects.


3. Cultural Immersion: The Elder Hostel program provides a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in different cultures and explore new destinations. Participants have the chance to interact with local communities, learn about their traditions, taste local cuisine, and experience the richness of different cultures firsthand.


4. Social Connections: The program fosters a vibrant community of learners, allowing participants to meet and interact with like-minded individuals from diverse backgrounds and experiences. This creates a sense of camaraderie, social connection, and the opportunity to establish lasting friendships with fellow travelers.


5. Personal Growth: Engaging in the Elder Hostel program can lead to personal growth and self-discovery. It challenges individuals to step out of their comfort zones, overcome obstacles, and embrace new experiences. Participants often discover new passions, interests, and talents during their journeys with Road Scholar.


6. Enhanced Well-being: Traveling and learning have been shown to have numerous positive effects on emotional well-being and overall health. The Elder Hostel program provides a stimulating and fulfilling experience that can boost happiness, reduce stress, and improve cognitive function.


7. Meaningful Experiences: The program offers a range of activities and excursions that provide participants with meaningful and memorable experiences. From visiting archaeological sites to engaging in hands-on workshops to exploring natural wonders, the Elder Hostel program creates opportunities for participants to form deep connections with the places they visit.


8. Flexible Learning: The Elder Hostel program offers flexibility in terms of program duration, locations, and themes. Participants can select programs that align with their interests, preferences, and availability. Whether you prefer a week-long adventure or a month-long immersive experience, there are options to suit every schedule.


9. Expert Guidance: The program is led by expert instructors and local guides who are passionate about sharing their knowledge and providing a rich learning experience for participants. Their expertise and guidance greatly enhance the overall educational value of the program.


10. Affordable Travel: The Elder Hostel program strives to ensure that educational travel experiences are accessible and affordable for older adults. The program offers a variety of pricing options, including financial assistance and scholarships, to make it viable for individuals from diverse financial backgrounds.


The purpose and benefits of the Elder Hostel program make it an exceptional opportunity for older adults who are eager to continue learning, exploring, and connecting with the world around them. Now, let’s explore how the program works and the different types of programs available.


How Does the Elder Hostel Program Work?

The Elder Hostel program, now known as Road Scholar, operates on a unique model that combines educational experiences with immersive travel adventures. Let’s explore how the program works and what participants can expect during their Elder Hostel journey.


1. Program Selection: Participants can choose from a wide range of educational programs offered by Road Scholar. The programs cover various themes such as history, art, culture, nature, science, and more. Participants have the flexibility to select programs based on their interests, preferred destinations, and duration.


2. Accommodations: Road Scholar provides comfortable and often unique accommodations for participants throughout their program. This can include a variety of lodging options such as hotels, inns, lodges, and sometimes even on-site accommodations. Participants can expect clean, safe, and comfortable accommodations that meet their needs during their program.


3. Expert Instructors and Local Guides: Each program is led by expert instructors who are passionate about their subjects and experienced in teaching older adults. These instructors provide engaging lectures, interactive workshops, and facilitate meaningful discussions. Additionally, local guides provide valuable insights into the culture, history, and attractions of the destination.


4. Structured Itineraries: Road Scholar programs follow well-structured itineraries that include a balance of educational activities, excursions, and free time. Participants can expect a mix of classroom-based learning, field trips to cultural and historical sites, hands-on workshops, and immersive experiences that showcase the destination’s unique features.


5. Small Group Learning: Programs are designed to foster a sense of community and facilitate interaction among participants. Group sizes are kept small to encourage personal connections and allow for more personalized attention from instructors and guides. This ensures a supportive and inclusive learning environment for all participants.


6. Varied Learning Formats: The Elder Hostel program offers diverse learning formats to cater to different learning styles and preferences. These can include lectures, discussions, group activities, demonstrations, fieldwork, and hands-on experiences. Participants are actively involved in the learning process and have opportunities to engage in discussions and ask questions.


7. Cultural Immersion: Road Scholar programs emphasize cultural immersion, giving participants the chance to experience the local customs, traditions, and way of life. This may include interactions with locals, visits to museums or historical sites, culinary experiences, and performances showcasing local arts and traditions.


8. Transportation and Logistics: Road Scholar manages the logistical aspects of the program, including transportation to and from the destination, as well as transportation during the program. This ensures that participants can focus on learning and enjoying their experience without having to worry about the details of travel logistics.


9. Creating Memories: The Elder Hostel program creates lasting memories by providing participants with unique and enriching experiences. Whether it’s witnessing a breathtaking sunset, participating in a traditional dance, or engaging in a thought-provoking discussion, participants often return home with a collection of cherished memories from their Road Scholar journey.


10. Post-Program Support: Road Scholar values a lifelong connection with its participants. After the program ends, participants have access to an online community where they can connect with fellow travelers, access additional resources, and continue their learning journey. This post-program support helps to sustain the sense of community and engagement even after the program concludes.


The Elder Hostel program offers a well-rounded and immersive travel and learning experience for older adults. From expert-led classes to unique cultural experiences, it provides a platform for personal growth, intellectual stimulation, and meaningful connections. Now, let’s explore the different types of programs available through the Elder Hostel program.


Types of Elder Hostel Programs

The Elder Hostel program, now known as Road Scholar, offers a wide range of educational travel programs that cater to various interests and preferences. Let’s explore the different types of programs available and the diverse learning opportunities they provide:


1. Cultural Exploration: These programs focus on immersing participants in the history, arts, and traditions of a specific culture or region. Participants have the opportunity to visit historical sites, museums, and cultural landmarks while learning about the local customs, language, and traditions.


2. Arts and Creativity: These programs cater to individuals with a passion for the arts. Participants can engage in activities such as painting, photography, creative writing, music, and theater. They have the opportunity to learn from expert instructors and explore their own artistic talents.


3. History and Heritage: These programs delve into the rich historical significance of different destinations. Participants learn about significant events, explore archaeological sites, visit museums, and engage in discussions on historical topics. It’s a great way to gain a deeper understanding of the world’s history.


4. Nature and Outdoor Adventures: For nature enthusiasts and outdoor lovers, these programs offer opportunities to explore natural wonders, national parks, and wildlife habitats. Activities can include hiking, bird watching, kayaking, and nature photography.


5. Science and Technology: These programs focus on scientific discoveries, technological advancements, and their impact on society. Participants engage in discussions, hands-on experiments, and visits to research facilities or science museums.


6. Culinary and Food Exploration: For foodies and culinary enthusiasts, these programs offer a unique chance to explore local cuisines, learn cooking techniques from expert chefs, visit local markets and wineries, and even participate in cooking workshops.


7. Inter generational Programs: These programs bring together different generations, fostering meaningful interactions and exchanges of knowledge and experiences. Participants have the opportunity to learn from each other, break down generational barriers, and forge lasting connections.


8. Volunteer and Service Programs: These programs combine learning with community service. Participants engage in meaningful volunteer activities such as conservation projects, community development initiatives, or assisting local organizations.


9. Road Scholar at Sea: These programs offer the opportunity to explore various destinations on cruise ships. Participants enjoy a combination of educational experiences on board the ship and shore excursions that provide insight into the culture and history of the visited ports.


10. Special Interest Programs: Road Scholar offers a range of special interest programs tailored to specific hobbies or interests. These can include programs focused on music, literature, photography, gardening, wellness, and more.


Participants can choose from these diverse program options, allowing them to pursue their passions, develop new skills, and learn about subjects that ignite their curiosity. Regardless of the program type, all Road Scholar programs are designed to provide unparalleled educational experiences, cultural immersion, and personal growth.


Now that we’ve explored the types of programs available, let’s delve into the accommodations and facilities provided by the Elder Hostel program.


Accommodations and Facilities

The Elder Hostel program, now known as Road Scholar, takes great care in providing comfortable and convenient accommodations for participants during their educational travel experiences. Let’s explore the accommodations and facilities that participants can expect to encounter:


1. Varied Accommodation Options: Road Scholar offers a range of accommodation options to suit different preferences and program locations. Participants may stay in hotels, inns, lodges, or even on-site accommodations. These accommodations are carefully selected to ensure comfort and convenience for the duration of the program.


2. Clean and Comfortable Rooms: Regardless of the accommodation type, participants can expect clean, well-maintained, and comfortable rooms. The accommodations are designed to provide a relaxing and rejuvenating space after a day of learning and exploration.


3. Accessible Facilities: Road Scholar is committed to providing accessible facilities for participants with mobility challenges or special needs. Accommodations and facilities often include features such as ramps, elevators, widened doorways, and accessible bathrooms to accommodate all participants’ needs.


4. On-Site Amenities: Depending on the specific program and accommodation, participants may have access to various on-site amenities. These can include fitness centers, swimming pools, spas, libraries, or gardens, allowing participants to unwind and relax during their downtime.


5. Dining Facilities: Road Scholar programs typically include meals as part of the program package. Participants can enjoy delicious and nutritious meals prepared by skilled culinary teams. Special dietary needs and restrictions can often be accommodated, ensuring that participants have a comfortable dining experience.


6. Learning Spaces: Many programs include dedicated learning spaces, such as classrooms, conference rooms, or lecture halls. These spaces are equipped with modern audiovisual equipment, comfortable seating, and necessary resources to facilitate engaging and interactive learning experiences.


7. Wi-Fi and Internet Access: Most accommodations provide Wi-Fi and internet access, allowing participants to stay connected with their loved ones or access additional learning resources. This ensures that participants can make the most of their educational journey and stay connected with the wider world.


8. Safety and Security: Safety and security are top priorities for Road Scholar. Accommodations are carefully selected and regularly inspected to ensure the safety and well-being of participants. In addition, wherever applicable, accommodations may have security measures in place to provide a secure environment.


9. Environmental Sustainability: Road Scholar is committed to sustainable travel practices. Accommodations are chosen with sustainability in mind, considering factors such as energy efficiency, waste reduction, and environmental conservation. This aligns with Road Scholar’s values of responsible travel and minimizing the environmental impact.


10. Supportive Staff: The staff at the accommodations are trained to provide friendly and professional service, ensuring that participants feel welcome and comfortable throughout their stay. They are knowledgeable about the program and can assist with any inquiries or concerns that may arise.


The accommodations and facilities provided by the Elder Hostel program contribute to creating a comfortable and conducive environment for participants to fully immerse themselves in their educational experiences. Now, let’s explore the wide array of activities and classes offered through the program.


Activities and Classes Offered

The Elder Hostel program, now known as Road Scholar, offers a diverse range of activities and classes designed to provide participants with immersive and enriching learning experiences. Let’s explore the types of activities and classes participants can expect to engage in during their Elder Hostel journey:


1. Expert-Led Lectures and Workshops: Participants have the opportunity to attend engaging lectures and workshops led by expert instructors and guest speakers. These sessions cover a wide range of topics such as history, science, art, literature, culture, and more. Participants can delve deeper into their areas of interest and gain valuable insights from knowledgeable professionals.


2. Guided Field Trips: Road Scholar programs often include guided field trips to significant cultural, historical, or natural sites. Participants have the chance to explore renowned landmarks, museums, archaeological sites, national parks, and other points of interest. These field trips provide unforgettable learning experiences and opportunities to experience the destination’s unique features.


3. Interactive Discussions and Debates: Engaging in discussions and debates is a key component of the Elder Hostel program. Participants have the opportunity to share their perspectives, exchange ideas, and delve into thought-provoking discussions on various topics. These interactive sessions foster intellectual curiosity and encourage critical thinking.


4. Hands-On Workshops and Demonstrations: Road Scholar offers hands-on workshops and demonstrations that allow participants to actively engage with the subject matter. These workshops can cover a wide range of subjects, such as cooking, art, gardening, photography, music, and more. Participants can learn new skills, unleash their creativity, and gain practical knowledge under the guidance of expert instructors.


5. Cultural Immersion Experiences: Participants can expect cultural immersion experiences that provide a deeper understanding of the local culture and traditions. This can include participating in traditional ceremonies, dance or music performances, language lessons, culinary experiences, and interactions with local community members.


6. Outdoor Activities and Recreation: Road Scholar programs often include outdoor activities and recreation that allow participants to appreciate the natural beauty of the destination. These can include hiking, nature walks, birdwatching, swimming, kayaking, and other outdoor adventures. Participants have the opportunity to connect with nature and experience the destination’s unique landscapes.


7. Performing Arts and Entertainment: Programs sometimes feature performances by local artists, musicians, or theater companies. Participants can enjoy live performances such as concerts, theater productions, or dance shows, immersing themselves in the local arts and entertainment scene.


8. Special Events and Celebrations: Depending on the program and timing, participants might have the chance to experience special events or festivals happening in the destination. These can include local celebrations, cultural festivals, historical reenactments, or seasonal festivities. Participants can gain a firsthand experience of these unique cultural events.


9. Virtual Learning: In response to the global pandemic, Road Scholar has expanded its offerings to include virtual learning experiences. Participants can engage in online classes, webinars, virtual tours, and discussions from the comfort of their homes. These virtual programs allow for continued learning and connection with others, even when physical travel is not possible.


10. Personal Free Time: Alongside the structured activities, participants have personal free time to explore the destinations independently, relax, or pursue individual interests. This time can be spent exploring local attractions, interacting with locals, shopping for souvenirs, or simply enjoying a moment of solitude.


The wide array of activities and classes offered through the Elder Hostel program ensures that participants have a well-rounded and immersive learning experience. From expert-led lectures to hands-on workshops and cultural immersion experiences, Road Scholar provides a comprehensive curriculum that caters to various interests and learning styles.


Now, let’s explore the costs associated with participating in the Elder Hostel program and the financial assistance options available.


Costs and Financial Assistance

Participating in the Elder Hostel program, now known as Road Scholar, involves costs that vary depending on the specific program, destination, duration, and accommodations. Let’s explore the factors that contribute to the costs and the financial assistance options available for participants:


1. Program Costs: The cost of a Road Scholar program includes various elements such as accommodations, meals, educational activities, transportation during the program, and instructor fees. The program costs can vary considerably depending on the duration and location of the program, as well as the level of luxury or uniqueness of the accommodations.


2. Exclusive Offers: Road Scholar offers exclusive early enrollment discounts and special promotions throughout the year. Participants can take advantage of these offers to save on program costs. It’s recommended to check the Road Scholar website or promotional materials for any ongoing offers.


3. Financial Assistance: Road Scholar firmly believes in making educational travel experiences accessible to a wide range of individuals. As such, they offer financial assistance to participants who demonstrate financial need. This can come in the form of scholarships, grants, or discounts on program fees. Participants can apply for financial assistance directly through the Road Scholar website.


4. Group Travel: Road Scholar encourages group travel and offers group rates for organizations, clubs, or institutions organizing trips for their members. This can help reduce the individual costs for participants who choose to travel as part of a group.


5. Crowdfunding Options: Participants who are seeking additional financial support can explore crowdfunding options. Websites dedicated to crowdfunding, such as GoFundMe or Kickstarter, can be utilized to raise funds for participating in a desired Elder Hostel program. Participants can share their goals, motivations, and the impact they anticipate gaining from the educational travel experience to attract support from friends, family, and the broader community.


6. Third-Party Funding Sources: In some cases, participants may be eligible to receive funding from third-party sources such as community organizations, foundations, or educational institutions. These funding sources may have specific requirements and application processes, so individuals interested in such funding should research and reach out to potential sponsors.


7. Travel Insurance: Participants are encouraged to consider purchasing travel insurance, which can provide coverage for unexpected problems or emergencies before or during the program. Travel insurance can offer financial protection and give participants peace of mind when participating in the Elder Hostel program.


Road Scholar values the commitment to ensuring that as many individuals as possible can access their educational travel experiences. The range of financial assistance options and the flexibility in program costs make it feasible for participants from diverse financial backgrounds to join the program and embark on their learning journey.


Now that we’ve explored the costs and financial assistance options, let’s move on to the exciting part – discovering the diverse locations and destinations available through the Elder Hostel program.


Locations and Destinations

The Elder Hostel program, now known as Road Scholar, offers a vast array of locations and destinations to cater to the diverse interests and preferences of participants. Let’s explore some of the exciting places where participants can embark on their educational travel experiences:


1. North America: Road Scholar programs cover a wide range of destinations across North America, including the United States, Canada, and Mexico. From exploring the national parks of the American West to immersing oneself in the history and culture of colonial New England, participants have the opportunity to discover the rich diversity of this continent.


2. Europe: Road Scholar offers numerous programs throughout Europe, allowing participants to delve into the continent’s captivating history, art, and cultures. From exploring the ancient ruins of Greece to strolling through the charming streets of Paris or experiencing the grandeur of European capitals, participants have a wide range of European destinations to choose from.


3. Asia: Participants can embark on educational journeys to countries in Asia, such as China, Japan, India, and Thailand. These programs offer opportunities to explore ancient temples, experience vibrant cultures, and learn about the traditions and cuisines of these fascinating destinations.


4. Latin America and the Caribbean: Road Scholar offers programs in Latin American countries such as Costa Rica, Peru, and Cuba, where participants can immerse themselves in the natural wonders, rich history, and vibrant cultures of these regions. From exploring the rainforests of Costa Rica to discovering the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu, participants have the chance to explore Latin America’s diverse landscapes and cultural heritage.


5. Africa: Road Scholar programs in Africa allow participants to experience the continent’s incredible wildlife, breathtaking landscapes, and rich cultural heritage. From embarking on a safari in South Africa to exploring the ancient wonders of Egypt, participants have the opportunity to engage with Africa’s unique offerings.


6. Australia and New Zealand: These programs provide opportunities to explore the natural wonders and vibrant cultures of Australia and New Zealand. Participants can discover the Great Barrier Reef, experience the Maori culture, and explore stunning landscapes like the Milford Sound and the Great Ocean Road.


7. Cruises and Expeditions: Road Scholar also offers educational programs that take place on cruise ships, allowing participants to explore multiple destinations while enjoying the comforts of onboard amenities. From river cruises in Europe to expedition cruises in remote corners of the world, participants have a chance to expand their knowledge while sailing the seas.


8. Domestic Programs: For participants preferring to stay closer to home, Road Scholar offers a wide range of domestic programs within the United States. From exploring the national parks of the American Southwest to immersing oneself in the history of the American Revolution in the East Coast, there are countless opportunities to discover the beauty and history of one’s own country.


These are just a few examples of the many locations and destinations available through the Elder Hostel program. With over 150 countries and all seven continents covered, Road Scholar offers a vast range of options to suit diverse interests and curiosities.


Now, let’s move on to the experiences and testimonials of participants who have embarked on the Elder Hostel journey.


Participant Experiences and Testimonials

Participant experiences with the Elder Hostel program, now known as Road Scholar, are often transformative and enriching. Let’s delve into some of the experiences and testimonials shared by those who have embarked on their educational travel journeys:


“Joining the Elder Hostel program was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my retirement. Not only did I get to explore new destinations and learn about different cultures, but I also formed lifelong friendships with fellow participants who shared my passion for learning. The program provided me with the opportunity to continue expanding my knowledge and embracing new experiences.” – Margaret, 68


“I had always wanted to visit historical sites in Europe, and the Elder Hostel program made it possible. The expert-led lectures and guided field trips allowed me to delve into the rich history and art of each destination. From the Acropolis in Athens to the Colosseum in Rome, the educational experience was truly exceptional and brought history to life.” – Robert, 72


“As an avid nature lover, Road Scholar’s programs focusing on the natural world have been a dream come true. I’ve hiked through breathtaking landscapes, observed fascinating wildlife, and been inspired by knowledgeable instructors who’ve shared their expertise. The experience has deepened my appreciation for the environment and ignited a passion for conservation.” – Susan, 65


“The Elder Hostel program not only provided me with the opportunity to learn about different cultures but also allowed me to give back through volunteer programs. I worked alongside local communities, contributing to meaningful projects that made a real difference. It was a truly rewarding experience, and I came away with a new perspective on the world.” – David, 71


“My Elder Hostel trip to Costa Rica was a perfect combination of adventure and learning. From zip-lining through the rainforest to attending lectures on biodiversity, every day was filled with excitement and discovery. The program gave me the confidence to push my limits and try new things, and I came back with incredible memories and newfound knowledge.” – Lisa, 63


“Road Scholar’s programs have allowed me to indulge in my passion for the arts. From painting classes in Tuscany to exploring the world of classical music in Vienna, I’ve been able to pursue my creative interests while immersing myself in the local culture. It has been an inspiring and transformative experience that has rekindled my love for the arts.” – Michael, 69


These testimonials reflect the diverse and meaningful experiences participants have had with the Elder Hostel program. From forging new friendships to deepening knowledge and enriching personal growth, Road Scholar’s educational travel experiences have left a lasting impact on participants’ lives.


As you consider embarking on your own Elder Hostel journey, let these experiences and testimonials inspire you to embrace the joys of travel, learning, and personal growth.


Now, let’s conclude our exploration of the Elder Hostel program and summarize the key takeaways.



The Elder Hostel program, now known as Road Scholar, offers a remarkable travel and learning experience for older adults. It provides an opportunity to continue learning, exploring new destinations, and embracing personal growth in a supportive and enriching environment.


Throughout this article, we’ve explored the purpose, benefits, and workings of the Elder Hostel program. We’ve learned that the program is built on the belief that education should be a lifelong journey, and it offers a wide range of programs and activities to cater to diverse interests and preferences.


From expert-led lectures and hands-on workshops to guided field trips and cultural immersion experiences, the program provides a well-rounded curriculum that ensures participants engage with their chosen subjects fully.


Participants of the Elder Hostel program not only enjoy engaging in intellectual pursuits but also benefit from the social connections and friendships formed with like-minded individuals from around the world.


Road Scholar ensures that their programs are accessible and offers various financial assistance options, allowing individuals from diverse financial backgrounds to participate.


The testimonials shared by participants highlight the transformative nature of the Elder Hostel program. They showcase the profound impact it has had on their lives, igniting a passion for learning, inspiring personal growth, and creating cherished memories.


As you consider your own Elder Hostel journey, let the experiences and testimonials of others serve as encouragement to embark on this incredible adventure of education, exploration, and personal enrichment.


Embrace the opportunity to continue learning, challenge yourself, and explore new destinations with Road Scholar. The Elder Hostel program opens doors to a world of knowledge, connections, and personal growth, transforming your retirement years into a time of excitement, discovery, and joy.


So, pack your bags, bring your curiosity, and embark on a journey that will expand your mind, ignite your passions, and create lasting memories. The Elder Hostel program is waiting to take you on a remarkable adventure filled with education, exploration, and personal enrichment.