Edu-tourism: Learn something new while you vacation

What if you could go on vacation and acquire a new skill at the same time? A growing travel trend combines travel with learning. 

“Travel Writing on Location” offers a tour of Santa Fe. Photo courtesy             of Santa Fe CVB.Edu-tourism or edu-vacations, as they are sometimes called, are especially popular with Baby Boomers – since they've got the time (and usually the money) to make such trips. These days, travelers can learn Spanish in Costa Rica, take up dance in Spain, study wine in California or learn to cook in France.

One popular learning vacation option combines travel and travel writing workshops.

“In the past few years, more people have become interested in the field of travel journalism,” says Janna Graber, a senior editor at Go World Travel Magazine, which publishes travel articles from some 90 countries authored by a team of veteran travel journalists and photographers.

Graber’s insight into this market led her to create “Travel Writing On Location” , which offers travel writing workshops along with tours of some of the world’s top destinations. The goal is to provide travel writing instruction – and an extraordinary destination to write about, she notes.

Ohkay basket dance. Photo courtesy of Santa Fe CVB.“Travel Writing On Location provides not only classroom learning, but on-the-job experience,” says Graber. “Students tour the destination with a local expert – visiting local attractions, interviewing experts, and experiencing the culture – while learning the skills they need to be a travel writer.”

Upcoming workshops and tours include:

–  Santa Fe Travel Writing and Photography Workshop, a four-day excursion (May 29 - June 1, 2014). In addition to classes, participants can tour art galleries in the nation’s second largest art capital, savor southwest cuisine and learn about Native American culture. Workshops cover travel writing techniques, photography, publishing your own blog or website and the business of travel writing. 

Price: $995 per person. Includes luxury accommodations at the historic La Fonda on the Plaza, workshops, sightseeing and some meals. Airfare is not included.

More info:  See the website

Catamaran awaits tourists on Sanur Beach, Bali. Photo courtesy of Bali              Floating Leaf.– Beyond Eat, Pray, Love: Sights and Culture of Bali, Indonesia: Participants will explore some of the region’s top attractions as well as out-of-the-way locations that few travelers ever visit. Highlights include a hike through the Sacred Monkey Forest, visits with local artisans, a cooking class with local chefs, shopping in local villages, taking part in a purification ceremony at a sacred spring and much more.

Trip dates, prices and more info to be announced soon. Graber will be happy to answer questions about the trip. Contact her at

-- Vietnam Highlights (2015): This 11-day tour will start with a day of writing workshops in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon). After that, sightseeing activities will include a tour of the city, boating on the Mekong Delta, visits to the cities of Hue, Danang and Hanoi and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hoi An, and an overnight cruise on Halong Bay -- plus lots of additional writing workshops.

Price: $2,995 per person, double occupancy; $650 for single supplement. Includes accommodations, ground transportation, airport transfers and some meals. International airfare is extra. Contact Graber for details.

Cover photo courtesy of Bali Floating Leaf.

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