Senior Living: How the Freebird Club Is Changing the Way Seniors Travel
At Garden of Palms senior living community in Los Angeles, we understand the value that traveling brings to any senior lifestyle, and we know how nice it can be to come back home after an adventure abroad. At times, we all crave the comfort of home, even from thousands of miles away. And while technology like Airbnb has narrowed that gap by letting tourists stay in real-life homes rather than cookie-cutter hotels, it can still leave some globetrotters feeling homesick or isolated.
Enter the Freebird Club. A self-described “social club” exclusive to people aged 50+, the Freebird Club allows locals to lease out their homes to tourists, just like Airbnb. Unlike Airbnb, however, the Freebird Club requires that hosts spend quality time with their visitors for at least part of their stay.
Why the Freebird Club is Great for Seniors
It’s not hard to see why Airbnb’s model has been so successful. While hotels are generally the same no matter where you go, staying in a native’s home gives travelers an immersive and authentic experience that is hard to replicate. But Airbnb rentals fall short when it comes to meeting people, which can make traveling a lonely experience. When staying at an Airbnb, you’re unlikely to spend much time with your host, if you even meet them at all.
The Freebird Club addresses this issue; its model encourages seniors to make friends and socialize while they travel. Spending time with hosts allows travelers to engage with their surroundings and experience their destinations from a local perspective. By emphasizing the importance of community, the Freebird Club provides an innovative way to combat one of the biggest health hazards for older people: loneliness.
One 60-year-old Freebird member, Margaret Treanor, recounts her experience:
"I stayed one week in an apartment, one in a hotel, and two weeks with a Freebird host. The latter was the most enriching experience by a mile. My host Amanda included me in her day-to-day life - going to the market, meeting family and friends, and exploring the countryside. I could afford to stay longer with her because I wasn't paying hotel prices, and I got to absorb the lifestyle and culture of the region. It was wonderful." (source)
By departing from the traditional “tourist mode,” the Freebird Club promises a very different experience from Airbnb or a hotel. Meeting new people while traveling can add depth and richness to the overall traveling experience, making it much more interesting and fulfilling. Whether you are joining as a guest or host, or both, this social club is sure to provide a unique experience.
As a senior living community, Garden of Palms understands the importance of connecting with others, and that’s why we aim to provide an intimate, home-like atmosphere. If you’re exploring senior living communities in the Los Angeles area for a loved one, please contact us for more information, or schedule a tour.