Lately there has been some discussion about taking kids out of school to take them on holiday, sometimes to take advantage of off-peak rates at hotels or lower airfares. One school in the US even wrote a letter to parents saying that “inexpensive airfares are not an excuse for extended student vacations".
While we’re not advocating the kids skip school so you can take them travelling for extensive periods, travel certainly has educational benefits for kids. Introducing your kids to other cultures, exotic foods and showing them diverse landscapes and cityscapes will, at the very least, broaden their minds, increase their understanding of different cultures and give them a better knowledge of world geography.
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There are other benefits, as well. According to research recently carried out in the US by the Student Youth & Travel Association, more than 88 per cent of students who travelled before the age of 18 received a college degree.
But you have to leave the confines of the resort. It’s no good sipping pina coladas while the kids practise their cannonballs in the resort pool.
A cruise to the Galapagos is bound to put some context to lessons learnt in Biology about evolution and a tour of Europe’s castles will immerse the family in medieval history. While these options might not exactly be in everyone’s price range, there are an increasing number of options for educational travel at resorts closer to home.
Several resorts in Fiji, Thailand, Bali, Vietnam and New Zealand now offer day trips to guests so they can learn about the local culture and some are designed with the sole aim of educating their guests about the local environment. Here are a few travel experiences recommended by Bound Round’s local guides.
The Sigatoka River Safari in Fiji combines a high-speed ride up-river in a jet boat, with a visit to the local village where you can learn a bit about the Fijian culture, as you are welcomed into the village with a kava ceremony, after which you’ll learn a bit more about how these people go about their daily lives.
In Vietnam, Hoi An Eco Tours has a range of tours designed to teach you about the Vietnamese village way of life. You’ll learn how to plough a rice field with water buffalo, or how to fish using traditional methods and watercraft.
In the Northern Territory's Top End, one to three-day tours are now available of the Tiwi Islands with SeaLink, where a local guide will teach you about this unique Indigenous community with the option of fishing trips, visits to the old Catholic mission and spending the afternoon with a local artist to create your own work of art.
An evening at the Mitai Maori Village near Rotorua in New Zealand will teach you a lot about the Maori lifestyle and traditions with singing, dancing and a traditional hangi feast. You’ll hear stories about their history and learn about the traditional waka canoes and hunt for glow worms after dark.
Many of the resorts in Ubud, in the centre of Bali, will take you on a tour of the local villages. At the Four Seasons Sayan, your guide will meet you before breakfast and take you on a trek through the Ayung River valley, where you can learn how to plant rice before delivering you back to a traditional bale in the resort, where a traditional breakfast of fresh fruit and rice porridge awaits you.
About Bound Round
For more recommendations on educational travel activities for kids get your kids to check out Bound Round, the kids travel app by kids for kids. The app is full of fun facts, games and video guides to all the best activities and attractions, narrated by local kids, the experts on what’s fun in their home town.