Mature travelers who enjoy an old-fashioned bed and breakfast at old-fashioned rates of $18 per night single or $24 double might want to check out a relatively new group, TravelClub Bed and Breakfast.
TravelClub is a kid sister of the older Evergreen Club, which was started nine years ago by Pat Wilson in Maryland for singles or couples over age 50.
Evergreen Club requires all bed and breakfast owners/members to have guest rooms available to other club members for $10 a night single or $15 double. In other words, members must host as well as be hosted.
Evergreen is still going strong and has moved its headquarters to Redondo Beach. Today, it has more than 500 members, mostly in the United States and Canada.
Over the years, Evergreen Club found many mature travelers who wanted to join and stay in private bed and breakfast rooms but could not themselves host other members.
So TravelClub Bed and Breakfast was born. Like Evergreen, it's for mature travelers age 50 and older. But TravelClub does not require that members host other member guests.
At $18 a night single, $24 double, including breakfast, TravelClub's overnight rates are higher than Evergreen's but still moderate compared with many other bed and breakfast inns.
And TravelClub currently has bed and breakfast accommodations in about 180 homes, according to Linda Mardi, daughter of Evergreen founder Pat Wilson. Most are in the Sun Belt.
Annual TravelClub dues are $40 for singles, $50 per couple. That includes a bed and breakfast host directory, a midyear newsletter and a later update on new hosts. Members use the directory to make their own reservations.
"Despite the modest rates, TravelClub members could find themselves staying in a waterfront home or along a golf course," said Mardi.
"Most of the hosts are retired and happy to help with travel and sightseeing advice about their area. There's always a warm welcome for mature travelers . . . just don't expect someone to carry your bags or spend the day with you."
Mardi also serves as director of her mother's original Evergreen Club.
Evergreen membership rates are the same--$40 single, $50 double. But in addition to getting lower rates, Evergreen members also have more locations to choose from.
For more information on TravelClub or Evergreen, send a self-addressed stamped, business-size envelope to: TravelClub, 1926 S. Pacific Coast Highway, Suite 217, Redondo Beach 90277.