Travel has always been an important part of our family life. My husband’s job often requires him to be on the road. When the kids were little, we’d tag along. It was a great opportunity to introduce them to a world bigger than the one they lived in- even if that just meant a two-hour trip somewhere. Those trips always sparked interesting conversation, thoughtful debates and learning. As the children got older and more involved in school, sports and other activities, our spur-of-the-moment jaunts dwindled a bit- although we still make lots of time for scheduled adventures!
Many homeschool families have a unique opportunity to enjoy last-minute trips or well-planned family travel experiences throughout the year, making the world their classrooms. The flexibility to engage in this kind of experiential learning is priceless, although some of the deep discounts associated with homeschool travel are appreciated (wink wink.) I gathered up a few of my favorite tips and tricks for homeschool travel to share with anyone interested in taking education on the road.
There are so many great family-friendly destinations that really LOVE homeschoolers! Of course, there are standard favorites like Washington, D.C. and Williamsburg, but consider the hidden gems like Branson, MO or Pigeon Forge, TN for your trip. You’ll find stunning vistas and outdoor fun, engaging attractions, and warm, welcoming people who will appreciate your visit.
Know When to Go
Homeschooling allows for flexibility when planning travel. As everyone else is headed back to the brick and mortar classroom in September, homeschool families can hit the road. Off-peak times like September or May mean discounted hotel rooms and smaller crowds- a win for your wallet and your sanity!
Deals and Discounts
Speaking of discounts, there are a bevvy of bargains to be had when homeschool traveling. Check out the local Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) to see if they offer a city pass for discounted attraction rates. Search for “homeschool days” prior to your trip. Often admission to attractions is free or significantly reduced for homeschoolers on these designated days. Find out if your local museum is a member of a reciprocal organization like the Association of Children’s Museums or North American Reciprocal Museum Program. Your membership locally may allow you free entry to countless museums as you travel.
If you need a helping hand getting started with your travel, there are resources available online to assist. Search for a homeschool travel club in your area or a site like Group Experience, specializing in homeschool travel opportunities in exceptional destinations. If you’ve never planned a trip exclusively for homeschool, you’ll love the convenience of GE’s Homeschool Odysseys.
Homeschooling is the perfect conduit for learning through travel. These moments with your kiddos are fleeting and filled with possibility. Take advantage of precious time and the educational opportunities each adventure presents!