5 Easy Ways to Make Travel Educational
If you ask me, any outing can be a learning experience but, if you want to be intentional, I’m sharing 5 ways to make travel educational when you’re out and about with the kids!
This is part 8 of a 10-day series on homeschool travel tips. My family and I love to go on all sorts of adventures both near and far, so I’m happy to be sharing tips on what’s worked for us…with you!
In my days of being both a teacher and a parent, it is my firm belief that opportunities for learning are everywhere. You just have to be aware so you can take advantage of those moments!
Whether we’re heading out to the store to run errands or embarking on a multi-day road trip to an intended destination, there are always ways to learn a thing or two.
Making Travel Educational
Trying New-to-You Foods
Whenever we travel, we always do what we can to enjoy some local fare. I am forever and always a foodie at heart, so I’ve always encouraged my boys to be open to trying new-to-them foods, too.
The best part about this learning opportunity? You don’t have to go far from home!
Even if you’re not traveling a distance, new foods can be experienced very easily. Just make a stop by the local grocery store and take a walk down an ethnic aisle. Or the produce section. Or even the meat department.
If you ask me, being open to trying new foods encourages kids to be open to new experiences. Even if they don’t always enjoy the new-to-them foods, there’s always the possibility that the new food could become one of their favorites.
If there’s one thing I’ve heard my peers say over and over again, it’s that they wish their public school education had prepared them for the financial aspect of “real life.” Getting & paying a mortgage, preparing taxes, budgeting…those sorts of things. Not fun by any means, but certainly necessary.
When traveling with your homeschoolers, it’s very easy to give them experiences that will last them a lifetime. For this particular example, that experience is budgeting!
Involving the kids in the planning homeschool travel can be beneficial in so many ways, but, if you want to start with baby steps, try giving them a certain experience to budget for. For example, give them a certain dollar amount, a certain area of a state/town/etc. and have them plan a meal out. Remind them that they need to budget for meals, beverages, taxes, and tip and let them take the reins on planning a meal out for the family.
Such a tricky skill to learn, let along master, being able to manage time is a life skill that can benefit your kids infinitely.
One of my favorite ways to make travel educational is to let the kids give input on the activities of the trip. Planning activities, meals, selecting hotels…you name it, I give them a chance to voice their opinions.
It’s only natural that I let them play a part in managing our time while on vacation.
To help the kids learn time management while traveling, I always remind them to leave time buffers in between activities to allow for traffic, bathroom “emergencies,” gas tank refills, etc.
If your kids are old enough, you could even have them learn to manage their time by using a Google Calendar or such on their phones. I like to give activities their own category to make sure we have a decent balance of activities in a certain time period. Of course, their categories will be different, but mine are: family, homeschool, work, and special.
“Special” has a bright pink background and has recently been used to mark the dates for the release of the new Harry Styles album and the date of a Backstreet Boys concert. #goaheadandlaugh #ilaughatmetoo
Journaling is one of the easiest ways to make travel educational. Not only does it allow for the recording of memories and moments (which will be so nice to look back on in the future), but it can also be super therapeutic.
Journaling can also encourage creative writing, improvement of spelling and penmanship, and so much more.
Even better? Journaling is something homeschoolers of all ages can do. Older kids may choose to “just” write their moments while the younger kids do a “draw and write” activity while the even younger still create a picture depicting their experiences.
Super easy and meaningful!
Growing up, a sense of direction was NOT my forte. When I got my driver’s license, I didn’t go anywhere without first printing out mapquest directions (remember them?) and I wouldn’t stray from them because who knows where I’d end up.
Let’s also remember that these were also the days when cell phones were for emergency use and getting lost didn’t necessarily count as an emergency.
Another one of the easiest ways to make travel educational is to have the kids help out with the actual travel.
When we’re traveling, I have my phone set up in the center of the front console so my kids can view the GPS in the backseat. I use a standard PopSocket with a PopSocket air vent mount.
It’s one super simple way to expose them to maps, but don’t be surprised if they tell you that you’re going over the speed limit (count it as early driver’s education?). Oops.
Another great way to learn through maps is to check the maps while at amusement parks, in malls & shopping centers, and even in the airport. Show them where you currently are and where you need to be and have them figure it out!
Learning While Traveling Made Easy!
Those are only 5 of the seemingly endless ways to make travel educational. Stay tuned because you know I’ll end up sharing more suggestions in other articles! In the meantime, help out your fellow homeschooling parents by leaving some homeschool travel tips in the comments!
Until next time, stay safe and enjoy quality time with your family,
Elizabeth Dukart is a proud born and raised Jersey Girl, wife, and mom of 2 human boys & 1 canine boy.
Created in 2021, Elizabeth owns and publishes That Homeschool Family: a free resource for homeschooling parents and beyond! A seasoned blogger, Elizabeth previously published a popular location-specific family resource blog, but decided to “Pivot!” her blogging focus after she started homeschooling her two boys in 2020. In addition to this blog, you can follow Elizabeth’s homeschooling and family adventures on Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest.
When she’s not busy taking over the world or homeschooling, Elizabeth can be found listening to music (especially The Beatles & Harry Styles!), being silly with her boys, watching movies with family, shopping, or traveling!
Have a question or want to work with Elizabeth? Send her an email!