Road Scholar vs Signature Collection by Gate 1 - Tour Companies Compared

Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.

Rating Breakdown
Overall — 5
Value — 4.6
Guide — 4.7
Activities — 4.6
Lodging — 4.5
Transportation — 4.5
Meals — 4.5
Overall — 0
Value — 0.0
Guide — 0.0
Activities — 0.0
Lodging — 0.0
Transportation — 0.0
Meals — 0.0
Recent Reviews

The amazing places we saw

5.0 July 2019
G
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I liked everything about my RS tour of the Oregon Coast - the amazing places we saw; our well-informed and caring tour director Kathleen Fitzgerald; the capable and quietly efficient bus driver Tim; the vastly knowledgeable Earth Science specialist John Ford; the excellent local guides Audrey and Mike; the variety of group meals and eating locations; the convenient accommodations; and the wonderful tour co-participants. Also, before the tour, helpful Road Scholar staff and volunteers checked on all my health and nutrition needs. In all - an exquisite experience, which made me rush and book another Road Scholar tour for September. :-) Georgiana
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Tour Road Scholar Company Reviews

It was fun to be able to spend time alone with our grandson

5.0 May 2019
S
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We did a grandparent/grandchild trip with Road Scholar and it was a wonderful experience!
It was fun to be able to spend time alone with our grandson, and it was fun for him and us to meet new people.
We plan to do another trip next year with our other grandson!
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Tour Road Scholar Company Reviews

Its a stop on your life's adventure

5.0 May 2019
B
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Its not a trip, its a stop on your life's adventure and learning. My trip to the gardens of England and the Chelsea flower show with Jenny Smale as our tour guide and Kevin Tooher as our botanical guide was beyond my expectations for a tour of the gardens of England. We stayed in top hotels, rode in a comfortable bus, ate great meals and visited private sites that would have been impossible except for their assistance. Our group bonded and will continue to stay in touch.
I took hundreds of photos and packaged them into a Powerpoint presentation that I gave to my local garden club. Hope to encourage others to try this tour.
Can't wait for my next Road Scholar visit.
I am checking off my bucket list with the family that I never knew I had.

I have added another Road Scholar trip for 2019. I will be sharing 9 days with a fried in Churchill Ca while we travel on tundra buggies to see Polar Bears. I had been researching this trip for years and then looked over the Road Scholar description. Not only was it thousands cheaper, but also more side adventures and time watching bears than similar trips. I look forward to adding great photos to my review.
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Tour Road Scholar Company Reviews

Tours 856 Trips 1 Trip
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 244 $ 0
Operator Type Group Tour Operator Group Tour Operator
Size Global Operator Global Operator
Trip Types
  • Group Tours
  • Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
  • River Cruises
  • Group Tours
Service Level Standard Standard
Regions
  • North America
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • South America
  • Rivers & Seas
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • Europe
  • Antarctica & the Arctic
  • North America
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • South America
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • Europe
Known For
  • 50+
  • Photography
  • Adventure
  • 50+
  • Budget
Headquarters Boston, Massachusetts, United States Fort Washington, Pennsylvania
Year Established 1975 N/A
Solo Friendly N/A N/A
Tour Languages English N/A
Top Trips
    Similar Companies
      Countries
      About Road Scholar

      Founded in 1975 as Elderhostel, Road Scholar took its new name in 2010. The name change was meant to better reflect the non-profit educational travel organization’s mission, which is to offer lifelong learning opportunities to adults.

      Besides it’s a clever play on words (the takeoff on Rhodes Scholar), “Road” stands for the journeys the group offers, while “Scholar” indicates the deep devotion to learning that participants possess.

      What Makes Road Scholar Stand Out?

      Tours specifically designed for older travelers and with a heavy focus on gaining deeper knowledge through educational activities, led by guides who are experts in a variety of fields.

      Instructors accompanying Road Scholar trips are experts in their fields, delivering lectures and leading field trips. Trip themes may range from history and culture, language study, and music appreciation to birding, bicycling, and baseball (proving that learning can be light-hearted, too).

      Traveling with Road Scholar is like a study abroad experience, with classes and instructors, with a group of people the same age who have a similarly extensive hindsight on life - and love to learn.

      Who Will Enjoy Traveling with Road Scholar?

      The first thing to note is that Road Scholar trips are specifically intended for travelers 50 and above (often 65+).

      Open minded, active, and worldly life-long learners who have a sense of adventure and willingness to try new things, will love the cadence of a Road Scholar trip. Road Scholar is often the first guided trip experience for older travelers.

      Perhaps in your younger days you loved going it alone, planning out your itinerary, and loved the spontaneity of traveling off the beaten path. Now you’re ready to have that same spirit, but with a few more ducks in a row and maybe hit some of the classic sites you missed or didn’t truly appreciate before.

      Road Scholar has recently added special grandparent-grandchild trips and programs for three generations traveling together. Keep in mind that the focus remains on education, distinguishing Road Scholar trips from most commercial tours.

      Group sizes with Road Scholar vary, but many small group study tours are limited to 10-24 participants. They are also very friendly to solo travelers - offering many tours for solos and singles where you can meet new friends, and romantic interests!

      Road Scholar allows for particular good compatibility between you and your tour mates as each journey is designed around specific themes from an educational perspective.

      Top Destinations

      With a special Road Scholar operates tours in 150 countries, as well as every state in the U.S. Aside from the educational days, many trips include activities in nature, with hiking, kayaking, and other outdoors experiences.

      Road Scholar Travel Style

      Road Scholar creates their itineraries to encourage learning - both in a scholarly way, from knowledgeable guides, and experts in various fields, and also in a holistic way - from the accommodations, meals, and transportation. Your entire journey with Road Scholar is designed as an educational experience.

      Tours are referred to as “programs”, guides, tour directors, and leaders are “faculty” and they even have an online “campus store”. Programs are designed to be immersive and very different from a canned experience.

      Walking trips, train treks, small ship cruises, and riverboat voyages are among the options for trip style. Prices typically stay in the budget/value range consistent with the company’s roots.

      Road Scholar offers may ways to save on their trips. These include scholarships, friend referrals, and various specials and deals throughout the year.

      Why Choose a Tour With Road Scholar?

      On a Road Scholar tour you can expect a lot of unique cultural, artistic, historic, and local insights. Meet artisans, learn local crafts, and feel the camaraderie of being around other travelers who enjoy the educational aspect of travel.

      The original Elderhostel grew out of the vision of the late Marty Knowlton, who spent four years backpacking around Europe while staying in youth hostels -- and wanted American adults to have access to similar cultural experiences.

      If you consider yourself a lifelong learner and want to spend your vacation amongst others who share your passion for travel and education, Road Scholar is the place for you.

      About Signature Collection by Gate 1

      A unique collection of luxury trips designed by Gate 1 travel.

      What Makes Gate 1 Signature Collection Stand Out?

      These are luxury minded trips with a local focus. Guides are all local experts, from and living in the destination you’re visiting. Each itinerary features exclusive experiences. Groups are small and each day is full of activity but well balanced.

      They focus on offering only a select group of trips in this special collection - allowing them the freedom to create truly spectacular itineraries - which include more inclusions in the price than their other collections.

      The tagline is “More Luxury for Less”. These tours may not be in same luxury travel class if you’re used to Abercrombie & Kent, however where comfort and extravagance meets fun and busy travel days of sightseeing and tours, you’ll find Gate 1 Signature Collection.

      Who Will Enjoy Traveling with Gate 1 Signature Collection?

      Those travelers who are willing to spend a little bit more for a 4-5 star experience, will probably find a sweet spot with Gate 1 Signature tours. These trips tend to be attended by older travelers, in the 50+ range.  

      Don’t expect too much strenuous activity. You can expect easy paced walks, guided tours and lectures, and stops to explore interesting cultural sites and historical attractions.

      While some of these cultural experiences, included in their “Signature Experiences”, are truly unique, be wary that many of these inclusions are fairly standard offerings - such as a hot air balloon ride over the African savannah. So the luxury experience of exclusivity you may be expecting is to be taken with a grain of salt. These tours offer wonderful experiences - but the destinations or activities are not always particularly uncommon or rare.  

      Top Destinations

      They currently don’t offer an overly extensive list of countries, but tours do go all over the world. This includes Central Europe, Spain, and the UK, Israel, Jordan and Morocco, Peru, Southeast Asia, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.

      Gate 1 Signature Collection Travel Style

      Signature Collection tours with Gate 1 aim for comfort, ease, and unique cultural experiences. Like their other brands, Gate 1’s Signature Collection is about making sure your sightseeing is maximized, and the price is right for the experience.

      Most sightseeing, meals, wifi, tips, and their “Signature Experiences” are included in the itinerary price - unlike Gate 1’s main brand which offers less inclusions. This type of itinerary more helpful to budget travelers wishing to pick and choose which activities they would like to pay for. Gate 1 Signature Tours, however, are best suited to those who want more inclusions and less hassle to have to decide on how to spend their travel time.

      Why Choose a Tour with Gate 1 Signature Collection?

      If you’re an older traveler looking for a boutique, comfortable, and well paced tour, the Signature tours may suit you very well. Travelers love the customer service, attention to detail, and depth of knowledge the guides bring to each day on the tour. There is also a good balance of free time and optional additional sightseeing opportunities.

      All tours feature included “Signature Experiences” which are the main highlights that make the Signature Collection tours stand out from the other Gate 1 brands. These are unique excursions, usually with a strong cultural focus - such as an evening of Irish music in Galway, or a traditional dinner in the deserts of Morocco. They also often include lectures that explore a destinations history or a specific facet of the culture.

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