The desire to travel often rises to the top of bucket lists among older adults who have finally achieved the financial security and freedom to see more of the world. But truly experiencing another culture isn’t as likely to occur from a seat on a tour bus or aboard a cruise ship; to achieve a richer connection takes getting to know the locals and participating in their daily activities.
A new homestay club for travelers over the age of 50 is helping older adults not only find lodging but also connects them with a host who can act as a guide and companion. As a result, lonng-lasting friendships are often formed between people who’s paths might never have otherwise crossed.
From it’s beginnings in Ireland, the Freebird Club, a website that connects mature people with a not only a place to stay but also like-minded fellowship, now has 1,500 members in 38 countries. Similar to an Airbnb, hosts open their homes to guests over age 50 and may offer to act as informal guides, share meals or plan excursions together. Once approved, there is a single joining fee of €25 which allows members to connect with peer hosts worldwide or register to become a host.
Whether it’s fulfilling a lifelong dream to spend a summer in the French countryside or exploring the history and culture of Mexico City, older adults can connect with others and tap into sharing economy services made famous by the success of startups like Uber and Airbnb. And for seniors aging in place, hosting can offer not only a little extra income but by bringing the world to their doorstep, also help prevent social isolation. Loneliness is a growing concern for seniors living alone, especially in more remote or rural area, and research is increasingly considering isolation a serious health risk for aging adults.
Seniors traveling alone, with friends or as a couple may find using Freebird an affordable and more intimate approach to learning about new places, their history and unique cultures. With nearly 10,000 baby boomers reaching 65 each day and increasing longevity, enterprises that help older adults work together to stay socially connected and live life to the fullest is sure to be a success.
To learn more, visit the Freebird Club site by following this link.