It might sound clichéd, but travel is one of life's greatest teachers. Whether you want to encourage your kiddos to learn by taking them to see the frescos in Florence, or by meeting the cast of The Lion King and understanding their habitat on a Big Five safari in South Africa, our travel experts have put together a list of experiences that will turn your next adventure with the gang into one big (but fun) classroom.
History, Art and Food
Italy is undoubtedly one of the best places for a trip combining history, art and food; in particular Rome. The city is best seen on foot, so head straight for a walking tour with one of our handpicked local guides who are veritable geniuses when it comes to combining entertainment and education - the ideal situation for excited children and tired parents. Take a private tour of the colossal Colosseum, while the children's heads are filled with stories of bloody battles, empires and emperors of old. Food is never too far from anyone's thoughts, especially with a hungry hoard of mouths to feed. so indulge in a cookery masterclass to unlock the secrets of Italian cuisine from an expert chef, whether its perfecting pasta or playing with pizza. Next on your cultural education trip, Florence is a city synonymous with beauty, art and culture. Enjoy famous frescos and learn how to create your own in a private workshop - perfect for the little ones to get stuck into and learn about art and history of art in one fell swoop, and most likely without even knowing they're learning. Always the best way.
Geography and Geology
While the iconic Northern Lights might be the first thing that comes to mind when Iceland is mentioned, the aurora borealis is not the only treasure this wild land hides. Arguably the best geography classroom that you ever will be in (and potentially the coldest) it is home to vast glaciers and towering mountains. Once you've landed, head straight for the Blue Lagoon. Made up of geothermal and mineral-rich sea water, the lagoon is the perfect place for a lesson on geo-thermal activity and an ideal place for a spot of relaxing for grown ups. Next, it's off to the Golden Circle to continue this rocking (sorry) geology lesson. This well-trodden route includes stop offs at Pingvellir National Park, one of the country's most significant historical sites; the impressive Geysir hot spring (famed as the original geyser, and which shoots boiling water 200ft in the air) and the impossibly beautiful Gullfoss Waterfall. Your local guide can explain the formation of and science behind these natural structures while you take in the breath-taking beauty. If that wasn't enough, pack the rest of your days in Iceland full of sea trout or salmon fishing, riding, sea kayaking, whale watching, snowmobiling and more, teaching the whole family new skills and providing a host of new memories.
Never is the sentiment of 'life is a classroom' more apparent than in Africa, a continent bursting with life. However you chose to explore the bush, we're confident that the children will return home full of questions, curiosity and wonder at the majesty of Mother Nature. Whether you're joining a community run project in Laikipia; learning about anti-poaching efforts and tribal traditions, or visiting the explosion of life in the Okavango Delta where the Big Five like to hang out, lessons on different species and the delicate balance of life will come thick and fast from expert guides.
Children showing an interest in biology can supercharge their next science lesson with a trip to the Galapagos. Explore the archipelago of volcanic islands and delve deeper in to the world that captured Charles Darwin's imagination and changed the scientific world forever. Head to Puerto Ayora, a port on the second largest island Santa Cruz, and visit the highlands, home to roaming giant tortoises. From here head to the Darwin Research Centre, where young explorers' heads will be filled the science of evolution.
Although you might not expect an education on diversity, religion and acceptance when visiting the Indonesian island of Bali, your whole family will walk away with an appreciation of unity, and a newfound understanding of religion. If you follow the road north out of Ubud you will find yourself in the area around Munduk; it's one of those unusual areas where you're able to stumble upon a mosque, Hindu temple and Buddhist stupa side by side. Not only does this religious variety offer a chance for the whole family to explore and understand different faiths, it also perfectly demonstrates the nation's motto Bhinekka Tunggal Ika, or Unity in Diversity. A powerful lesson for all of us in this modern, fractured world.