Questions & Answers

What is Road Scholar?

Road Scholar is the name of the programs offered by Elderhostel, the not-for-profit world leader in lifelong learning.

Road Scholar programs offer a multitude of opportunities to explore stimulating ideas and fascinating places across the U.S. and around the world. Learning is at the core of every program. Knowledgeable, engaging faculty and local experts set the stage for discovery with background lectures and discussions. Educational field trips, excursions and a variety of activities take you behind the scenes to gain an insiderís perspective on our rich history and heritage, culture and environment. Your fellow participants come from many walks of life to share an active exchange of ideas that often leads to making new friends. You'll also have free time to pursue your favorite interests or just relax.

As a not-for-profit organization, we are committed to providing high-quality learning experiences at remarkable value. Our programs, unlike tourist groups or commercial tours, are all-inclusive. We provide your educational content, accommodations and meals, experienced Group Leaders, and group travel during the program, as well as insurance, gratuities and taxes where applicable.

Who is Road Scholar for?

Road Scholar is for adults who love to learn for learning's sake. Road Scholar provides a memorable learning experience in an informal and friendly environment. If you enjoy exploring new ideas and places, and meeting interesting people who share your interests and love of learning, then Road Scholar will be perfect for you.

Are there any academic requirements?

None at all! Our educational adventures are designed to be an introduction to a variety of subjects and do not require any formal knowledge or prior training in the fields they explore. There is no homework, nor are there exams or grades. Regardless of your background and experience, you will be able to participate in any Road Scholar program you choose. Read more here.

Do I have to be a member to participate in Road Scholar? Is there a membership fee?

Road Scholar is not a membership organization, and there is no membership fee. To be a participant, all you have to do is enroll in a Road Scholar program.

Do single people go to Road Scholar programs?

Absolutely! There are many single people who participate in our programs. We often hear from participants who say that they look forward to attending programs because they are excited to meet friendly people who share similar interests. At Road Scholar programs, the atmosphere is very warm and social, and singles quickly become part of a congenial group. This kinship has resulted in many long-lasting friendships. In fact, many participants currently attend programs with friends whom they first met on a previous Road Scholar program. Read more here.

I would like to request single accommodations. Is it possible to have a single room?

Yes. Almost 90 percent of our programs in the U.S. and Canada offer single rooms and most international programs offer single accommodations as well. We can't guarantee a single room for all of our programs, but if you request one, the program coordinator will make every attempt to accommodate you. There is usually an additional charge for a single room.

I am attending on my own, but would like to share aroom. May I have a roommate?

Of course! If you attend a program on your own and have not requested a single room, the program coordinator will assign a roommate to you. Participants who opt to share a room with a roommate do not have to pay a single supplement in the event that there aren't enough roommates to go around.

What kinds of accommodations does Road Scholar provide?

From well-appointed city hotels to country inns, from conference and retreat centers to lodges, cabins aboard vessels, and even safari tents, Road Scholar accommodations are comfortable, pleasant and well-suited to the program. Most programs offer single room options, and almost all accommodations – whether single or double – offer private bathrooms. Generally, Road Scholar groups stay in comfortable motels, hotels or conference center facilities. Some of our college- and university-based programs utilize pleasant on-campus housing, such as graduate student or faculty apartments or suites, and a very few use dormitories (those that do utilize modern facilities). The program descriptions in our catalogs provide detailed information about the accommodations for each program. That way, you can choose the locales and lodging that are most comfortable for you. Read more here.

Are there provisions for disabilities?

Our goal is to accommodate everyone who wants to take part in Road Scholar. We will work with you if you have special needs or dietary requests, and provide specific information regarding the suitability and functionality of accommodations, physical demands of the program, and availability of special menus. If you have a question, please contact us by calling toll-free 1-800-454-5768 or attach a note to your registration form. Our TTY line, (877) 426-2167, is available for the hearing impaired. Our customer service staff will help you find the programs that fulfill your needs. Read more here.

What is the Road Scholar Institute Network?

The Road Scholar Institute Network is a community-based organization of retirement-age people who share a love of learning. Each Lifelong Learning Institute is sponsored by a college or university as a center for intellectual and social activity for older adults. The members themselves plan the curriculum, often lead the courses, and contribute in many other ways to running the organization. For more information please go to the Road Scholar Institute Network page or email us.

How do I get more information about Road Scholar?

We're always ready to answer your questions. Call us toll-free 1-800-454-5768 (hearing-impaired participants with TTY equipment call toll-free 1-877-426-2167), Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET (major holidays excluded). Outside the US or Canada, call 1-978-323-4141, or fax us at 1-617-426-0701. You can also email us or write to us:

Road Scholar
11 Avenue de Lafayette
Boston, MA 02111-1746

What is the cost of a Road Scholar program in the U.S. or Canada, and what is included?

In general, U.S. & Canada program costs average around $168 per day. Road Scholar tuition is all-inclusive and covers registration, accommodations, meals, lectures, field trips and cultural excursions, and often a variety of extracurricular activities and social functions. There are no hidden costs. Programs in the U.S. & Canada require you to provide your own transportation to get to the program site, but once you are there your tuition covers all required costs. The program prices shown do not include airfare, but round-trip airfare is available at additional cost on most of our programs.

What catalogs do you publish?

Our 5,500 programs are arranged into three catalogs: U.S. & Canada, International and Adventures Afloat, which are each published four times a year.

Can I support Road Scholar by making a contribution?

Yes. Like colleges, universities and other educational not-for-profit organizations, Road Scholar depends on contributions to defray expenses not covered by tuition revenue. Charitable gifts are vital to our financial health and perpetuate our founding mission that programs remain affordable and available to all older adults who wish to participant. The Annual Fund and Planned Giving are two ways of supporting Road Scholar.

The programs are so varied. How will I know if the activity level is appropriate for me?

Our catalogs contain program and site descriptions that detail the activity level, the terrain, type of facilities provided and other factor for all of our offerings. For example, the catalog description for a bicycle program will note the number of miles per day that participants should be able to pedal, as well as the terrain that will be covered. A program located in a mountainous area will include mention of the altitude at which you will be staying, and whether the campus has numerous stairs or hilly terrain. If you have concerns about your ability to participate in certain activities or environments, please consult with your physician before enrolling in a program. Read more here.

Can Road Scholar accommodate my special diet requirements?

We'll be happy to check whether a particular program site can accommodate the more common requests, such as low-salt or kosher meals. While there are no guarantees, some program sites are able to accommodate these requests, as long as they receive sufficient notice prior to the start of the program. Contact us with your inquiry.

How do I register for a program?

You can register by mail using the registration form in the Road Scholar catalog. You can also register by telephone. We look forward to helping you to enroll in your programs and are happy to answer your questions by telephone. Just give us a call toll-free at 1-800-454-5768, Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET, and we'll be glad to assist you. You can also register online! Our website's on-line catalogs help you to quickly search out a program by season, subject and location. You can also check program availability and use the online registration form to enroll. Read more here.

Do you offer scholarships?

We make every effort to keep program costs as low as possible, but realize our moderate prices are still beyond the means of some people who want to participate. We have set aside a limited number of scholarships for programs in the continental U.S. Scholarships do not cover travel and may be used within the general area where recipients reside. Residents of Alaska and Hawaii may apply for scholarships to attend programs in their home states. For more information on scholarships, please write to: Road Scholar Scholarships, 11 Avenue de Lafayette, Boston, MA 02111-1746.

Can I pay for a program by credit card?

Yes, Road Scholar accepts MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover for your deposit as well as your program balance.

Road Scholar programs seem like a quite a bargain. What's the catch?

There is no catch. We are a not-for-profit organization committed to providing high-quality educational opportunities to older adults, at affordable prices. Road Scholar programs are offered at modest and reasonable cost, and our focus is on providing the best learning experience and value for your tuition dollars. The many cultural and learning institutions that make up the Road Scholar community share this commitment.

My group is interesting in chartering a program for our exclusive use. How do we proceed?

Road Scholar Charter programs are ideal for all groups - ranging from clubs to alumni groups to family reunions. EMail us or write to: Road Scholar, Charter programs, 11 Avenue de LaFayette, Boston, MA 02111-1746.




Add price, activity level and more.
Tell a friend about Road Scholar and this month you could win a $2,000 gift certificate!
Congratulations to our latest winner, Maggie S.
signup top
and receive your
FREE E-Newsletter &
E-Photo book:

Top 10 Learning Experiences
Around the World

signup bottom