Road Scholar vs Overseas Adventure Travel – Which Company Offers the Best Educational Tours?

Road Scholar vs Overseas Adventure Travel – Which Company Offers the Best Educational Tours?

Exploring new destinations and immersing oneself in local cultures can be a great way to learn, grow, and broaden one’s perspective. Educational tours are one option for travelers looking to combine learning and adventure. Two of the most well-known companies offering these tours are Road Scholar and Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT). While both companies offer a variety of travel experiences, there are some key differences to consider when choosing which company to go with.


Road Scholar (formerly Elderhostel) was founded in 1975 and is a non-profit organization dedicated to adult education and lifelong learning. They offer over 5,500 educational tours in 150 countries, catering primarily to travelers over 50 years old. OAT, on the other hand, was founded in 1978 and is a for-profit company that offers small-group tours to destinations around the world, designed for travelers of all ages.

Tour Options

When looking at tour options, both Road Scholar and OAT offer a range of destinations and types of tours. However, Road Scholar focuses more on educational and cultural experiences, while OAT also includes outdoor and active adventures. For example, Road Scholar may offer a tour of Japan’s ancient temples, while OAT could offer a trekking trip through the Himalayas.

Group Size

Group size is another factor to consider. Road Scholar’s group sizes are typically larger, with an average of around 24 people per tour. OAT’s group sizes are smaller, with an average of 10-16 people per tour. This can impact the level of personal attention and the flexibility of the tour.


Accommodations are also an important consideration on an educational tour. Road Scholar mainly offers stays in hotels and resorts, with some homestay and river cruising options. OAT, on the other hand, offers a mix of accommodations, including boutique hotels, lodges, and camping.


Cost is another important consideration. Overall, Road Scholar tours are generally more expensive than OAT tours, but they also tend to include more components, such as meals and activities. It’s important to consider what aspects are included in the cost and what extra expenses may need to be factored in.

Customer Reviews

Lastly, reading reviews from previous customers of both companies can give some insight into the overall customer experience. Road Scholar generally has high customer reviews, with a focus on the educational and cultural aspects of the tours. OAT also has positive reviews, with a focus on the adventurous and active nature of the tours.


Both Road Scholar and OAT offer exciting and educational tours to a variety of destinations around the world. When choosing between the two companies, it’s important to consider factors such as tour options, group size, accommodations, cost, and customer reviews. Ultimately, the best option will depend on personal preferences and what type of experiences the traveler is looking for.

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