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Journeying safe and hassle-free

Trips and Travel planner leaves no stone unturned

Created date

June 26th, 2014
residents sitting at a table talking

When Choice Transportation Manager Gene Karahuta asks residents for travel ideas, he never knows what they’ll suggest. But as the person who organizes the trips, he’s always eager to listen. 

As resident Peg Robinson says, “He takes our suggestions and tries to build on them.”

Aiming to please

Most residents favor day excursions (and Ann’s Choice priority list members sometimes have the opportunity to join the travel club on a day trip). Erickson Living’s retirement community in Bucks County, Pa., is home to some 2,000 community members, so Karahuta aims to offer something for everyone.

Winterthur’s 2014 exhibit “Costumes of Downton Abbey” has proved especially popular. So many people signed up that Karahuta scheduled two trips.

Whether residents journey with Trips and Travel to ball games and casinos, to musical and theater presentations in Center City Philadelphia or other area venues, or on extended trips to places like Ocean City, Md., Ann’s Choice transportation employees do the driving. 

They also take residents with more distant destinations to and from the airport. 

“We’re in great hands,” says Bob Shiflet. “The drivers are always courteous and safety conscious.” 

Travelers ride in climate-controlled comfort in the Ann’s Choice 42-seat coaches, and Bob likes the camaraderie of traveling with people he knows. “We talk and joke on the bus,” he says, “and I also meet new people.”

He especially enjoys the baseball trips and the monthly casino trip to Atlantic City, N.J. 

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Frequent traveler Helen Cannon takes two casino trips each month; the other is to Bensalem, Pa. “But I also like to go to places I haven’t been,” she says. 

This May, soon after she returned from a Trips and Travel excursion to San Antonio, Tex., where she stayed on the city’s famed River Walk, she left for the Pacific Northwest with some 40 of her Ann’s Choice neighbors and took a steamboat trip on the Columbia and Snake rivers. 

The most popular extended destination on Karahuta’s docket is an annual September trip to Ocean City, Md. 

Helen never misses it, nor does cruise-lover Peg Robinson. Peg favors trips where she can unpack once, stay in the same hotel, but enjoy a variety of day excursions. 

Woodie Smedley always goes to Ocean City, too. The former Barnegat Light, N.J., resident loves the shore. And he loves that Karahuta tends to the details.

“By September, the crowds are gone and it’s wonderful,” Woodie says. Because residents stay at boardwalk hotels, “The best part is you get an oceanfront view from your patio as you sip your morning coffee. Gene always gets us unbelievable deals on transportation, accommodations, and the best restaurants. He really cares about us.”

Including day excursions, Woodie estimates he takes 20 trips a year. The day Trips and Travels’ 2014 schedule came out, he immediately selected eight of them.

Now residents can even register for trips online through the community’s activity website.

And no matter how long they’re gone, thanks to the Ann’s Choice 24/7 security team, they rest assured knowing their homes and belongings will be safe and sound when they return.