Peter Mangan came up with the idea for the The Freebird Club when he started renting a cottage he owns in Kerry to holidaymakers. His father, a semi-retired widower, was on hand to meet and greet the visitors who loved this personal touch while Mangan snr also enjoyed the social interaction and meeting new people.
Watching his father’s multiple roles as welcoming party crossed with tour guide, Peter Mangan began thinking about a framework that could facilitate peer-to-peer homestays for independently-minded older adults who like to travel. He started working on the idea in early 2014 and in a few months time will launch The Freebird Club, a web-based community travel platform for the over-50s .
Freebird is a bit like Airbnb but with its own distinctive twists. Twist one is that Freebird is first and foremost about social interaction, so hosts are always present for visits. Secondly, it’s a club, so people pay a small membership fee to join. Thirdly, members (both hosts and guests) upload their profiles so people can identify and connect with like-minded individuals.
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