Patricia Hager, an Escondido resident and travel agent, was recently honored by the American Society of Travel Advisors with the Entrepreneur of the Year award.
She won the honor for developing a website, www.SeniorTravelBuddy.com for senior single travelers of the same gender who live locally, to connect and plan trips together and save money by avoiding the single supplement on cruise ships and tours.
She will use the $10,000 prize to advertise the site and get the word out.
Single seniors who like to travel are facing an increasingly baffling problem when they try to book a cruise or a guided tour: They can either try to find a “roommate” to share the cost of a cabin or tour accommodation, or they can pay the dreaded single supplement, often twice the fare.
While many senior couples enjoy their favorite vacations over many years, time eventually takes away either spouse, and the surviving one confronts not only the sadness of missing their other half, but also the lifestyle they enjoyed while traveling as a couple.
Patricia Hager’s SeniorTravelBuddy.com website, focuses specifically on helping single seniors find local traveling ‘buddies’ via a friendly, fun, and safe site. The video on the landing page features two senior ladies who meet via the website, discover they are local, and plan a lunch date to talk about traveling. They also find out that they like to travel the same way and think they would have fun together.
SeniorTravelBuddy.com works by asking a series of questions to be answered by those who register and matches only same gender local seniors, emphasizing that it is a matching site only, not a dating site.
Last week, Hager traveled to Washington DC to enter a “shark tank” like competition with other travel innovators and won the American Society of Travel Advisors Entrepreneur of the Year award. She was handed a check for $10,000.