1. Explore the World with Road Scholar – Kelsey Knoedler Perri & Kerry Bennett Retirement Wisdom 21:31

Today’s Building Blocks: Lifelong Learning & Fun  – Are you ready to age adventurously?  If you’re making plans to travel this year, why not combine it with a learning adventure? Road Scholar is a not-for-profit organization providing educational travel programs primarily geared toward older adults with an impressive range of options to explore the world. Kelsey Knoedler Perri and Kerry Bennett join us to discuss how Road Scholar can help you combine travel, learning and fun in 2024.


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Kelsey Knoedler Perri is the Public Relations Director at Road Scholar, the nonprofit world leader in educational travel for older adults. She has worked in travel and tourism throughout her career and has been with Road Scholar since 2016. There she has developed her skills in and knowledge of communicating with and marketing to adults over 50 who #AgeAdventurously. She has special expertise in digital communications, social media, and public relations. She holds an MFA in creative writing and lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

Kerry Bennett is a retired marketing professional from Northern Arizona University who lives in Flagstaff, AZ. Since retiring, she has become an avid traveler, volunteer, and lifelong learner. She has been on seven learning adventures around the world with Road Scholar, including her most recent: a service program on Chincoteague Island, Virginia. She also volunteers for Road Scholar as an Ambassador, helping spread the word about the organization’s mission through in-person presentations and events.


For More on Road Scholar



Mentioned in this Podcast Episode

Live Life in Crescendo – Cynthia Covey Haller


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Wise Quotes

On Learning Adventures

“Our mission always has been and always will be education. So everything we do is about learning. But now our programs are more a mix of classroom learning and experiential learning. So not just lectures in a lecture hall, you’re staying in a hotel room, you’re not staying in a dorm anymore, which is nice. And so we’ve evolved into being more of an educational travel organization…When you travel with Road Scholar, you’re really getting what you pay for and you’re going to be there to learn. You’re not there to sit on a beach and read a book or to go shopping. You’re there to learn. And that’s really what it comes down to. But we also offer financial aid. We offer Caregiver grants for full-time, family caregivers. We have a scholarship for retired educators. So that’s also part of our whole nonprofit thing.”

On Solo Travelers

“30% of our travelers each year go solo. We have seen that trending upwards. We’ve seen more solo travelers in general over the past 10 years and 80% of those solo travelers are women.  [We] see a mix of couples, solo travelers, friends who are traveling with other friends, siblings traveling together, parents with their adult children, also people who came as solo travelers on a pass trip and then they met somebody on a trip and then they went a trip together again.And I started to hear more anecdotally that there were a lot of married women who were traveling with us without their husbands. And I just thought that was really interesting. So I want[ed] to get down to some actual data on that. So I did a study and we looked at both data that we had in our system as well as doing a survey. And what we found was that at least 60% of our solo travelers are married people who travel without their spouse on World Scholar programs. I was really surprised by that. It was more than even I expected. And so we surveyed them and the number one reason that they said that they travel without their spouse is because their spouse is just not interested in travel. So that’s really interesting. So I think what we’re seeing as far as a trend is these married folks traveling solo, we’re definitely seeing more interest from women to travel in general, but also to travel solo.”


On Intergenerational Trips


“We’ve been doing our intergenerational program since 1985, so I think we were kind of a little ahead of our time. Family travel is popular where you’re traveling with kids and parents, maybe even grandparents. But our grandparent and grandchild programs I think are what’s really unique that sometimes in the industry is called referred to as Skip Gen. And so those are just really special. When I first started working at Road Scholar, I was like, that is the coolest thing ever. I come from a family of 14 grandkids on each side of my family and I never really had a one-on-one experience, especially travel experience with my grandparents. And I just think that would’ve been just the coolest thing ever to be able to share something like that with just my grandparents. So what we’re seeing as far as they’ve definitely become more popular over the past 10 years. We’ve been seeing the interest increasing over the past 10 years and they’re really special experiences. It’s about 10% of what we offer, but when we have 80 to 100. 000 travelers a year, 10% is still a lot.”


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About Your Podcast Host 

Joe Casey is an executive coach who also helps people design their next life after their primary career and create their version of The Multipurpose Retirement.™ He created his own next chapter after a twenty-six-year career at Merrill Lynch, where he was Senior Vice President and Head of HR for Global Markets & Investment Banking. Today, in addition to his work with clients, Joe hosts The Retirement Wisdom Podcast, which thanks to his guests and loyal listeners, ranks in the top 1 % globally in popularity by Listen Notes, with over 1 million downloads. Business Insider has recognized Joe as one of 23 innovative coaches who are making a difference. He’s the author of Win the Retirement Game: How to Outsmart the 9 Forces Trying to Steal Your Joy.

Joe Casey Retirement Coach, Podcaster

Joe Casey is an Executive Coach and Retirement Coach who brings extensive experience navigating transitions from his coaching work with clients and from his own life and career. After a 26-year career in Human Resources with Merrill Lynch, Joe shifted gears and retired early at age 52 to become an executive coach. His executive coaching practice has been named as one of the Top 10 Leadership Development Consulting Companies for 2019 by HR Tech Outlook magazine. He now also works to help people design their lives following their corporate careers, helping them pursue second act careers or to successfully navigate their transition to retirement.