TOWNSEND -- What could be easier? Meet at the senior center parking lot and spend the day with friends, old and new. See a show. Eat a meal.

"We want to keep our seniors out doing things," organizer Russ Moore said, so he has decided to offer "very, very reasonable" trips through the Friends of the Townsend Seniors.

There are a few things that are different from the gambling trips the past president of the Friends already arranges for seniors.

The new day trips revolve around seeing a stage show. Multi-day tours and even cruises are on the schedule for the upcoming year.

The Friends partnered with Best of Times of Amherst, N.H., to make the trips possible. Different groups can go on the same bus, making it possible to get special pricing without having to commit to filling an entire motor coach with members of just one group.

The trips chosen by Moore and fellow organizer Avis Roy will appeal mainly to seniors, but some have intergenerational appeal. Perhaps a woman, her daughter and granddaughter would like to see one of the shows together.

"Seniors of all ages are welcome," Moore said.

Traveling with people from other towns will give people a chance to make new friends during the trips, he said.

Moore, a former tour bus driver, has already seen many of the places he and Roy have scheduled, and he would like to go back.


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Travelers will be able to see "Noah," featuring live animals onstage during a three day trip to Lancaster, Penn. That show and the theater it is in is among his favorites.

Once people figure out how much it usually costs to eat out, transportation and ticket costs, they will see what a good deal the trips offered through the Friends really are, Moore said.

"Look at what you're getting out of it," he said. The day trips are priced around $75 for transportation, meal and show.

Trip cancellation protection can be purchased for the multi-day motor tours. The cost of the trip can be refunded if the traveller cannot go, but the cost of the protection is not.

The overnight trips offer several options. Private, double and triple rooms can be booked.

The cruise price includes travel insurance, covering medical emergencies and other events. If the traveler cancels their journey, a portion of the price will be refunded by Best Times and a claim can be filed with the insurance company for the remainder.

Townsend travellers will be well taken care of on their wanderings.

Moore plans on going on most of the trips himself, at his own expense. Roy will go on others. If neither organizer can attend, they will ask someone to be available to assist as needed.

Moore is looking forward to being a guest instead of a driver.

The Alaska trip is a "bucket list" trip, he said. Vacationers will cruise the islands and travel by land to Denali to see Mt. McKinley.

And it couldn't be any easier.

Park your car at the senior center and jump on the bus. The tour group will take care of getting you and your luggage on the plane and to your destination, thousands of miles away.

For information on upcoming day and overnight trips, look for flyers at the Townsend Senior Center or contact Moore at 978-808-7301.