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 often 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. We did, however, still make 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. Travel makes the world a classroom! The flexibility to engage in 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 homeschool travel tips and tricks to share with anyone interested in “road schooling.”
There are many great family-friendly destinations that LOVE homeschoolers! Standard favorites like Washington, D.C. and Williamsburg have much to offer. Washington D.C. has a ton of high-quality, free attractions that are great for every age.
You can also consider hidden gems like Branson or the Smoky Mountains. You’ll find stunning vistas and outdoor fun, engaging attractions, and warm, welcoming people. As an added bonus, many of the places you’ll want to go have curriculum created specifically for homeschoolers!
Know When to Go
One of the great things about homeschool is flexibility in your schedule. 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 bevy of bargains for traveling homeschoolers. Check out the local Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) to see if they offer a city pass for discounted attraction rates. You can also search for “homeschool days” prior to your trip. Often admission to attractions is free or reduced for homeschoolers on these designated days.
You can also 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 Animado Events, specializing in homeschool travel opportunities in exceptional destinations. If you’ve never planned a trip exclusively for homeschool, you’ll love the convenience of Animado’s Homeschool Odysseys.
If you want to plan on your own, try Group Experience. It’s a simple and convenient way to plan your travel online.
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!