The Freebird Club offers new travel, hosting, and friendship opportunities for the over 50s
WYZA has partnered with the Freebird Club, a new travel-based social network for the over 50s that enables peer-to-peer social travel and homestays among like-minded people from around the world.
Modelled on the "sharing economy", Freebird members can make their spare rooms available to fellow members to stay in for a nightly rate. Visitors always stay with the live-in host in situ, as the focus is as much on enjoying the company as the accommodation. The Freebird Club offers a whole new way of travelling for mature adults, a means to earn some extra money through their homes, and a fun, accessible way to meet new people, and enjoy social and cultural interaction later in life.
Founder Peter Mangan came up with the idea when he saw how much enjoyment his father Owen (a retired veterinarian and widower) got from interacting with older guests while managing his son’s holiday home in County Kerry, Ireland. There were nights together in the local pub, games of golf, and local sightseeing trips with Owen at the helm. In essence, fun was being had and friendships were being formed that went way beyond the usual host/guest interaction.
Following a successful pilot phase, the Freebird Club officially launched in 2017 as a social travel and homestay club exclusively for the over 50s. Members can travel and stay with each other in the context of a trusted members' social network. Members who wish to travel can search and stay with suitable hosts in destinations far and wide, knowing that a genuine, warm, personal welcome awaits them from a fellow Freebird member.
“The Freebird Club is connecting older explorers through meaningful travel”
Freebird provides mature adults with an opportunity to be part of an international community that will benefit their social, cultural, and economic lives. With its growing international membership, the club is spreading its wings and actively seeking new members from across Australia and New Zealand.
The Freebird Club has already won some major international awards, most recently the 2017 European Social Innovation Tournament. The awards, which recognizes innovative projects creating social value and social inclusion, are organised annually by the European Investment Bank. This marks the European “double" for Freebird, having previously won the European Commission’s Social Innovation Competition.
The Freebird Club already has membership across 70 countries and five continents and hosts in 31 countries. From lakeside chalets in Switzerland with breathtaking views, to country cottages in the UK & Ireland with fairytale surroundings, to classic American homes across the USA. The Freebird Club offers the opportunity to stay in a “home away from home” and experience life through the eyes of a local Freebird host.
For those over 50 who are keen to engage with like-minded people from around the world, Freebird invites you to join its growing "peer-to-peer" community and be part of the next great social movement for over 50s. For more information, visit freebirdclub.com.
Here’s how becoming a Freebird Club member benefits you:
- It’s a fun, accessible way to meet new people, make friends, and enjoy social and cultural interaction as you grow older.
- As a member, you can choose to be a guest, a host – or both!
- For those with a spare room, it offers a new source of income later in life.
- You won’t just be a member of a travel club, but part of a growing global peer-to-peer community.
- Staying with locals – especially those with the benefit of local history – makes for a more rewarding and authentic travel experience.
- It offers cheaper accommodation options than standard hotels & guesthouses.
"We don't stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing."
- George Bernard Shaw –
Irish Playwright, Activist and Nobel Prize Winner
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