Need a way to justify a vacation? Make it an edu-cation
By Aimee Heckel
Travel is good for your brain. That’s what the Franklin Institute says in its Resources for Science Learning.
Travel has always been a crucial way to develop the human brain, dating back to the earliest of our ancestors, the institute reports. Their nomadic lifestyle led to an evolutionary edge, the development of tools and survival skills, flexibility, innovation and a more diverse diet. This all allowed their brains to evolve quickly, the institute adds.
Even just seeing new sites and trying new experiences can stimulate the brain in new ways. But if you really want to kick your medulla into high gear, sign up for an educational vacation package deal — or shall we call it, an “edu-cation”?
TripAdvisor.com says 32 percent of travelers surveyed in a 2008 said they wanted to participate in educational activities while on vacation. Here are a few ways to incorporate some learning into your relaxing this summer:
1. Educational Travel Adventures organizes educational, performance and even special interest tours for students, including art tours of the best museums.
We love the art tour through Cleveland (see photo), with stops at the Great Lakes Science Center, Little Italy and the national history museum.
2. Traveling as a family? Sign up for escorted group tours with Thompson Family Adventures. Our favorite: a partnership with the Smithsonian Institution, with experiential learning as the focus. See how people really live in different locations around the world. Go beyond the “cookie-cutter tourist destinations” and explore true culture, the website says.
Money-saving tip: Save $300 by requesting a brochure and filling out this travel survey.
3. Are you an entrepreneur or businessperson? Check out the Hilton Head Island educational trips in South Carolina. Indulge in entrepreneurial workshops and leadership training, or learn a new language. These events are held in partnership with the Hilton Head Family Resorts and Hotels.
4. Orbitz.com has a list of educational vacations, including the Ambassadors of the Environmental program at the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman. This Ritz-Carlton program offers more than 50 workshops and outings to learn more about the island. Feed and track iguanas, go snorkeling at night, see native flora, learn about edible landscaping and alternative energy and study Caymanian culture.
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