Taking a vacation is a great chance to kick back, relax, and enjoy some time away from the daily grind. But just because you’re off the clock doesn’t mean your brain needs to be off as well. There are many ways to combine fun and exploration of a new area with learning. If that sounds like a good fit with your travel plans, here are five ways to make your next vacation a bit more educational.
Cruise Through History
Hopping on board a cruise is a great way to spend a vacation. It combines a hotel, restaurants, shopping, and fun into one high-seas adventure. There’s also plenty to learn. Many cruises offer a variety of classes about sea life or ones related to the theme of the cruise. If you want to keep the learning going off the ship, look into the excursions that your cruise offers. You may find ones that explore historical areas, teach about local customs, and more. One of the best options to find plenty of history is to take an Eastern Caribbean cruise.
Learn About Nature
Learning about the natural world around you can be as easy as visiting a state or national park. Check out the signs posted around the park while you’re there. Many times, you’ll find that they have lots of information about the area and the sights. If you are looking for more formal learning, many parks offer ranger-led tours and programs. You can learn things such as how to identify plants, track wildlife, how to determine if a snake is venomous or not, or even a new skill such as fishing, archery, or rock climbing.
Explore a New Culture
If you’re heading to a new country, then you’ve got a great opportunity to learn about a new group of people. Take some time beforehand to study up on the local culture and customs. This will also help you decide on your trip’s itinerary. Look up local points of interest, the best local restaurants, and learn about social customs and language. Once you’re on your trip, put that knowledge into action. Going into a new place with an open attitude may lead to adventures you never expected.
Dive Into Biology & Conservation
Planning a beach vacation is a very popular choice. Sun, surf, and sand offer a huge variety of options for having fun. They also offer a huge variety of options for learning. You can improve your skills in surfing, swimming, or skimboarding. You could read about the different types of shells and see how many you could find. You can go on whale-watching tours. And you can even learn about how to protect native wildlife and places through your actions while visiting. Things like properly disposing of trash and staying off protected sand dunes can help keep the beach ready to welcome visitors for years to come.
Appreciate the Art
Many popular travel destinations come with an art culture all their own. Some focus on street art, with murals, tunnels, buildings, and parks dedicated to allowing local artists to show off their work. Some spots, like the Krog Street Tunnel in Atlanta, GA, are free and allow everyone to contribute. Other cities boast impressive art museums, like the Louvre in Paris or the Met in New York City. These incredible places let you learn about a wide variety of art history and styles in one place. Still other cities may have statues or monuments that are worth a visit. No matter which option you choose, chances are that you’ll come away awed.
The fact is, nearly every vacation spot will allow you to combine fun with learning. From history and art to nature and science and new cultures, you’ll find your time off all the more enriched for having picked up something new. It’s not just your time off that will benefit, either. You just may find that your new skills and knowledge come in handy in your everyday life.