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Learning Vacations: A Different Way to Travel

posted: 12/05/17
by: Katie Morton
Shot of a woman taking photos while exploring a foreign city
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As temperatures dip and winter starts to fully take hold, there's no better time to plan a warm getaway. Sure you could explore a new city or lounge by the beach, but why not try something new and different?

Learning vacations are a great way to see the sights, experience the culture in a deep way, and pick up a new skill. Here are our top three picks for learning vacations that'll change the way you travel.

Explore the Local Flavors

What's better than eating amazing Italian, French or Mexican cuisine? How about learning how to reproduce those same flavors once you're back at home? Whether taking in the magnificent ancient ruins of Mexico or the sprawling sea vistas of the Amalfi coast, there are several, amazing cooking schools that will provide you with daily lessons, full accommodations, and tours of the surrounding area.

In Mexico, if you want to experience the bustling cities, magnificent ruins, or beautiful beaches, Chef Ana Garcia of La Villa Bonita has got you covered. La Villa Bonita offers a variety of weeklong vacation packages to help you take in the local sights and master the art of Mexican cuisine.

Interested in exploring cucina italiana? Look no further than The International Kitchen. The International Kitchen, an American-based company, partners with local chefs and restaurants to offer a variety of unique packages throughout all of Italy (as well as several other countries).

Sail the Open Seas

What better way to beat the winter chill then by island hopping? During the winter, the best place to learn to sail and enjoy the full benefits of being out on the open sea is the Caribbean. Charter your own private sailboat and bring along the family or do it as a solo trip and meet a new group of friends.

Whether you're looking to explore the U.S. Virgin islands or Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the best way of doing it is by boat. Most learn to sail vacations last about a week and include lodging (on the boat!), food and beverages, and the cost of the boat and instructor.

To find the right sailing school for you, check out the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) training directory or the American Sailing Association (ASA) list of sailing schools.

Note: Post Hurricanes Irma and Maria, many Americans are worried about the conditions of the islands throughout the Caribbean. However, now couldn't be a more perfect time to plan a sailing holiday: you can rely on safe accommodation aboard a boat while helping to support the local economy as many islands re-build.

See the Sights through a Different Lens

It's hard not to be amazed by the incredible photographs being published in the pages of the leading travel publications. Those photos make you want to be in those places, experience those surroundings, and capture equally fabulous imagery that you can take home to enjoy. But, alas, no matter how hard you try, the point and click shots from your iPhone just won't cut it.

Consider learning from the professionals. Photo vacations have become extremely popular in recent years, from booking all-expense-paid excursions to day tours with a photography teacher.

Want to capture a lion on the hunt or how about the raw beauty of one of the Seven Wonders of the World? Look no further than the professionals who inspire us to visit far away lands: National Geographic. While the hefty price tag is a deterrent, fret not; there are plenty of more affordable options. The New York Times has a great list of other photography vacations that are a bit more in reach.

Travel different this holiday season--make your experience more than just a quick visit. Pick up a new skill and experience the culture on a deeper level with a learning vacation. Happy travels!