Education on the road: Travel ideas from AAA

Posted at 9:46 AM, Apr 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-07 12:46:30-04

While some people’s idea of an ideal family vacation might involve nothing more than lying on a beach, there are other options — options that can sneak in a bit of education while still providing entertainment that appeals to all ages.
Many find family travel goes more smoothly when it’s introduced to children when they are young. It can open up their eyes to a whole new world they will appreciate their entire lives. Start small and work your way onward and upward, and you’ll all have full passports in no time.

As a travel resource, AAA suggests four types of family vacations to consider, all with an education in mind.
1. Motoring Through Arizona
Arizona is the perfect state to see a number of terrains and to explore landmarks that represent ancient history, the Old West, and more. Consider Montezuma Castle, Kartchner Caverns, Fort Apache, or travel Route 66. For more inspiration, visit Highroads for Arizona road trip and weekend getaway ideas.
2. Traveling the National Parks
The National Park Service turns 100 this year. Celebrate the centennial by crossing a few parks off your bucket list. Many of us have great memories of national park trips from our youth. Pass on the gift of those experiences by immersing your family in nature and history. In 2016, fourth graders get in free to the national parks.
3. Bringing U.S. History to Life
Consider planning a trip that includes Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Boston, Virginia, or some of the Old South’s Civil War sites. This gives children the opportunity to actually see the places they are studying and immerse themselves in U.S. history, providing an unequaled educational experience.
4. Exploring the World
Once you master your home state and the United States, it might be time to tackle international travel. The opportunities for studying history and geography are endless. Plus, immersing children in a new culture offers them unique experiences they’ll never forget. River tours of both Europe and Asia provide family friendly options. Even Disney, which is more than just theme parks, has some amazing options for exploring Asia, Africa, Australia, Central and South America, and Europe through Adventures by Disney.
Regardless of where you go, it’s a great idea to get your children involved in the planning. Let them do some of the research and help come up with ideas of places to go and things to do while on vacation. You can also give them a budget for tours and activities and have them help make decisions about what excursions you will go on as a family. Budgeting can be a very eye opening experience for kids and help them appreciate the value of a dollar. Including them in the planning process will get them excited about seeing something they’ve heard of or learned about in school – likely more excited than they were in the classroom!

AAA is a full-service travel agency. For more travel tips or information, visit