The struggle is real. How do you schedule a family vacation with so much going on….Mom & Dad’s work schedule, the kid’s sports schedules that now take up a good bit of summer.
The solution for our family has been to go during the school year. I know, I know. This is a hotly debated topic on many Disney and travel forums. Most of our travel has been centered around Disney. We are here to tell you that you can SNEAK A LITTLE BIT OF LEARNING in while enjoying a family trip!
In January 2015, we sailed on the Disney Magic. We worried again about taking Brooke out of school. She is a good student and doesn’t miss much school on a normal basis. So we talked with teachers and school administrators about our trip. We came up with some educational spins on things to talk about. Then we looked to the educators for help! Upon the suggestion of Brooke’s teacher, we had her write a short essay about her trip experiences! Here is how it all unfolded.
One of our ports of call was Grand Cayman. We booked an excursion that took us to the mangroves. The excursion was actually called Discover Native Cayman, booked through the Sea Elements Company. Now, the science nerd in me was all kinds of happy! Brooke…not so much!
Her tune changed once we started our adventure! We went right into the mangroves! It was awesome. We learned how the mangroves grow and migrate. It was very interesting to learn that the mangroves filter out the saltwater to be able to survive.
We also got to touch jelly fish! Whoa said the biology geek in my head. I was the first one to volunteer. I felt it was important to show Brooke that it was okay and nothing was going to happen. Here we are, having our learning time!
On this same cruise, we also stopped off in Key West, Florida. What is educational in Key West you ask? Ohhhh, there is plenty! Especially if you take Lloyd’s Bike Tour. This fella, Lloyd, is a character! He knows Key West like the back of his hand. He took us off the beaten path and showed us so much stuff!
And this wasn’t all that we did on this tour! We also visited a botanical garden and got exercise while riding our bicycles around town. If you are ever in Key West, do yourself a solid and look up Lloyd and take his tour!
We also stopped in Cozumel, Mexico. We did not think this port of call was going to be educational at all. Turns out, there was a little learning going on!
We took ATVs out to Punta Sur Park. It is on the southernmost tip (hey, southern!) of Cozumel. We saw the lighthouse that is used as a navigation aid and a temple that legend says made whistling noises to alert those on the island when a hurricane was coming.
The water here was beautiful as well! Paul and Brooke went snorkeling so she could see the sea life below the surface. I cannot say enough about this untouched, serene beach. It was such a change from the beaches that we usually visit in South Carolina. It was a fantastic experience!
Take a little time and do some planning. You can work educational fun into your vacation.
And sometimes it even ends up being a happy surprise!