Travel Gifts for Grandchildren

Dec 28th, 2009 | By James E Becker | Category: Senior Travel

I wrote about Smithsonian Journeys programs a few days ago; I’m a strong advocate for their travel opportunities. This organization is expanding their travel to the younger generation. The same is true for Exploritas programs.  A great Christmas gift to your grandchild may be a Smithsonian Journeys trip next summer.  Or you may just want to pass this word on to your grandchildren who might be interested in this highly educational experience.

The Smithsonian’s NEW summer sessions now offer high school students who have completed the ninth grade or higher, the opportunity to join their travel programs in China, Italy or Spain.  Each program lasts three weeks and includes intensive language instruction and cultural studies.  Visits to major sites accompanied by expert guides are included.   Imagine your grandchild spending three weeks living as a local in Beijing, Florence, or Avila.  All programs include comfortable, supervised housing, most meals, a robust curriculum, and the opportunity to explore local culture in depth.

So who are the Exploritas participants?  Twenty questions are asked by Exploritas and responses given by participants.  One example: Q: What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned on an Exploritas program?  A: That some of the most unexpected happenings are the most exciting; always be ready for an adventure.  So true.  All participants have one thing in common: a love of learning. Program participants grow and learn through new experiences and the active exploration of subjects and interests around the world.

On the Exploritas homepage you may explore programs by zip code.  Within 50 miles I found 34 programs.  Within 100 miles, 58 programs each outlined in great detail.  You do not have to travel the world to take part in an Exploritas program when you can find one close to home.  I have had travelers on my trips who go from one program to the next.  Two couples went around the world on Exploritas programs from one to the next.  

The last item here is to be sure to check out the physical activity necessary to travel on a particular program.  If you are in the Alps, the Andes or Corsica, you had better be able to climb stairs, walk long distances and be durable enough to bounce back each day.  Seven levels of activity levels are described according to the program.  You will not want to be the “skunk in a submarine” on any physically demanding program that you cannot handle. 

JEB



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