We usually think of vacation as an opportunity to kick back and relax, leaving all responsibility behind at home. However, traveling to new places, meeting new people, and encountering new ideas can be some of the most rewarding educational experiences. Whether you’re intent on picking up a new skill, or seeking some entertaining learning experiences for your kids, your vacation is a wonderful time to learn something new.
Luckily, those interested in educational vacations have more opportunities than ever. Interested in local cuisine? Cooking classes are available at many destinations that are famous for their cuisine, including Napa, California; New Orleans, Louisiana; Provence, France; and Rome, Italy, to name just a few. Seeking to master surfing or skiing? The most popular beaches and ski resorts have instructors waiting to teach you. Looking to learn a new language, or to brush up on your existing bilingual skills? Short-term language programs are available in several cities around the world.
Some vacation destinations are inherently educational; for example, a trip to Colonial Williamsburg, with its costumed historical reenactors and restored 18th century buildings, provides an interactive lesson on daily life in the American colonies. However, entertainment-focused destinations can also provide opportunities for learning. Busch Gardens, for example, offers a Roller Coaster Insider tour that teaches guests about the physics and engineering behind the rides. In addition, even rural areas and small towns have museums, monuments, and tours that can help travelers learn more about the area. Parents bringing their children on vacation have a variety of ways to turn their trip into an educational experience as well. Parents can encourage their kids to keep a journal or blog about their experiences, research information about the destination, or even take charge of the trip’s budgeting or currency exchange calculations.