First Service Travelers Club opens the world to seniors

By Stefanie Brazile

After several decades of punching time clocks, raising children and working towards the reward of retirement, today’s senior adults want to see the world. A regional program offers people over 50 interesting trips that are pre-planned, which puts the joy back into vacations. Couples and singles alike have joined the First Service Travelers Club, which is sponsored by First Service Bank.

“I love working with the club,” said Director Ina Standridge. “I make so many new friends, and it warms my heart to see them making lasting friendships on the trips.”

This year, she has a day trip planned to Dogwood Canyon on May 7 and a two-day getaway titled Journey to Pioneer Woman and United States Marshals Museum leaving on June 3. Four multi-day vacations are also offered for First Service Travelers, including to Charleston, S.C., Yellowstone and The Wild West, a Hawaiian Adventure and a visit to the famed Biltmore Estate in North Carolina.

If any of these trips are of interest, get in touch with Standridge right away. “All trips have a deadline, so the sooner you sign up, you can be sure of your reservation,” she said. “At the end of March, any open seats for the Hawaiian Adventure will be turned back in to the company for them to fill.”

Dealing with traffic and the hurried pace of large cities can be daunting at any age, even with GPS. Both singles and couples have chosen to travel with Standridge because she handles the planning, offers accommodations for people with mobility issues and does this for a fair price.

Karen Brunson moved to Conway about 18 months ago. She had previously traveled with a friend, but was in charge of the planning, making all reservations, and getting admission to exhibits and performances. She joined the First Service Travelers Club more than a year ago and has been on short and long trips with them. Her favorite adventure was to the Canadian Rockies and Glacier National Park in Montana.

“Now I just have to show up at the right place at the right time,” she said. “I don’t want to get to the point in my life that I won’t be able to travel because of health or whatever and say, ‘Man, I wish I’d gone to the Canadian Rockies or other places. I encourage anyone who wants to travel to do so with Ina.”

The First Service Travelers Club gives seniors the chance to see the world and develop new friendships. The trips are affordable and include some meals, admission to planned group activities and transportation.

“When I moved here, I didn’t know a soul,” Brunson said. “Then I went to Washington, D.C., with Ina. I’m a widow and I’m doing this alone, but I’m not really alone. I’m going places that I never thought I would be able to go, and I always feel very safe because you’re really not alone in a strange place. Even in your free time if you want to visit an attraction, you’ve made friends who will go with you.”

Brunson plans to go on several of the trips this year. She praises Standridge and First Service Bank for making the trips unique and worry-free. “I cannot say enough about Ina—she is funny, professional and takes care of everything.”

Learn more by calling Standridge at 501.514.2340 or inquire at any First Service Bank branch.