Seeking to enrich your family vacations with learning opportunities, we turned to founders and directors for their wisdom. From letting kids lead the planning to engaging in pre-trip learning, explore the five insightful strategies they recommend for incorporating educational elements into your family travels.

  • Let Kids Lead the Planning
  • Focus on Hands-On Experiences
  • Plan Around Children’s Interests
  • Learn Through Cultural Engagement
  • Engage in Pre-Trip Learning

Let Kids Lead the Planning

In my experience, one of the best ways to incorporate educational aspects into family travel is to let your kids lead some of the planning. Have them research destinations and activities that match their interests.

For example, if your child is fascinated by marine life, suggest planning a visit to an aquarium or scheduling a snorkeling excursion. Not only will they learn in a hands-on way, but they’ll also feel more invested in the experience.

Children often learn best when they feel autonomy and ownership over an activity. Giving them the opportunity to shape your travels based on their curiosities taps into that motivation and curiosity in a powerful way. You may be surprised by their enthusiasm and engagement. While the educational aspects may feel subtle, learning will happen organically through experience rather than forced lessons. Some of the best family memories are made when kids discover something new through play and exploration.

Jessica SproatJessica Sproat
Founder, Next Up Adventure

Focus on Hands-On Experiences

In my experience, I’ve learned that the key is focusing more on the experience than the destination. Don’t just visit monuments—have the kids participate in an archaeological dig. Rather than just touring vineyards, let the family help harvest grapes. The most impactful learning happens when it’s hands-on. One of my favorite examples was taking the family to Peru.

Instead of just doing a walking tour of Machu Picchu, I arranged for the children to assist archaeologists with clearing brush and mapping newly uncovered areas. Their involvement, however small, made them feel like they were part of uncovering history. They gained so much more from contributing than just observing. That’s why I always aim to build interactivity into family trips—it transforms sightseeing into genuine learning and discovery.

Leif HoltzmanLeif Holtzman
CIO, Lacure Villas

Plan Around Children’s Interests

Traveling with young children presents a natural challenge. Traveling with young, uninterested children poses a real dilemma. We have always considered our long-distance trips as opportunities for our children, at any age, to expand their experiences for learning.

One tip we can offer for incorporating educational aspects into our family travel experiences is to plan way ahead. We first consider what the children’s current interests are, both for physical activities and educational exposure. For example, recently our young son has shown an interest in fish, large and small. At home, we have picked videos to watch and library books to borrow on this theme.

On our trip, we offered visits to the aquarium, with the child playing the very important role of ‘tour guide.’ He chose which exhibits to visit and which signs to read. This tip is to start from where the child is, intellectually, and build upon that. Your child will probably show more excitement, be ready to learn, and carry away with them new knowledge as they begin from a spot of interest.

Ashley KennyAshley Kenny
Co-Founder, Heirloom Video Books

Learn Through Cultural Engagement

Traveling has other benefits besides having fun. Visiting museums, historical landmarks, and cultural sites offers educational information that is enjoyable for parents and children. Engaging with the locals helps you understand their culture better; you realize how similar yet different every individual is. Participating in guided workshops gives you valuable insights into the history and culture of the country. So, traveling teaches you things that you can’t learn in school.

Maarten CoxMaarten Cox
Director, Gecko Routes

Engage in Pre-Trip Learning

One tip for incorporating educational aspects into our family trips is to engage in a pre-trip learning activity that connects us to the destination’s history, culture, and natural environment.

Before going on the trip, we spend time together researching and learning about the places we plan to visit. This can be done by reading books or articles, watching documentaries, or exploring interactive websites and apps focused on our destination’s significant landmarks, historical events, cultural practices, or unique flora.

Madison TMadison T
Ecommerce Manager, My Supplement Store

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