With suitcases packed, it’s time to board the plane or head to the car, ready to explore some new unknown territory. Getting away can be exciting on its own; add the excitement of something foreign and intriguing, and your family vacation becomes more than a getaway. It becomes an opportunity to learn about another location and culture. Don’t let the term “educational” fool you. Your trip can be fun and knowledgeable, and the two can go hand-in-hand. Be sure to try the following four things to level up your next excursion.
1. Don’t Force Learning
Kids seem to repel most things that are forced upon them. Think about it: Do they really want to complete that homework and eat that side of broccoli? Probably not, and it’s usually not because they don’t see value in it. Children don’t always like to be told what to do.
Keep things laid back from start to finish. Are you visiting a museum? Make it about exploration. Chances are they may read the plaques as they go. Is there a hands-on exhibit? Encourage them to try it out. They will probably garner information from just trying. So, to add education to your next vacation, but avoid talking about lessons and schooling. There are destinations like Pirates show Pigeon Forge that is both educational and super fun, the kids will surely enjoy while learning something new,
2. Plan Tours
Before you go, check out what the area has to offer, scheduling some educational activities in your family plan. Talk up the cool things that the kids may see while checking out the different places. Show them pictures on your phone. Discuss the fun options they could do. For instance, are you planning a trip to Maui? Find a tour guide who can take you on a hike to waterfalls and volcanic craters. The kids don’t have to know it’s a learning experience. While the guide shares information about natural wonders, you kiddos pick up those facts along the way.
What if you’re heading one of the premiere Bermuda cruises? As you dine, sit by the pool and gaze at the ocean’s waves, you can also plan excursions that get you off the ship and build cultural and historical awareness. Books can ensure it’s all set and can help you to avoid long waits or downtime.
3. Dine Locally
Learning doesn’t have to be about history. Cultural awareness also falls into this category. Embrace the local cuisine, choosing different venues each night. Research online the best places and the typical recipes enjoyed by the natives. Are you in the land of seafood? Get your kids to try some crab or mussels? Then, later on, you can talk about the animals’ habits or why it is indigenous to the area.
Are you on an island? What foods grow there? Why are they staples on the dining table? A simple dinner out could turn into an agricultural or geographical conversation?
4. Let Kids Pick
Give choices, and allow the entire family to discuss what is going to happen on this trip. Just like kids dislike being coerced, they tend to enjoy getting to pick. With that mentality in mind, allow the children to research too, finding things they also want to do.
You don’t have to mention learning. Do they want to surf on the Hawaiian islands? Do it, but have them read up on the practice first, figuring out what skills it takes and why it’s famous for the region. Are they interested in animals? Plan a day at the local zoo or aquarium, seeking out new strange creatures. Do they want to ride some roller coasters? Have a blast. Then, share with them how the roller coasters work. They could even come home and build a mini-version.
Do you want to get more out of the trip? Think about your goals, research the location and find some options that suit your family’s interest. Then, pump up the fun, and let the learning come naturally. Make your kids part of the planning, and don’t force any lessons. It’s education without them knowing it.