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Kiyomizudera temple in Kyoto

Introducing Stitch Travel: come to Japan and be part of history!

I can’t remember the last time I felt this excited.

If you’ve come to one of the regular community updates I run each month for the Stitch Community, you’ll know how much I love spending time with Stitch members. I always come away from our Welcome events with a massive smile on my face, and a renewed sense of how amazing people are when they’re given a chance to belong, do something meaningful, and be accepted for who they are.

So you can imagine how much I’ve enjoyed it when I got the chance to meet members from all over the world in person, rather than just over a computer screen. 

But through the years of COVID, lockdowns, and travel restrictions, it started to feel as if we were never going to get the chance to bring members from locations around the global Stitch Community together in person, to enrich and build on the relationships they’ve already built through Stitch.

Until now, that is!

The start of something amazing

As the world has slowly returned to “normal” (whatever that means), so too has the possibility of travelling to share experiences with other Stitchers in person. We’ve seen some examples of this happening across the community already. Many of our UK members visited family in Australia over the last 6 months, while also spending time with their Stitch “family” in Australia, members in the US travelled across the country to meet fellow Stitchers, and so on. But we didn’t have a way to make those connections and experiences a fundamental part of Stitch itself. You might be able to imagine, then, how thrilled we are to announce our first official travel partnership, with an organization we feel is a perfect fit for the Stitch Community: one that can provide a massive variety of small group travel opportunities for Stitch members, across a range of budgets, in countries all over the world. That organization is ClubAdventures, a travel subsidiary of AAA, the American Automobile Association. ClubAdventures specializes in small group travel, with trips typically between 10-16 people, providing over 1,000 authentic cultural experiences in a variety of styles and themes on every continent on the planet. Their focus on authenticity, social connection, local leaders, and small groups makes them an ideal fit for Stitch. After all, the foundation of the Stitch Community is forming social connections by doing things together in small groups!
Kiyozumi Dera temple, Kyoto, Japan

Announcing the very special, very first "Stitch Trip"

Before we announce the amazing, historic, and potentially life-changing very first Stitch Trip, we need to make something clear: if your personal commitments or financial situation prevent you from coming along, please don’t worry. Over time, we hope to give Stitch members an opportunity to experience hundreds of travel opportunities, across a wide variety of budgets and locations, as a new way to strengthen existing relationships with other members, and build new ones. Having a range of budgets is vitally important, as we are acutely aware that many Stitch members face significant financial constraints, particularly in today’s environment. We don’t want members to miss out on forming social connections through travel simply because they can’t afford it. ClubAdventures is able to create trips that range from luxury through to very basic camping-style experiences, and we hope in time to announce something for everyone. (And for those who can’t travel at all, please remember that travel is only ever going to be a small part of what the community is all about. Travel might be great, but it’s the social connections you form in the community that are priceless.) OK, with that disclaimer out of the way, let’s get on to the exciting announcement of our very first Stitch Trip. (Although you may have already guessed where it is from the pictures in this article! For the very first trip, we needed to pick something very special. After all, there is only ever going to be one “first” trip — it’s history in the making. It needed to be somewhere roughly the same distance for all our largest memberships — in North America, the UK, and Australia — to travel to. It needed to be the sort of trip that could support a large group, as we didn’t want lots of Stitch members to miss out on being part of this incredible experience. It needed to be what ClubAdventures calls a “Premium” trip, so we could make sure the trip was absolutely going to deliver on its promise of being an incredible experience. Finally, it needed to be to a country I wanted to travel to. Wait, what? Yes, you read that right — I’ve already reserved my spot on the trip as traveller #0001! There was absolutely no way I was going to miss out on being there for the very first Stitch Trip in history, so it had to be one of the ClubAdventures trips that I really wanted to go on myself. When we took all those factors into account, there was really only one trip it could be: the unique, the incredible, the absolutely amazing … Flavors of Japan!

Flavors of Japan

Here is what ClubAdventures says about the trip they’ve organized for us to experience one of the most fascinating cultures in the world:

This 12-day tour of Japan will introduce you to the cultures – old and new – that define this small but influential archipelago. Beginning in tech-mecca Tokyo and finishing with three nights in Kyoto, this immersive sensory tour will thrill you with the contrasting flavours of the land of the rising sun. Uncover the secrets of sushi in Tokyo, the monastic cuisine of Koya-san, takoyaki stalls that line Osaka’s vibrant streets, and take place in a traditional obanzai cooking class in Kyoto. From temples to tempura, shrines to sashimi, seafood markets to sake breweries, join a local leader and experience the ways that food, culture, and history intersect in this incredible country.

Our amazing trip will run from October 3 – 14, 2023, and will take in sights, spectacles, and food experiences in Tokyo, Takayama, Kanazawa, Osaka, and Mt Koya, before finishing up with a few days in Kyoto. I’ve had friends tell me Kyoto is their favorite city in the world, so I’m pretty excited! You can check out the trip itinerary in detail by clicking the button below.

Details, details & questions

You’ll find that the ClubAdventures trip listing covers most of the details of the trip, but here are some of the most important things anyone who wants to come on the trip needs to know.

How many people can come?

Most of ClubAdventures trips are for around 10-12 people, to keep the focus on small group, intimate experiences. For this very first trip, however, we asked ClubAdventures to arrange the largest trip they could, to give as many members as possible the opportunity to come. Our Taste of Japan trip has a minimum group size of 15 people, and a maximum of 30 people.

What does it cost?

As shown on the trip listing, the cost of the trip is USD$4999 per person (double occupancy). 

If we get 20 members to register by the registration deadline of July 3, however, the price for every passenger gets reduced by $650-$700 (depending on whether they’ve chosen single or double occupancy). 

So make sure you register quickly!

Can I bring a friend?

Yes, you can most certainly bring a friend or partner.

You’ll see on the trip listing that ClubAdventures will take bookings from people who are over 50, even if they’re not yet a member of Stitch. 

As this trip has been set up specifically as a benefit to Stitch members, however, you’ll see that Stitch members get a $250 cheaper price for the trip than non-members. So if you’d like to bring a friend, we’d recommend they sign up to Stitch before you make your booking with ClubAdventures, so they can receive the Stitch-discounted price.

Currency conversion

All prices listed on the ClubAdventures trip listing are in US dollars. For those members paying in another currency, the currency conversion will happen at the time of payment.

Getting there

The trip price includes all local travel, sightseeing fees, guide fees, taxes, accommodation, and the meals shown in the trip listing. It does not, however, include the cost of getting yourself to Tokyo, so please factor that in to your plans.

The ClubAdventures travel team is able to assist with travel bookings once you have reserved your spot on the trip, or of course you are free to use your own travel agent, or organize your flights yourself. ClubAdventures strongly recommends taking out appropriate travel insurance.

Sharing rooms

If you’re travelling on your own and would like to reduce the trip cost by choosing the twin share option, ClubAdventures will help coordinate matching you with an appropriate room-mate. 

Other upcoming trips

We’re working with ClubAdventures on a couple more trips that we hope to launch in the next month or so: one to the Galapagos Islands in November/December 2023, and one to Italy in April/May 2024. So if you can’t make it along to our historic Japan trip, please keep an eye out for details about some of the other trips we hope to announce soon!

More questions

If you’ve got any other questions that aren’t covered here or in the ClubAdventures trip listing, you can always feel free to as ClubAdventures, either by calling them on the support number listed on the top of the trip listing page, or at [email protected].

I want to come! How do I reserve my place?

Reserving your spot on the trip is easy:
  1. First, hit the “Check availability” button on the ClubAdventures trip listing page and complete the enquiry form.
  2. If you have questions, be sure to put them in the “Other information” box. You can also call ClubAdventures on +1-844-205-6226, or email them at [email protected]
  3. If space is still available, ClubAdventures will reach out to you within 24 hours to confirm details, answer questions, and give you a confirmed quote.
  4. Your quote will be valid for 72 hours and will contain a link to make your tour deposit of $400. If a deposit is not received within 72 hours, space held will be released.
  5. You pay your deposit.
  6. ClubAdventures will notify you that you are confirmed on the trip!
It’s that simple! If you’re interested in being part of this amazing adventure, make sure you get in early, as we suspect the trip will fill up very quickly. I’m looking forward to sharing this once-in-a-lifetime experience with you!

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20 thoughts on “Introducing Stitch Travel: come to Japan and be part of history!”

  1. Hi, Andrew – Japan is one place I have not yet visited. I recently committed to a tour in Australia December & January, which takes into account my birthday, Xmas and new year’s.

    1. Lucky you Eva! Great to hear you have a tour planned already, particularly if it means you get to celebrate your birthday, it sounds great. Hopefully you can come on a Stitch Trip at some point in the future!

    1. That’s great to hear Deborah, I’d love it if you could join us! Just click on the link to the ClubAdventures site where you can register your interest and get more details. Cheers, Andrew.

  2. Hello Andrew. This is a fantastic opportunity to meet people from other countries.

    I have made a few good friends on Stitch that live on United States.
    I have never been outside of Australia in my life.

    Whilst Japan does not interest me that much, it would be a great opportunity to travel with a group of Stitch friends that we have come to know and like.

    It would be great to see if Stitch had a similar trip to United States and Canada, in the future.

    A great idea, Andrew.

    1. Hi Bruce,

      Scheduling issues meant we couldn’t do a couple of the trips we had hoped to run for the US this year, but if we get enough interest in these trips then I am absolutely sure we’ll be running some trips to the US and Canada next year!


    1. Hi Elizabeth,

      If you click the button or one of the links in the article to the ClubAdventures trip listing, it should provide you all the pricing info. You can also send ClubAdventures an email with any questions you’ve got, at [email protected]. If you get stuck, just email us at [email protected] and we’ll do our best to help out!

  3. Stitch Travel is a great idea!
    Sadly I will not be able to join the Japan trip as I will be in Europe in October.
    I am very excited to hear what options will be offered for 2024 though.
    Jan 😃

    1. Sorry to hear you can’t make it Jan, but I’m sure Europe will be a great experience! We hope to announce some of the 2024 trips in the next few weeks, so please stay tuned 😉

  4. I’m so pleased that you have arranged the travel options for Stitch members 😊
    I was so excited about the Japan trip but daughter is due with her first child around those dates and I’m disappointed that I can’t go 🥲
    Perhaps the next trip…

    1. What a shame Lianna — but what a fantastic reason for you to have to miss it! Congratulations to your daughter, and I hope you can come on one of the next trips.

    1. Lucky you Pam! I absolutely love Japan — this is actually going to be my 8th trip — each time I visit I find something new that amazes me. Enjoy your trip!

  5. Hi Andrew,

    You read my mind ! This trip was in my travel planner in March ended postponed again for later this year, October will be perfect!

    However I am not into large groups in tour if someone is late in any activity will slow everyone which ruin the experience, I know that for own experience.

    I will contact the agent to see if I can get options with small group and quote including flights in AU dollars no US dollars.

  6. Carmenza I have been on many escorted tours and it is rare that someone is late. People really do try to be respectful. Since travel is a joyous occasion, the groups I have been lucky enough to travel with are congenial . I have gained and maintained friends from around the world from previous large group tours. You might give this one a chance.

  7. Hi Andrew,
    This trip & future trips sound fabulous! Unfortunately, I just returned from my 1st long-awaited trip to Japan a month ago & won’t be able to join you on this trip. Our group was scheduled to go 3 years ago but got canceled due to Covid. We got to be part of the Cherry Blossom Festival, which was fabulous!! I hear that the fall colors are really beautiful, so I hope your group gets to see them. Cheers on a safe, fun trip!

    1. Andrew would sooo love this trip unfortunately my calendar is booked with trips till march 24
      Hope to catch the next one with stitch thanks for the opportunity

      1. Sorry you can’t make it Steve! Hopefully you can come on one of the upcoming trips we’re about to announce, stay tuned 😊

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