In this era of lifelong learning, over-50 travelers are pushing the envelope of learning travel. It’s no longer just about a semester abroad for college students or visiting museums and cathedrals on guided tours.
Senior travelers have discovered that whether their travel is for leisure, business, family, or any other primary purpose, the best travel experiences are enriched by educational experiences before, during and after your trip. Learning adds significance and value to trips like few other things and elevates travel from pleasurable tourism to an immensely satisfying and life-enriching experience.
Simply Smart Travelers know that doing some online research about their destination adds value because it gives clues to what defines a community (gives it its sense of place) and how to build an itinerary that allows you to capture it.
Armed with their research, good learning travelers explore their destination more efficiently and with more satisfaction and pleasure since what they are seeing “pops” more because it has a context and background.
After the trip, what you have learned usually serves as a practical framework to organize your photos and share your travel experiences with friends and family.
Two Kinds Of Learning Travel
Of the many learning travelers, two archetypes emerge. The most common are those who want to learn but whose main goal is travel itself. They are like traditional travelers since they place strong emphasis on their trip itself but they know that learning along the way enriches their travel experiences measurably.
The second kind of learning travel is more traditional and involves learning in a formal setting through the many educational travel and study abroad programs. Fortunately, the best of them build experiencing the local culture, language and scenic highlights into their programs.
This second category also embraces those who want to pursue a passion or learn a new skill while on vacation even if they are not in a formal educational travel program. They enroll in local programs or activities like cooking schools or fantasy sports camp to fulfill their learning goals.