Travelers can experience amazing learning opportunities on vacation, especially when they take time to prepare and are willing to expand their original plans. Web searches can be very helpful in researching the who, what, when, where, why, and how. Most vacation destinations have helpful website that offer guides, supplemental materials, and extra activities you might enjoy. A little extra research can enhance the learning opportunities and get your mind tuned into your vacation environment. It’s great to get out of your comfort zone and routine, but make sure you consider fatigue factors such as elevation and weather. Planning, estimating, and even risk-taking are all key considerations as you “gear up” for your trip. The learning opportunities will vary according to age groups, but everyone can encounter science, geography, social studies, history, finance, accounting, budgeting, language arts, music, art, and math skills such as rounding and estimating, without much effort. Being media savvy is also important when using brochures, maps and other informational materials. While it’s good to interact with people, remember to keep safe and consider the schedules of others. Guides and others are working for you while you’re enjoying yourself, so consider when people outside your group are available to talk or answer your questions. Take time to observe what’s going on in your surroundings. There is nothing like engaging your five senses once you are actually on vacation. Be sure to allow time for creativity. It is amazing to watch each person when they get the free time they need to process what’s happening, express themselves, and interact with others about their experiences. While you might find yourself a bit out of your comfort zone on vacation, it can be beneficial by prompting new ideas. Look for “how to” opportunities and chances to see how things are made. And look for places where you can make your own creations as well. Active learning opportunities often include walking, stair climbing, hiking, finding treasure, and geocaching (where people can find “treasure” items by tracking locations through GPS devices). Journaling, writing, videography, and photography are great ways to capture the vacation forever, but find your balance so you’re not becoming a full-time documentalist. Chronicling activities helps with perspective, themes, languages, and culture, whether it’s a foreign country or a different lifestyle. These opportunities make great long-lasting memories. You can even reflect those memories in your shopping, so that when you look at a special item it can trigger memories or a proud storytelling opportunity to share with others. Overall, communicate with others throughout your vacation and track yourself emotionally, physically, and mentally. You will find your limits and hopefully find new interests and methods to incorporate into your life where you “bring something home with you.” Learning can develop and refine your perspective and even change your attitude toward life and the world around you.
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