Today’s Building Blocks: Lifelong Learning & Fun – Are you ready to age adventurously? If you’re making plans to travel this year, why not combine it with a learning adventure? Road Scholar is a not-for-profit organization providing educational travel programs primarily geared toward older adults with an impressive range of options to explore the world. Kelsey Knoedler Perri and Kerry Bennett join us to discuss how Road Scholar can help you combine travel, learning and fun in 2024.
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Kelsey Knoedler Perri is the Public Relations Director at Road Scholar, the nonprofit world leader in educational travel for older adults. She has worked in travel and tourism throughout her career and has been with Road Scholar since 2016. There she has developed her skills in and knowledge of communicating with and marketing to adults over 50 who #AgeAdventurously. She has special expertise in digital communications, social media, and public relations. She holds an MFA in creative writing and lives in Providence, Rhode Island.
Kerry Bennett is a retired marketing professional from Northern Arizona University who lives in Flagstaff, AZ. Since retiring, she has become an avid traveler, volunteer, and lifelong learner. She has been on seven learning adventures around the world with Road Scholar, including her most recent: a service program on Chincoteague Island, Virginia. She also volunteers for Road Scholar as an Ambassador, helping spread the word about the organization’s mission through in-person presentations and events.
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On Learning Adventures
“Our mission always has been and always will be education. So everything we do is about learning. But now our programs are more a mix of classroom learning and experiential learning. So not just lectures in a lecture hall, you’re staying in a hotel room, you’re not staying in a dorm anymore, which is nice. And so we’ve evolved into being more of an educational travel organization…When you travel with Road Scholar, you’re really getting what you pay for and you’re going to be there to learn. You’re not there to sit on a beach and read a book or to go shopping. You’re there to learn. And that’s really what it comes down to. But we also offer financial aid. We offer caregiver grants for full-time, family caregivers. We have a scholarship for retired educators. So that’s also part of our whole nonprofit thing.”
On Solo Travelers
“30% of our travelers each year go solo. We have seen that trending upwards. We’ve seen more solo travelers in general over the past 10 years and 80% of those solo travelers are women. [We] see a mix of couples, solo travelers, friends who are traveling with other friends, siblings traveling together, parents with their adult children, also people who came as solo travelers on a pass trip and then they met somebody on a trip and then they went a trip together again.And I started to hear more anecdotally that there were a lot of married women who were traveling with us without their husbands. And I just thought that was really interesting. So I want[ed] to get down to some actual data on that. So I did a study and we looked at both data that we had in our system as well as doing a survey. And what we found was that at least 60% of our solo travelers are married people who travel without their spouse on World Scholar programs. I was really surprised by that. It was more than even I expected. And so we surveyed them and the number one reason that they said that they travel without their spouse is because their spouse is just not interested in travel. So that’s really interesting. So I think what we’re seeing as far as a trend is these married folks traveling solo, we’re definitely seeing more interest from women to travel in general, but also to travel solo.”
On Intergenerational Trips
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