Here’s a good excuse to make plans now for your next family getaway: according to the U.S. Department of Education, kids who travel do better in reading and math than their peers who don’t. Furthermore, the U.S. Travel Association found that adults who took educational trips in their youth make 12% more income per year and were significantly more likely to graduate from college. But the best excuse for setting off on a family vacation: it’s fun and promises to bring your family closer together! Here are some hotels and airlines that are going over the top to engage traveling kids’ with educational activities that are so much fun your kids won’t even realize their learning!
Learn about Hawaiian culture… up in the clouds. Hawaiian Airlines proudly teaches kids about Hawaiian culture before they even step food on the islands thanks to in-flight bilingual signs (Mahalo vs. Thank you), documentaries on the scenes and sounds of Hawaii and Olympian and surfer Duke Kahanamoku, amenities labeled in Hawaiian, and traditional music. You can even borrow a ukulele on-board their inter-island jet, ‘Ohana by Hawaiian!
Learn how to save the rain forest in Costa Rica. Los Suenos Marriott Costa Rica’s Reforest the Rainforest gives little guests the opportunity to participate in the resort’s ongoing efforts to preserve the rainforest by encouraging them to help maintain a habitat for the area’s 150 species of birds and local wildlife. Kids can add another tree to the forest by planting a Tropical Almond tree. Onsite Spanish lessons are available, too, giving kids the perfect chance to brush up on their Spanish while on vacation.
Test your glassmaking skills. The Corning Museum of Glass in the Finger Lakes region of New York allows children to explore 3,500 years of glassmaking history via hot glass demos glass-making sessions where they can make everything from ornaments to nightlights.
Explore the desert environment. At the The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa in Tuscon, kids are encouraged to explore the unique Tucson culture and dessert wildlife throughout the week with activities and games devoted to identifying cacti and critters native to the Sonoran Desert.
Train to be an ancient Roman Gladiator. The stunning Rome Cavalieri, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts in Rome takes kids on an ancient Roman adventure with its “Gladiator Training” program. Don your tunics and learn ancient gladiator techniques with authentic weaponry.
Meet the woodland creatures. At any Great Wolf Lodge across the country, the learning extends beyond the waterpark thanks to the morning Wolf Walks that take guests around the resort’s Grand Lobby, stopping frequently to hear about the habits and characteristics of the many furry friends inhabiting the Northwoods – including raccoons, bears, and birds. Children also learn how to make origami wolves.