Instead of another beach vacation, try one of these exciting and educational trips fun for kids of all ages.
Families have started to move away from the classic beach trip where they never leave the resort, plop the kids down in the sand, and just stay put for the week (although did the kids ever really just stay put for the week?). More and more, families are looking for adventure, culture, and for the kids to come away from the trip not only rejuvenated but with a new skill or a deeper understanding of the world.
“This year I visited the Sacred Valley of Peru with my husband and two young children,” says Jess Sanchez, a mom and the travel blogger behind The Jetsetting Family. “In addition to the usual exploration of the ancient city of Machu Picchu, we did a homestay through Our Whole Village.”
The company specializes in what they call “transformational family trips,” making sure that kids become global citizens by taking them beyond the usual tourist spots. Jess and her family found the additional learning opportunities invaluable.
“There is so much more depth gained from a culturally immersive activity like a homestay,” she explains. “Learning firsthand how people of Incan descent carry on the culture and tradition of their ancestors offers a truly unforgettable educational opportunity. My kids even learned a few phrases of the Quechua language, watched dance demonstrations, and witnessed a religious offering to Pachamama (or Mother Nature).”
She recommends that all families follow their lead and seek out new educational opportunities for their kids when planning family vacations. Ready to get on board? Try one of these immersive learning opportunities for kids.
Not only will this vacation conquer the impossible task of ungluing teens’ eyes from their phones, but kids on this trip get a truly singular educational experience: learning how to make a wildlife documentary alongside expert filmmakers. Not only do kids learn valuable skills in storytelling, producing, and filming, but they also have the opportunity to study and track animals like lions, elephants, and rhinos, all while exploring Kenya’s Maasa Marai with safari guides.
Become an Astronaut-in-Training at Space Camp
Go way beyond your usual summer camp activities and send the kids to Space Camp for an out-of-this-world experience they won’t soon forget. Budding astronauts can enroll in the week-long camps that begin in late March and run through the end of August. Kids get to improve their STEM skills through seriously cool hands-on activities that include building and launching model rockets, designing space colonies, simulations of what it’s like to live on the International Space Station, and even getting to try out a 1/6th Gravity Chair.
Discover Wild West History with Trafalgar
Perfect for history buffs, Trafalgar’s Wild West Cowboys and Buffalos family tour takes travelers back in time through the Wild West and into pioneers’ shoes. Families can explore the Oregon Trail and even eat lunch in a covered 1800s-style wagon, in addition to spending the night in an 1898 homestead. Learn about the local wildlife, delve into cowboy culture in Buffalo Bill’s hometown, and visit Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse memorial to round out the history lesson. From wagons to white water rafting, this trip illustrates American history while also providing unforgettable memories.
Learn to Scuba Dive with Dive Worldwide
You don’t have to give up the classic beach trip entirely for the kids to come away with a valuable new skill. Dive Worldwide will take the whole family on a dive expedition, and children as young as 10 can take their PADI course before exploring a shipwreck or diving alongside whale sharks. For beginners, they especially recommend their trips to Malta in the Mediterranean. Year-round sunshine and warm, calm seas make it an ideal spot for learning.
Climb Redwoods with Pelorus
Young conservationists will love working alongside a team of researchers in California to understand how climate change is affecting redwoods and sequoias. Not only will they be part of vital work helping conserve forest ecosystems, but they’ll also get the chance to climb these mammoth trees to help collect samples. The trips even include sleeping under the starry skies high in the canopies on a platform, making for a truly extraordinary night.