Best Lodging Option for Travel on a Retirement Budget

If you’re trying to find the best lodging option for travel on a retirement budget, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re working your way toward retirement or consider yourself a full-blown senior citizen, the promise of upcoming travel is sure to be on your radar.

Are you ready to travel?

You’ve worked hard your whole life, and now it’s finally time to go see the world. Take that camera and go live the adventure you’ve dreamed about! Meet people from all over, do what the locals do, eat where the locals eat, experience natural beauty beyond what you can imagine. 

And what’s the result of that kind of travel? You have a life-changing trip that enriches your mind and gives you meaningful memories that can never be lost. You’re renewed, regenerated, refreshed, reenergized, and come home having a larger appreciation for mankind and home.

There’s just one problem.

In order to travel the world, you’ll need somewhere to sleep. And the options for lodging are not ideal. 

  • Hotels: Expensive and impersonal; clinical and cookie cutter. 
  • Airbnb: Yes it’s someone’s house, but it’s still impersonal (nobody’s home to greet you at the door), and can often times be even more expensive than a hotel. 
  • Hostels: Ready to bunk up with the college kids? No private space here. All 12 of you will be sharing one bathroom and they’re throwing a kegger tonight! …Yeah, I didn’t think so.

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was an alternative? 

Wouldn't the likelihood of you taking that trip of your dreams increase significantly if there was an alternative to expensive, impersonal hotels, that didn’t put you at the opposite end of the spectrum (noisy, dirty, unsafe, cramped) in a hostel?

Good news: it DOES exist! 

Our solution is The Evergreen Bed & Breakfast Club — mostly referred to as the Evergreen Club, or — provides this beautiful compromise.

What is the Evergreen Club? 

The Evergreen Club is a homestay travel network for people over 50, with a focus on friendship, ageless activity, and fun. 


What are the core principles of the Evergreen Club?

Since its founding in 1982, the club has upheld the idea that people are Evergreen: good, enduring, ever-active, alert, unselfish, productive, intelligent, and contributing, no matter how many years have passed. The Evergreen Club is much more than a membership… it’s a community of people who, through enriching travel and wonderful interactions with new friends, continue to have youthful thought and meaningful experiences.

It’s the modern take on the bed & breakfast (B&B). The Evergreen Club helps more people travel by providing an alternative to expensive, impersonal hotels. It creates a network of like-minded individuals who want to make friends, help each other travel & have wonderful adventures.

Make friends: Kindred spirits around the world.

Host well: Add your guest room to the network of nearly 2,000 homes.

Travel savvy: Bed & breakfast homestays for FREE + a small gratuity.

Now, this is not to say that you’ll never pay for a hotel again... 

Yes, at some point you'll have to get a hotel, but finding an Evergreen member to stay with is certainly the first option to try when planning trips / vacations. Leaving an Evergreener’s home with a local’s knowledge of the area, full from a tasty home cooked breakfast, and the joy of making a new friend certainly sets it apart from other travel options. 

“We came as Evergreeners, and we left as friends.” -- Gloria V., Morris, IL


How does it work?

  • Go to to JOIN.
  • Add your guest room to the network. When you join, you become a guest AND a host. 
  • If you have a trip coming up, and you’d like to plan where you’re going to stay along the way, start by searching the live Google® Map to see the specific home locations where you want to travel. There are nearly 2,000 Evergreen homes world wide (most currently in Canada and USA) available to host you.
  • Click on any house on the Map to go to that member’s Profile page. On their page, you can view photos of the member and their house, read Feedback from others, and view the contact information of the member.
  • Simply email or call that member to set up your visit. All travel arrangements are set up directly between the guest and host. 

Hosts provide: a clean bathroom, comfortable, private sleeping area, breakfast & details on local treasures.

Guests / travelers provide: a small gratuity (details below) and get to know your host. See what you have in common! 

Do I qualify for membership? Yes, if...

1) You have a guest room to add to the network. 

2) You are willing to host & provide breakfast when it fits your schedule.

3) You have turned age 50.

Evergreen Club members are…

Friendly, adventurous, caring, fun, unselfish, interested in meeting new people, and express a gracious sense of hospitality. If this sounds like you, give Evergreen a call! 813-551-3197.

So what does it cost?

Membership costs only $75/year -- less than what you’d spend for one night at a hotel.
This lets you access the network and stay anywhere in the world there’s a willing host.
If you live outside of the USA, Canada, or Mexico (International member) your deal is even sweeter -- $80/5 years!

Your $75 membership lets you travel all year long for FREE.

Just give a small gratuity to your host to reimburse them for cooking & cleaning. Gratuity: A solo guest pays his/her host $15/day. A couple pays their host $20/day. The guest pays gratuity directly to the host. It goes both ways; in order to benefit  from these low prices, members help others benefit by hosting in their own homes. 

The budget conscious rejoice!

“When even the most mediocre hotels run about $130/day, Evergreen’s $20/day gratuity makes it a no-brainer. The membership pays for itself in one visit, and you have unlimited travel all year long. It is simply the best value for travel available.” — Jack K., Dallas, TX 

What now? 

You should join! For more information visit

Click “JOIN” in the navigation bar at the top of the page to get started. To join, you’ll fill out a Profile page including photos and details about you and your home.

You can also check out the Facebook page: 

When can I start to travel?

Once you join and become a member (& add your home to the network), you can start to host and travel immediately! The Map Search function actually uses a live Google Map, so it’s updated in real time, which means that as soon as you finish filling out your Profile page, your house will show up on the map. You will show up as members search, and you will be able to search for other members.

The online Directory is updated on the first business day of each month, so your home will not appear right away in the Directory. Don’t worry, you’ll show up at the start of the following month. Even still, you’re still a full member with full access to the network. 

Can I access on my phone / tablet?

Yes! The website is optimized to be mobile friendly. There is even a URL shortcut that will take you directly to the site. A URL shortcut is not an App, but will show up (just like an App) as an icon on the home screen of your phone. Best of all, this URL shortcut will allow you to access the site without wifi! Pretty cool. 

What if I’m not computer / tech savvy?

If you don’t consider yourself tech savvy, you can call the office of the Evergreen Club (813-551-3197) and someone will be happy to assist you with joining and/or any Evergreen-related computer questions.

One of the best tools on is their online directory (accessible to members only) which lists the address and contact information for each host home. However, if you’re not so good on the computer, you can also purchase a printed Directory for $15. It will be mailed right to your house. It will contain all the same information that the online version does. 

Of course, since it’s a hard copy, it will not update automatically along with the membership as it changes, so the Evergreen Club office will mail you printed Directory Supplements twice a year to notify you of the changes that have occurred. That way, you can take the printed Directory (and Supplements) with you on your trips so you can have the most up-to-date information as you travel.

“My wife Valerie and I stayed with Steve and Arlene in January 2017 and had a wonderful time! They live just a block from the water in a very quaint New England neighborhood in a historic fishing village. They gave us excellent restaurant, antiquing, and sightseeing advice. We really enjoyed getting to know them and learning about their very interesting lives in this corner of the U.S. They were very, very gracious hosts that we look forward to returning to see again in the future!” — Mike H., Jackman, ME


Members can read comments like this on the Travel Log / Feedback tab and look at questions & answers in the Forum. You’ll have access to the complete online Directory and Map (updated in real time) with all member locations. Time to start planning your trip!

Contact the Evergreen Club

Mobile + International calls: 813-551-3197

USA + Canada landlines: 1-800-962-2392 


The Evergreen Club Office

2885 Sanford Ave SW #31559

Grandville, MI  49418

So in conclusion, you may have noticed that this is a great club founded on a great idea: that like noble evergreen trees, men & women are enduring, purposeful, productive, vibrant, lovely, and active no matter the season or the number of years that have passed. 

The mainstream lodging options out there promise all sorts of things…

But can any of them provide an experience that is unique, personal, local, and welcoming — where you actually end up befriending the host? 

Can any of them provide high quality, clean, private accommodations and fresh breakfast at such an unbelievably low cost? 

Can any of them consistently offer hospitality that creates the potential for life-changing friendship and meaningful interactions with someone you’d have never met otherwise?

Can any of them provide you with the opportunity to host, not for the purpose of making money, but for the purpose of making friends and helping others access amazing travel opportunities?

Can any of them say that they uphold the idea that people are ever-active, adventurous, purposeful, unselfish, interesting, and evergreen no matter how many years have passed?


Fortunately, this niche in boutique hospitality has been filled by the Evergreen Club. 

It provides an alternative to expensive, impersonal hotels and encourages friendship and ageless activity at the core of its principles. Hopefully this article helped by introducing you to the Evergreen Club; the best lodging option for travel on a retirement budget.