Travel Clubs

This is a listing of some of the travel clubs, and prospective travel clubs, within the US (and beyond). Several were started by ITN subscribers who simply announced in this magazine their willingness to begin a club or to join one and then made arrangements with other travelers within driving distance to meet on a regular basis, inviting people to join them. Each group makes its own rules, if any. If you are interested in starting a travel club in your area, send a notice to ITN.

To keep travelers informed of upcoming meetings and activities of your group, email editor@intltravelnews.com or write to Travel Clubs Bulletin Board, c/o ITN, 2116 28th St., Sacramento, CA 95818. Updates will be printed in the magazine and on the website (www.intltravelnews.com; click on “Resources”). 

Check the listings below for get-togethers of international travelers near your home.

 

The Travelers’ Century Club was formed in 1954 as a social club for those who have visited at least 100 countries or territories. Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, the club today has more than 2,000 members worldwide, with chapters in PHOENIX, Arizona; LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas; SAN FRANCISCO/BERKELEY AREA, LOS ANGELES and SAN DIEGO, California; DENVER, Colorado; SARASOTA and MIAMI, Florida; CHICAGO, Illinois; INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana; KANSAS CITY and ST. LOUIS, Missouri; BOSTON, Massachusetts; NEW YORK CITY, New York; DALLAS or HOUSTON for Texas and Oklahoma; PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania; WASHINGTON, DC; TORONTO, ON, and CALGARY, AB, Canada; the UNITED KINGDOM, and GERMANY.

Each chapter chooses where and when to hold its meetings, which take place from one to six times a year. Some chapters have formal programs with speakers and videos; others gather to socialize and exchange travel experiences. Costs include an initiation fee ($100) and annual dues ($65 or, for international chapters, $75) plus the actual costs of luncheons, potlucks, etc.

A website and quarterly newsletter keep members current on chapter activities and other news. Contact Travelers’ Century Club (Box 7050, Santa Monica, CA 90406-7050; phone 310/458-3454, fax 310/395-9511, email tccclub3@verizon.net or visit www.travelerscenturyclub.org).

 

Founded in 1902, the Circumnavigators Club brings people together who have circumnavigated the globe. Potential members must have crossed all the meridians of longitude in one direction (though not, necessarily, all on one trip) and be sponsored and seconded by current members. 

An international organization, it is headquartered in NEW YORK CITY, New York, and has additional chapters in PHOENIX, Arizona; SAN DIEGO, California; NAPLES,  PALM BEACH and MIAMI, Florida; CHICAGO, Illinois; BOSTON, Massachusetts; DETROIT, Michigan; MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL, Minnesota; SEATTLE, Washington, and WASHINGTON, DC, as well as in LONDON, England, UK, and SINGAPORE.

Each chapter follows its own meeting schedule, and meetings often include featured speakers. The club publishes a news magazine, The Log, twice a year along with a newsletter twice a year. Members pay an initiation fee of $150 in addition to an annual fee of $150.

To contact a club chapter, visit circumnavigators.org and click on “Chapters” or call 201/612-9100 or write to Circumnavigators Club, 50 Vanderbilt Ave., New York, NY 10017.

 

Hostelling International USA (www.hiusa.org) is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to encourage positive intercultural exchange, provide educational programs, empower people to travel responsibly and create ways for travel enthusiasts to connect in their communities. In cities across the country, Hostelling International USA sponsors volunteer-led meetup groups via Meetup.com. Group members gather to discuss travel tips and stories, plan travel, educate one another, enjoy food and drink and enjoy connecting with like-minded people.

To find a HI-USA club in your area*, visit www.meetup.com and type the key word “travel” in the “All Meetups” search box. If there is no club near you and you’d like to start one, please email Megan Arlow, Regional Engagement Manager, Hostelling International USA, at megan.arlow@hiusa.org.

*Some HI-USA travel clubs appear in the list below. — Editor

Arizona

In GREEN VALLEY, Arizona, Wander Lust Travelers first met on Feb. 23, 2012, with about 50 present. We now have 357 on our email roster and 85 dues-paying members (including some from Tucson, 25 miles north). Green Valley is an "active adult living community" (one person in the home must be 55 or older, with no one under 18). About 96% of our members are women.

We meet monthly at St. Francis in the Valley Episcopal Church on the fourth Thursday (or, if that's a holiday week, the third Thursday), with a travel-related program (often with a video slide show) at 2:15 p.m. and the meeting at 3:15. We talk about travel insurance, travel clothing, helpful websites/publications, etc.

Members can meet like-minded people and find travel companions. There's a holiday pot luck luncheon each December and a club birthday celebration each February. Among destinations of group trips planned for 2015-2016 are Costa Rica, Thailand, Spain and various places in Mexico. Annual dues are $20. Everyone is welcome. Call Susan Pace at 520/648-6444 or email susanKayP@aol.com.

 

In the PHOENIX, Arizona, area, our club The Navigators — the first travel club to be organized via ITN — has been meeting since 1998. We currently have 42 paid, active members plus many others who receive our monthly newsletter and attend meetings infrequently. 

We continue to host meetings in our homes, with the host providing the program and refreshments. Members live all over the Valley of the Sun, so we may meet in Scottsdale, Tempe, Phoenix or Sun City. On occasion, we meet at an ethnic restaurant for dinner before the club meeting, and in December we have a holiday dinner, usually potluck. 

Our friendly, widely traveled group meets at 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month from October through April. To defray costs of mailing, copying, etc., we have a one-time membership fee of $10 per household. New members are welcome. 

Please email Margo Wilson at tclyde_us@yahoo.com or call 480/483-6572.

 

Worldwide Travel Talks of TUCSON, Arizona meets one Sunday of each month, October through May, from 2:30 PM until 4:30 PM in the auditorium at the Oro Valley Public Library in the Northwest Tucson area (1305 W Naranja Drive, use Naranja entrance). Participants of the group meet to enjoy presentations which may include slides, videos, photographs, brochures, etc. of their trips. We have no dues, nor elected officers.

Please call Gordon McCall at 520-797-3162 (goranbev@yahoo.com), Dolores Rohrer at 520-296-1986 (doloresrohrer@cox.net), or Dick Englert at 520-721-8857 (dickenglert@cox.net).

Arkansas

Arkansas Travel & Events Club, LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas. This group is looking for volunteers to teach free travel education classes and host local social events and outings in the Little Rock area and beyond. Associated with Hostelling International-USA.

Visit www.meetup.com/Arkansas-Travel-Events-Club for information. If you're interested in sharing your travel tips and stories with the group or hosting an event, email Dawn.Boudreaux@hiusa.org for more details.

California

The No Reservations Travel Club was established in SACRAMENTO, California, in July 2001. A friendly, relaxed group, we meet at 7 p.m. the first Tuesday of each month, February-December, at the Arcade Public Library Community Room at 2443 Marconi Avenue. We have a speaker (a tour operator, an outside travel agent or a club member) at each meeting except in December, when we have a dessert potluck social. 

The second Tuesday of most months, we meet for dinner at an ethnic restaurant. Occasionally, we take group tours that are open to everyone, not just club members. There are no dues or fees.

Call Judith Anshin at 916/457-1426, email penguinatlaw@gmail.com (put “travel” in the subject line) or visit www.noreservationstravelclub.blogspot.com.

 

In the SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA of California, the East Bay Travel Group has been in existence since about 1990. We meet once a month on a Sunday evening for a potluck dinner and a slide or digital photo presentation. Meetings take place in members’ East Bay homes.

Our members include both singles and couples of all ages, though most are over 40. Most are frequent world travelers to Asia, Africa and the Americas, and some are adventure solo travelers.

There are no dues, but members are asked to bring a potluck dish and a beverage to meetings and to either host or make a presentation at some time during the year. We’d love to welcome some new travelers to our group. 

Call Susan Hall at 510/524-7939 or email ebtz@aol.com.

 

The Silicon Valley Travel Club has been meeting in the SILICON VALLEY/SOUTH BAY AREA of California since October 2006. 

We meet monthly on a Sunday afternoon, usually at a member’s home, for a video or slide show presentation on destinations around the world. Examples include Turkey, Cuba, the Grand Canyon, Poland, Namibia and China. All presentations are by members. 

We socialize before and after the presentation. We also have a couple of social events during the year. There are no dues or fees.

For more info, please email Kim at furballs77@yahoocom.

 

The travel club of SANTA CLARITA, California, meets 6:30 to 9 p.m. the second Monday of each month in the education building of Christ Lutheran Church, 25816 Tournament Road, Valencia, CA 91355. Refreshments are served from 6:30 to 7, with conversation and information. Shows begin at 7. There is no business meeting and there are no dues.

For info, please call Carl Boyer at 661/259-3154 or e-mail cboyer3154@yahoo.com.

 
 

The Network Travel Club is a fun group of travel addicts in the LOS ANGELES, California, area who meet at a different restaurant each month (for 10 months each year) to experience fascinating presentations and exchange travel tips and ideas. Formed in 1992, our aim is to add to our exploration of the globe, its people and cultures as well as ourselves. 

We invite speakers to show slides about their exciting adventures. Also, during each meeting, a microphone is passed around so each guest may share any travel tips or inquiries. (You can pass your turn, if you wish.)

There are no membership fees, but it is a pay-as-you-attend affair, with the cost from $23 to $27. This includes lunch as well as payment for the speaker and normal operating expenses (printing fliers, etc.).

The topic of the next event, on Sunday, July 23, 2017, is “Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Assam in Northeastern India.” The speaker will be Gene Smith, with Praneet Jaspal as interviewer. An architect with a passion for travel, Gene has done 71 travel TV shows over the years.

It will take place at the Cuban restaurant El Floridita Restaurant (1253 North Vine St. #3, Hollywood, CA 90038; 323/871-8612), located at the corner of Vine and Fountain streets. Social time begins at 12 noon, with lunch served at 12:30. A travel presentation immediately follows. The meeting concludes at 3 p.m. The event cost of $25 will include lunch, soft drink, tax and tip.

For more info, call Odette Ricasa at 323/578-3601 or email odette25@aol.com.

 

Anyone interested in forming a travel club in the ORANGE COUNTY, California, area, please contact me. — Arlene Hamann, Laguna Beach; 949/499-6231,
seearlenego@gmail.com

 

The San Diego Travel Club in SAN DIEGO, California, meets on the second (sometimes third) Wednesday of each month (except in August and December) at the Serra Mesa Branch of the San Diego City Library (9005 Aero Dr.; 858/573-1396), near I-15 and Ruffin Road. We discuss recent and upcoming trips and have Q&A sessions with members about trips they have recently completed or will be taking. Lots of hints on maximizing enjoyment!

The club formed in the early ’90s, and our rolls include about 50 regular or occasional attendees. There are no dues to join. If you would like to attend our meetings, please email Darryl Rapp at drapps@yahoo.com.

Colorado

Travelers Meetup Northern Colorado in FORT COLLINS, Colorado, is a Meetup group designed to facilitate the exchange of ideas, tips and stories and answer members’ questions about possible travel destinations. Members also plan and go on trips.

The group was formed in 2009 by Hostelling International USA. There is no set meeting schedule; organizers or members can post meeting ideas, arrange a location (usually a local restaurant) and publicize the meeting. Meetings are generally monthly, usually with 10 to 20 people. Currently, 215 members are signed up. There are no dues for this group. 

We welcome new members. Visit www.meetup.com/Travelers-Meetup-Northern-Colorado.

Florida

The group Uncommon Travelers, in the TAMPA BAY, Florida, area, comprises adventurous travelers of all ages, shapes and colors, all of whom have made several journeys overseas or have lived and worked outside the USA or come from other countries. For the most part, we are independent travelers who absorb ourselves in the people, culture, food, etc., of other countries, conserving our funds in order to travel more. 

Join us 5 to 8 p.m. the second Saturday of each month, September-May, at Piccadilly Cafeteria, 11810 North Dale Mabry, in Tampa. There’s dinner and socializing from 5 to 6 p.m., then a short slide presentation. A brief business meeting at 6:15 is followed by the main program, usually slides and talks on trips by members or guests, until 8 p.m. 

The annual membership fee is $20 for a single or $30 per couple. Benefits include help and advice on travel plans, discussions on international themes, a newsletter, new friendships, get-togethers at restaurants or whatever you help plan. 

Contact Mike Swann, president (727/585-6345, mandb90@hotmail.com), or Judy Butler, program coordinator (813/979-2125, judith_bb98@yahoo.com).

 

In the SARASOTA-BRADENTON, Florida, area, the ITN Offbeat Travelers Club has more than 100 members, with an average of 25 to 35 at each meeting, depending on the season. Our luncheon meetings are held in a restaurant’s private banquet room on the second Monday of each month at 11:45 a.m.

Each meeting begins with attendees briefly sharing details of recent trips, followed by lunch and culminating with a member’s formal presentation of a recent international trip. In addition, one of the members extracts travel-related news from various publications each month and distributes a synopsis of interesting travel tidbits.

An emailed monthly newsletter lists meeting dates and program presenters and destinations for the next six months or so. We have no officers and no dues, and we rotate the chairperson duties. For info, email Tom Myers at tom_h_myers@yahoo.com.

 

Singles On The Go Travel Club is a “not for profit” and is open to anyone who travels alone. It started in 2000 and services the greater SARASOTA and MANATEE COUNTIES in Florida, including Sarasota, Bradenton and Venice

Meetings are held on the second Sunday of the month, except when it’s Easter or Mother’s Day. Near Christmas, it’s an evening event, and no meetings are held in June or July. In addition, we have a monthly newsletter, socials, dining in, dining out, cultural events, games night, a book club, day trips, short trips, long trips and a bicycling group.

It’s a great way to get to know other travelers and find roommates for trips. The group runs between 320 and 420 members. Dues are $30 per year or half price starting in summer.

If you would like more info or one of our email newsletters, just contact Barb Hahn (941/922-7062, barbhahn@gmail.com or travelsingles@yahoo.com).

Indiana

The Indianapolis Travel & Culture Club of INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, is a gathering of great people who want culture, food, fun and travel and enjoy learning about other cultures, trying new things and meeting people. Whether you’re from Indiana, abroad or elsewhere — an exchange student or traveling through for business or pleasure — this is your group.

To contact us, please go to www.meetup.com/Indianapolis-Travel-Culture-Club.

 

The Passport to Adventure Travel Club of EVANSVILLE, Indiana, was established in 2011. We meet once per month on a Tuesday or Thursday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Oaklyn Branch Library. Each meeting features a guest speaker, often with a slide show presentation on various destinations or travel topics. Two or three times per year we meet at an ethnic restaurant to experience new foods and have social time.

Meetings are free and open to the public. For more info, email Pam Reimann at pam@pamspassport.com or phone 812/453-1771 or visit www.pamspassport.com.

Kentucky

The LEXINGTON Travel Club in LEXINGTON, Kentucky, celebrated its 27th year in January 2014; we’ve been meeting monthly since 1987. (Three of the founders are still members.) With about 75 people on our mailing list, 25 to 30 often show up.

We keep it simple — no group travel and no newsletters, just postcards listing that month’s restaurant and program. Dues are $2 per meeting or $10 per household per year.

From May to August we go out to eat, and, from September to April, after dinner we meet at Hunter Presbyterian Church, 109 Rosemont Garden, Lexington, for about an hour for a presentation and talk on international and domestic travel. 

Please contact Jane Friedman (751 Zandale Dr., Lexington, KY 40502; 859/277-6900) or Evonne Brashear (2920 Southview Dr., Lexington, KY 40503; 859/275-1606).

Louisiana

New Orleans Travel & Events Club, NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana. This group is very active. Free travel education classes are periodically offered. Associated with Hostelling International-USA.

Visit www.meetup.com/New-Orleans-Travel-Events-Club for information. If you're interested in sharing your travel tips and stories with the group or hosting an event, email Dawn.Boudreaux@hiusa.org for more details.

Maryland

In ANNAPOLIS, Maryland, the “Annapolis Area Travel Club,” founded in 1999, welcomes everyone to join us as we experience the world through some amazing travel tales. Enjoy stories and more over dinner with friends who cannot wait to see your pictures and hear about your adventures! At least one of our members has been to more than 800 of the “1,000 Places to See Before You Die!” 

This is a great venue for gathering information for your next trip. Come and savor some of Maryland’s finest crab cakes as we explore the world together! Email John Scheleur at travelclub@comcast.net.

Michigan

In EAST LANSING, Michigan, the East Lansing International Travel Group is for people who, traveling by any means necessary, are compelled to get lost in unfamiliar places and inspired by new experiences, ideas and cultures. This group serves as a local base for the community of hostelers, couch surfers, backpackers, car campers and location-independent professionals plus independent travelers of all stripes. 

The mission of this group is to share stories, experiences and knowledge and to create opportunities to share our love of our hometown with those who share our love of travel, whether through organized events, educational programming or travel opportunities. 

To contact us, go to www.meetup.com/East-Lansing-International-Travel-Group.

 

Missouri

After 18 years, in 2017 the International Travel Club of St.Louis, MISSOURI, is moving its quarterly meetings to The Lodge Des Peres, at 1050 Des Peres Road in St. Louis. Quarterly meetings take place in February, May, August and November on a Saturday between 2 and 4 p.m. Typically, there are two speakers, with a short break in between. Our August 5th, 2017, meeting will feature the presentations "Exploring Papua New Guinea" and "Cairns (Australia) to Auckland (New Zealand) — From Sea to Shining Sea."

Club membership is now over 200, and there are 90 in the Travel Companions' Luncheon Group, which meets at a different ethnic restaurant each month for socializing. Club benefits also include a 4-page travel-related newsletter, emailed travel updates and our annual potluck picnic.

We welcome new members. Leave a voice-mail at 314/851-0978, email itcstlouis@aol.com or visit www.internationaltravelclub.org. (We currently do not have a Facebook account.)

Nebraska

The Travel and Culture Club in OMAHA, Nebraska, is a gathering of great people who want culture, food, fun and travel and enjoy learning about other cultures, trying new things and meeting people. Whether you’re from Indiana, abroad or elsewhere — an exchange student or traveling through for business or pleasure — this is your group.

To contact us, go to www.meetup.com/Travel-and-Culture-Club-in-Omaha.

New York

Wanted: avid travelers in the NEW YORK CITY/LONG ISLAND, New York, area interested in sharing their travel experiences with others who share this same passion. We had a travel bug mixer at a Manhattan restaurant in September ’13. It was a lot of fun. Let’s do it again.

Contact Debra L. Rudolph; 718/736-3730, debral.rednose@yahoo.com

Ohio

The Cincinnati International Travel Club in CINCINNATI, Ohio, started in 2001 and is still going strong! We meet on the fourth Wednesday of every other month at the Evendale Community Church. Our next meetings in 2014 will be May 28, July 23 and Sept. 24.

We begin at 6:30 p.m. with a half-hour social get-together, and the meeting proper begins at 7. We have had speakers describe their travels, which can be anywhere from the Arctic to Antarctica. We generally are finished by 8:15. 

There are no dues, and we are open to anyone interested in international travel. 

If you have any questions, visit our Facebook page at www.face book.com/CincinnatiInternational
TravelClub.

 

Oregon

Travelers in the area of SALEM, Oregon, are invited to meetings of the noncommercial Mid-Valley Travel Club, held at the Salem Public Library from 7 to 9 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month, September through May. Attendance is FREE!

Destination topics to be illustrated for the club's 24th season are “Sangkhlaburi & the Thai-Burma Border,” Sept. 14, 2017; England: A Tour for Teens,” Oct. 12; “Hidden Rajasthan & the Holi Festival (India),” Nov. 9; “Quito, the Ecuadorean Highlands & the Gal├ípagos,” Dec. 14; “Encountering Berlin,” Jan. 11, 2018; “France — Normandy to the Riviera,” Feb. 8; “Magic Patagonia (southern Chile & Argentina),” March 8; “Nepal: Before Tragedy,” April 12, and “Surprising Singapore,” May 10.

Meetings also include a brief discussion on a travel-skills topic. Previous presentations and discussions are archived on the club's website.
For more information, please visit www.midvalleytravelclub.org or phone Jane at 503/931-1684.

Texas

The International Travel Club in DALLAS, Texas, continues to meet at 2 p.m. on the second Sunday of every third month (January, April, July and October) in the meeting room of the Farmers Branch Manske Library (13613 Webb Chapel Rd.), located on the west side of Webb Chapel, about 1½ miles north of IH635. We also have a Yahoo group for discussion and meeting announcements (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ITN-Travel-Club-DFW)

For info, call Gordon Peterson at 972/488-8447 or email gep2@terabites.com or visit the Yahoo group page.

 

The Park Place Travel Adventurers, in HARLINGEN, Texas, is composed of senior “snowbirds” from the US and Canada. We meet December through March every Friday from 3:15 to 4:45 p.m. in the Crafters Room in Friendship Hall at Park Place Estates (5401 W. Business 83, Harlingen). On a big-screen TV, we present travel DVDs created by our members and guests. We list destination topics two weeks ahead in the Park Place weekly newsletter.

Our travel club has grown in membership, so this year we’re also holding roundtable-style Travel Talks, Tips & Tales on the third Sunday of each month. We discuss any travel-related issues, answer questions, help with trip planning and share travel stories. 

Membership is free. We welcome all. Call Diane Schauss at 715/385-9304 or email dipoolcue@yahoo.com.

 

North Texas Travel & Events Club, DALLAS, Texas. This group hosts monthly free travel education classes to help beginning and seasoned travelers alike explore the world. This group is also expanding its class offerings to new venues and is looking for volunteers to teach classes as well as lead fun excursions to local events and host social travel related gatherings. Associated with Hostelling International-USA.

Visit www.meetup.com/HI-USANorthTexas for information. If you're interested in sharing your travel tips and stories with the group or hosting an event, email Dawn.Boudreaux@hiusa.org for more details.

 

We are the Retired Austin Travelers; we call ourselves RATs and we scurry around the world. We live in the AUSTIN, Texas, area, are mostly retired and all have an interest in travel. Our group started in 2008 when a local resident placed a notice in ITN; there were four of us at the first meeting.

We meet in the local library from 1 to 3 p.m. the second Wednesday of each odd-numbered month. In an even-numbered month, we have a more informal meeting at a coffeehouse. We have no elected officers, dues or bylaws. You can find out more at www.ratsonline.org. — Jim Robirds

Virginia

Located in the VIENNA, Virginia, and WASHINGTON, DC, area, the Shillelagh Travel Club was established in 1964. When many of our single senior members no longer wanted to go out at night, we stopped having monthly meetings at night and began having open houses at our office, with complimentary food and drinks, as well as day trips. We average 175 people at each of the quarterly get-togethers. Our membership is approximately 2,000, and 15% live outside the Washington, DC, area.

Aside from social and cultural reasons, our club was formed to provide travel for those who love to be with others and do not want to deal with details. Shillelagh offers about 50 trips a year. We do make a profit on trips, which is how we have an office and full-time staff, but Shillelagh is a not-for-profit club and usually breaks even or loses a little money each year.

Dues are $35 per year for a single member and $50 for a family; however, when you reserve your first overnight trip, your first year is complimentary. All members are sent our monthly travel magazine.

Contact Carolyn McKenna, Shillelagh Travel Club (100 East St. SE, Ste. 202, Vienna, VA 22180; 800/556-8646, 703/242-2204, www.shillelaghtravel
club.com).

Wisconsin

The Madison International Travel Meetup Group (Madison Travel Circle), in MADISON, Wisconsin, engages in activities such as history, politics, art, music, the environment, language, economics, etc. All are possibilities for this group. Let’s embrace the many things this world has to offer us here in Madison!

To contact us, go to www.meetup.com/travel-936.