By Joel Centano, Virtuoso Traveler Editor-in-Chief
Originally appeared in August 2015 issue of Virtuoso Traveler.
“Travel is the ultimate form of education,” says Virtuoso travel advisor and agency owner Angela Wallace. While classroom lessons are critical to success, as today’s youth prepare to take on the challenges of our increasingly interconnected world, travel has an unparalleled potential to teach, enlighten, engage, and inform.
Based on Amelia Island, Florida, Wallace has created educational vacations ranging from an all-female rafting trip on Idaho’s lower Salmon River (“Girls and women learned how to work together while gaining self-reliance and self-confidence,” notes Wallace) to multigenerational trips to the Galápagos Islands, including one for Florida resident Bill Smith.
“Travel introduces our grandchildren to different environments, cultures, beliefs, and traditions,” says Smith, who recently toured the archipelago with his wife and their daughter, son-in-law, and two grandkids, ages 9 and 15. “It also helps them gain a better understanding of and respect for their global neighbors while opening their eyes and minds to how rich and diverse the world is.”
Wisdom gained from travel also prepares children to seek solutions to our planet’s most pressing problems, says Wallace, “and has led many young people to start charitable nonprofits or enter studies that put them on track to do great things in the world.” Her ultimate advice for any family hoping to raise global citizens: Provide educational vacations for your children and grandchildren as early and often as possible. “You’ll not only watch your relationship with them grow,” she says, “but you’ll watch them blossom.”
Want to get your kids on course? Here are three paths for producing today’s road scholars.
To see three potential trips, use the arrows to navigate. To work with a Virtuoso advisor on your next trip(s) – involving children or not – click below to connect.
Studies in Nature’s Classroom
Where better to inspire reverence for our environment or a career in the life sciences than the archipelago that helped inspire Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution?
On the Itinerary:
Snorkel with sea lions, study endemic species with naturalist guides, and snap photographs with a Lindblad/National Geographic-certified photo instructor.
Ten-day Lindblad Expeditions’
trips aboard the 96-passenger National Geographic Endeavour
and 48-passenger Islander
include a pre- and post-night stay on Ecuador’s mainland (Guayaquil). Departures: Multiple dates August 1 to December 26, 2015; from $6,290.
Learning a foreign tongue is most fun in a real-world environment.
On the Itinerary:
Take Spanish lessons, engage in Mayan storytelling sessions, and join conservationists for eco-tours highlighting the Riviera Maya’s flora and fauna.
Playa del Carmen’s 130-suite Rosewood Mayakoba
also offers yoga and pizza-making programs for kids. Doubles from $535; Virtuoso amenities include breakfast daily and a $100 spa credit.
To contemplate China’s rich traditions – and its emergence as a major player in the modern world.
On the Itinerary:
Take a private guided tour of Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, learn about panda preservation at Chengdu Panda Base, and practice the arts of fan dancing and tai chi in Shanghai.
Traveling between Beijing and Hong Kong, 12-day family programs from Adventures by Disney
also visit Xi’an and Guilin. Departures: Multiple dates June 5 to December 18, 2016; adults from $7,969, children from $7,579.
To work with a Virtuoso advisor on your next trip(s) – involving children or not – click below to connect.