2004-10-21 / Travel

Travel And Learn - Tips To Make Education A Vacation Must

(NAPSI)-Americans want more out of their vacations than stiffly posed photos and souvenir key chains. In addition to getting away from the rigors of daily stress, today’s travelers like to learn and better themselves while taking trips away from home. In fact, according to the Travel Industry Asso-ciation of America (TIA), approximately 30.2 million adults have taken an educational vacation to improve a skill or hobby in the last three years.

Although the movement toward more enriching travel experiences illustrates people’s rediscovered dedication to the pursuit of knowledge, it doesn’t mean vacationers are choosing lectures and exams instead of beach time and ex-ploration.

One of the easiest and most popular ways to make a vacation educational is to take an escorted tour. Professional tour guides serve as traveling educators, trained not only to point out fam-ous landmarks but also to give behind-the-scenes cultural insight and local trivia. Tours like these are available in almost every corner of the world. Glo-bus, the world’s largest escorted tour company, offers guided tours on six continents in more than 60 countries.

“Travelers want to return from a vacation with a feeling of enlightenment. That’s part of the joy in truly experiencing another culture,” says Scott Nisbet, of Globus. “We have 75 years’ experience perfecting tours, so our guests get insider insight into each destination and attraction they explore.”

Even if an escorted tour doesn’t fit into your next vacation, Globus has provided tips on how to make your next trip-be it across the state or the world-a more enriching experience:

• Do your homework. After you’ve selected your vacation destination, it’s important to learn as much as you can about where you’re going. Whether you conduct research online or by way of travel guidebooks, it’s always wise to read about the history of your vacation spot, as well as what will be happening when you get there. Some of the most valuable knowledge you bring home from the trip may originate from your research ahead of time.

• Play historian and keep a journal. Set a goal to uncover at least three little-known facts about your destination and record them along with vacation highlights at the end of each day. If prose writing isn’t your specialty, just jot down a couple of bullet points. You’ll be surprised how quickly the details leave your memory once you return home if you haven’t recorded your experiences.

• Shop creatively. Don’t settle for run-of-the-mill tourist traps when look-ing for souvenirs. Instead, head to a local flea market or even a grocery store, and wander the aisles. Pay particular attention to the differences in produce, packaging and brand names. In addition to possibly discovering a one-of-a-kind treasure, you’ll learn how shopping outside your state or country may be an entirely different experience.

• Stop and smell the roses, literally. Plan to visit a public park, garden or beach while on vacation. Take note of indigenous plants and compare the sights and smells to those at home. If appropriate, press several leaves or flowers in your journal to serve as natural mementos from your trip.

• If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Don’t always trust recommendations from other tourists. Instead, ask the locals about their favorite hot spots, shops and restaurants, as well as the best places to simply sit and watch the world go by. After all, it is their hometown.

For more information about escorted travel or to make reservations, call (866) 313-2855 or visit www.globus-journeys.com.

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