Overseas Adventure Travel

Harriet Lewis - Managing Director - Overseas Adventure Travel O.A.T.

Leader in Personal Small Group Adventures Since 1978

My husband, Alan, and I got into the travel business to help others continue their personal education by getting out into the world. For me, travel is the most important form of continued education: As the stamps in my passport grow, so do I—both emotionally and spiritually. By meeting new people and seeing how they live their lives, I see how alike we all are, and I’m reminded that this truly is one world … and that no matter what our age, there’s always more to learn.

Because of my own travel philosophy, I feel a close connection to O.A.T. travelers. Curious life-long learners, they embrace opportunities to immerse themselves in local culture, go off the beaten path, and step out of their comfort zones to learn more about the world. For more than 45 years, O.A.T. has been crafting itineraries for active Americans typically over 50 who are young at heart and interested in experiencing a destination—not just seeing it.

Overseas Adventure Travel (O.A.T.) was founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1978 by a 28-year old high school teacher named Judi Wineland. Her inspiration came after a trip to Africa, where she identified a need for a more authentic, adventurous, and affordable safari experience than the typical ones available at the time. She targeted unspoiled Tanzania as the first destination for her fledgling company, and in so doing, became the first US tour operator to offer tented safaris there. From this beginning O.A.T. began offering custom small group tours to exotic destinations around the world, with O.A.T.-designed and operated trips to East Africa, Nepal, Turkey, and Peru.

Trailblazing has been an O.A.T. hallmark ever since. In 1993 we were purchased by the Grand Circle Corporation, whose leadership in the travel industry had been established in 1958, when it was formed exclusively to serve members of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). Now offering its programs to all experienced Americans, Grand Circle is today the nation’s preeminent travel company serving people over 50.

O.A.T.’s entry into the Grand Circle family signaled a seed change–not just for O.A.T., but for the entire travel industry. Availing ourselves of Grand Circle’s expertise, we became the first US travel company to create, operate, and sell adventure trips to Americans aged 50 and over. This growing segment of the population (the most well-traveled in history) gradually became our primary market, and to best serve them we began refining our product line to offer what has been called “soft adventure.” This allows the experienced traveler the opportunity to experience wild and exotic places in an active, hands-on manner–while still enjoying a strong degree of comfort and service.

This, combined with our unique, high-quality products and our deep-rooted commitment to customer service and social responsibility, has made us today the leader in our field.

Commitment to Sustainability

Overseas Adventure Travel is committed to lessening our impact on the planet, while encouraging our suppliers and customers to do the same. As the recognized leader in travel for Americans 50 and older, we strive to be stewards of the environment at home and abroad through the efficient and sustainable use of natural and economic resources, and practices such as energy conservation and preservation of biodiversity. By doing this, we’ll help preserve the world we travel not only for our customers, but for the generations to come.

Single Supplement Policy

Whether you prefer exploring independently, or bringing along a trusted friend or family member, you’ll enjoy the best solo travel experience in the industry with the security and camaraderie of group travel. With our free or low-cost Single Supplements and attentive Trip Experience Leaders, it’s no surprise that solo travelers continue to choose O.A.T. as their partner in discovery—in fact, 50% of O.A.T. travelers are solo women who choose to explore on their own, or with a sister, mother, daughter, or friend. In 2024, we’re offering 24,000 single spaces across all O.A.T. adventures—92% of which have FREE Single Supplements. The remaining 8% offering the lowest Single Supplements in the industry. With so many options at such a great value, join us and see what sets O.A.T. apart as the leader in solo travel.

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