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Could anyone recommend an escorted tour group that has specific tours for seniors that are widowed?

Could anyone recommend an escorted tour group that has specific tours for seniors that are widowed?

May 9th, 2003, 01:34 PM
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Could anyone recommend an escorted tour group that has specific tours for seniors that are widowed?

I hope that request sounded somehwat normal, I am at my wits end here. My Mom lost my Dad six months ago after a battle with cancer. She has always liked to travel but has been reluctant to go alone now which I can completely understand. I wanted to see if I could find her a tour group that would be of a similar situation to hers, there must be one out there but alas it has escaped me. I have checked with Tauck and a couple others and they don't have specific tours for "single seniors" widowed or otherwise. Anyone with ideas? She is the sweetest thing in the world, and we love to travel with her, but you know the story, work etc., I can't go all the time like she can. Plus I think it would do her good to be with others her age, and in her situation, she needs more single friends her age. (She's 61, so she is a young senior).
Thanks in advance if anyone has any ideas.
May 9th, 2003, 01:42 PM
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Might wanna try eldertreks,based in Torotno.
BeachBoi is offline  
May 9th, 2003, 01:44 PM
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Elderhostel is for people over 55 only, not sure if they have special groups for singles. They may, check the website.

There are other tours for seniors, I think I read something on Frommers.

FainaAgain is offline  
May 9th, 2003, 01:54 PM
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There are also cruises: cruisesforseniors.com
FainaAgain is offline  
May 9th, 2003, 02:22 PM
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Since your mom is understandably reluctant to travel alone I recommend a book that I bought a few copies of for friends of mine. I read it (I'm a male) and learned a few tips too.

"A Foxy Old Women's Guide to Traveling Alone Around Town and Around the World" by Jay Ben-Lesser RN, MS, MA

A review: "This is a guide for women who want to travel, but are reluctant to travel alone. In the first section, Jay Ben-Lesser offers awareness exercises to help women learn how to eat out alone, go to movies alone and finally to travel alone -- first around town, then around the world. In the second section she gives tips on budgeting money and time, planning excursions and choosing appropriate clothing. A special chapter is devoted to garments which women can make or have made, in which valuables can be stored. Ben-Lesser has traveled by car, RV, plane and ship and explains the delights and downside of each. The tips alone are worth the price of the book."

The review isn't mine, and I have nothing to do with the author -- I just thought it was a good book for friends of mine squeemish about solo travel. I have a recently widowed aunt who LOVES Elder Hostel - but goes solo too when the mood strikes her.

rb_travelerxATyahoo is offline  
May 9th, 2003, 02:46 PM
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I am trying elderhostel for the first time this year, two short deals within the US.

Normally I travel solo and do home exchanges. Since the international home exchange market has been dead since September 2001, I decided to try something different.

Elderhostel will match your Mom up with a roommate. For a week, it is my philosophy that I can get along with anyone. I have done weekend trips with the Smithsonian from Washington, DC, and have not had problems with roommates. You only are in the room to sleep and shower anyway. Sometimes you even end up making new friends.

Why not give your Mom an elderhostel trip as a Mother's Day gift? If she is timid, I would suggest you look on the website for an experience close to where she lives. Then your Mom can take it from there.

Here is the website:

LaurenSKahn is offline  
May 9th, 2003, 03:18 PM
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I can't thank you enough for your tips. RB, that book sounds like it right up her alley (also sounds like there alot of humor in it too, which can only help matters). I did check out eldertreks beachboi, thax, it may just be a bit too physical for her, but it was a great idea. Thank you all.
May 9th, 2003, 04:14 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Your mother should DEFINITELY give Elder Hostel (I once saw it spelled out as Elder Hostile, LOL) a try.

My former boss, who just retired at the age of 70, bless her, has had both her knees replaced and goes on two EH trips a year.

She was widowed seven years ago, and always manages to meet new friends on these trips. She reports there are many other widows/widowers, as well.

She's been to Sedona many times, spring training for both the Cubs and Sox, a behind the scenes look at Wall Street, Frank Lloyd Wright house tours, and sailing on a tall ship out of Seattle. I can't wait 'til I'm over 55!
SusanM is offline  
May 9th, 2003, 04:46 PM
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First of all please accept my sympathy on your Dad's passing.

Have your Mom try something like Mayflower Tours. They go all around the world and have a guaranteed share program. They can match her up with someone and she will have a roommate. They aren't the only company that does this, but I am more familiar with them.

Also, is there a senior center near her home? If so they probably have trips and they most likely would have people in her situation. Park Districts and hospitals sometimes also offer trips for people like her. If your Mom lives near you look in the phone book under seniors, travel clubs, tour companies, park districts etc. I'll bet there is a group traveling near her that will help her with this.

Another good place to call is your local bus companies and ask if they run trips. (The yellow pages will also provide this information.) Bus tours most likely will be the 55+ market and then she'd fit right in. She would probably make some new friends, also.

Good luck and wish her happy traveling.
kkj is offline  
May 9th, 2003, 08:25 PM
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My mother is 74 but has been travelling alone for over a decade - she also used to travel with my father before he died. She always goes on tours, sometimes with a friend, but often alone. I doubt there is a single seniors company, or else she would have heard of it, having taken tours with many different tour operators.

On each trip, she has remarked about how friendly people are, and how many single women there are (very few single men), mostly widows. She never has any trouble finding people to sit with, eat dinner with - and has made some long distance friends with whom she writes and emails.

The only problem with taking a tour alone is one must often pay a large "single supplement" or sign on for a room-mate match. Sharing a room with a stranger is not something she would feel comfortable doing, so she is stuck with a single supplement.

The first time my mother travelled alone it was an adjustment, but she started with short 1-2 night local trips, some advertised through local town groups, others through travel agencies - and when she found she liked these - off she was.

6 months after death of a spouse is not a long time. Since so many older married women end up as widows, I suspect she will soon find how many people there are in her situation and begin to develop circles of friends and acquaintances and likely regain the travel urge.
gail is offline  
May 10th, 2003, 04:28 AM
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Since I travel as a 66 year old single woman, everything that Gail says is right on. Although the single supplement is high, there is nothing like having your own room - a definite must! Yes, everyone is friendly! Yes, it is lonely at times not having someone to share the oohs and aahs with, but it sure beats staying home. I recently returned from a 3 week trip to Aus/NZ/Fiju and it was wonderful, friendly and helpful tour members.
May 11th, 2003, 08:31 PM
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This company is for singles, www.osolomio.com, and has a wide variety of tours -- Europe, New Zealand, Canada (Vancouver), US (Seattle, Santa Fe, Rockies, etc. They have a lot of good itineraries. They used to have about 3 different age groups, as I recall, maybe up to 35, then 35-55 and 55+ or so, but now their web site doesn't seem to discuss age groups. It's possible they've scaled back and so you might ask typical ages of their groups, but I suspect that the non-European ones in particular would likely be an older crowd, not youngsters. They have some active ones, like river rafting, but most are not. I've just seen them recommended in several travel publications or articles, but don't know anyone who's taken one from them. They look real good, though.
Christina is offline  
May 11th, 2003, 10:28 PM
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Listen to M367 - Elderhostel trips can be fabulous (I've gone one more than a dozen), but it's really and truly worth the extra (even if you take fewer trips per year) for your own room (read: privacy). These trips are economical, anyway, and though pricier for your "quiet enjoyment", it's truly worth the extra. On my first few trips, I "endured" roommates anywhere from comatose, to catatonic, to utterly depressed, to just, horrors, will not let you alone - chatter incessently and follow you all about, even into the bloody toilet...Trust me on this, at our age, everyone has their own "qualities". It's truly best not to figure on finding any really new friends or a love match - you never know, but this is entirely unlikely, so you should go just so as to enjoy the destination...

But, for Megs, is your Mom on the web? Seems like she could research and plan her own travels? Though, six months since she lost the love of her life (amd your Dad) hardly seems like she has "has the urge to travel". You might want to leave her to be to finished mourning and think about being "single" and "traveling". Seems to me as though you may be too busy with "work, etc." to pay attention to her heartbreak. I'm just guessing here that you'd like to send her off - elsewhere...
tazlor is offline  
May 12th, 2003, 05:00 AM
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To politely disagree with Tazlor, I suggest a group trip might be the best way to start her venture into travelling as a single - it can still be fun to research locations and details on the web, even for an escorted tour. It can be intimidating for many older women alone to suddenly find themselve responsible for all details of each day - plus it is nice to have convenient companions with whom to discuss the events of the day.

And in support of original poster being busy - she, I believe was commenting that she can not travel all the time with her mother - not that she wants to send her to some wasteland because it is too much trouble. As many retired people have noted on this board, when the time demands of family and job lessen, one usually has greater time to travel than before (if not the money!)
gail is offline  
May 12th, 2003, 07:02 AM
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My Mother who was widowed many years ago has traveled alone, and with groups. She really seemed quite comfortable with cruises. There may also be in your community a Seniors Web page that will participate in trips here and there If she were to join a Seniors group in your hometown there is a chance she would also make friends in which she could evenutally travel with. That would probably be the ideal situation. Another over 55 travel group is Grand Circle. I know they have a web site. I agree, one that is for single seniors would be difficult to find. Good luck to you. My apologies for your loss.
diann is offline  
May 12th, 2003, 12:50 PM
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Shame on you Tazlor.
I at no time in my original post ever stated I was "too busy" for my precious Mom. I simply stated that because of work I don't have the ability to go as often as I would love to with her, and thought it would be fun and a good way to heal to perhaps get to know others that have had spouses pass away after a terminal disease.
My employer's have been great,they allowed me to drop to a part-time status after my Dad died so that I may go to see her every other week during this sad time, she lives four hours away.
I simply thought that during the time I am not with her, some interaction with others in her situation would be healing. My thanks to ALL OF YOU who read my post and responded in a kind, caring manner, I will indeed look into those options.
My hope for you Tazlor is that you never have someone say such hurtful things after you have a loved one who has passed away.
May 12th, 2003, 05:46 PM
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To Tazlor: I am trying really hard to understand how you cld ever possibly construe Megs_229 request to help her Mother as "not paying attention to her heartbreak" or a desire to send her Mother "elsewhere". Really I am. It's what I do for a living: help people reach a resolution to their disputes by "seeing the other side". But I must say that your comments leave me puzzled. When I read Megs_229 original post I hear a daughter who is reaching out to help her grieving Mother. Don't forget the daughter is grieving too. So, can you help me out here Tazlor?
wow is offline  
May 12th, 2003, 07:32 PM
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This is off the travel topic, but maybe there could be some kind of a grief support group or something like that around where she lives. Those can be helpful.

Even if someone is on the web, sometimes it just can be helpful for someone to give them suggestions or give them a little push to do something when they may not be feeling up to it, and then later they realize it was a good idea and really enjoy it. Also, she might never run across the same things, there's no harm in covering all bases. I think travel is a good thing to help develop new interests and it can be healing to just go to some new places and be out of your regular environment and meet new people, especially contemporaries. You may not find a tour group of people in the exact same situation (recently widowed), but a group for senior singles would be a good idea, I think.
Christina is offline  
May 13th, 2003, 04:02 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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First, accept my condolences on the loss of your father. Second, accept my apology on behalf of tazlor.

My father passed away when we were little. My mother (God love her) regrouped. Got all of us raised and after working 30 years for NYC's Board of Education retired 8 years ago. She now says says she wishes she did it sooner!
Anyway, my Mom began traveling solo in her early 60's. She has been to a great many places. She is right now on an escorted tour of Canada. It was difficult in the beginning, but she managed. She used to let the tours pick a roommate but has since discovered she prefers her own room and is willing to pay the supplement.
Now that I am a bit more established, and have more vacation time, she lets me go with her ! We have gone away together every year and sometimes twice depending on my schedule.

Don't worry about trying to find a group just for widowed seniors, groups of all different kinds are what your Mom needs right now. Try surfing the web for some ideas. You'll be pleasantly surprised how easy it will be for her once she gets past the hurdle of traveling solo for the first time.
Another suggestion is perhaps a close relative or friend might be interested in traveling with her?

Good luck and give Mom a great big hug!
AC is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2003, 12:46 PM
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My 65 year old mother, has been widowed for almost 2 years and also loves to travel. Unfortunately, I am unable to travel with her much. My mother is not looking for romance, but she would prefer not traveling alone. So I searched the web & found a travel club for WOMEN ONLY, started by a woman who loves to travel, but her husband is a workaholic. Their website says that they organize 25-30 trips per year. Members can choose to either share a room with someone or room alone. It looks like most members are 40+ years old. My mother is now in the process of joining. Their website address is www.womenstravelclub.com, and their phone #800-480-4448 if you want to check them out. Another idea is Rick Steves European travels. Rick's travel shows are on public Television stations across the country. His company organizes trips to Europe, some seem a bit pricey, but it's a company I would certainly trust. His website is www.ricksteves.com if you want more information. Happy Travels.
Tamo is offline  
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