My husband and I decided to homeschool our two girls (6 and 10) because with his company, he generally travels 100+ days a year — so we decided we would go along!
The girls have been to every major city (and some not so major) along the east coast. Wherever we travel, I try to locate the local children’s museum or park to explore. What I want to do is help them get a feel for what it would be like to live in that particular community. We look for local restaurants and have had several memorable experiences that stand out in their minds.
As for hotels, we tend to stay with the Hilton chain. Hilton Garden Inns and Embassy Suites both offer large breakfasts for families. Also the whole chain washes duvet covers nightly which is important to me…knowing that my daughters are not sleeping on dirty bedspreads.
One hotel that is not in the chain stands out, The Hotel Monaco. This is a Kimpton Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland. The hotel has several programs to make children comfortable, including their adopt a goldfish program. If you ask, a goldfish bowl is delivered to your room for the duration of your stay (don’t worry, the maids feed it). The children can name it and enjoy having a pet of their own for a bit of time. Even the doorman asked my girls what the fish’s name was and inquired how he was every morning. Also, they have a cookies and milk reception around 3 every afternoon in their main living room section. There is a Nintendo Wii available and children are encouraged to take advantage of it for as long as they’d like. This hotel stands out in that it is everything a business traveler would look for (with wine reception included!) plus it really caters to children, makes them feel welcome, and gives them a little bit of home that they don’t usually get to experience on the road.
Regarding traveling in the off season… one thing that comes to my mind for families is Walt Disney World. Everyone wants to take their families but it can get expensive, especially if you want to stay on property. If you are adventurous, though, and would like to camp, the Ft. Wilderness Campground is a Disney owned resort, complete with pools, transportation to and from the resorts, and nightly marshmallow roasts with the characters present. To get a campsite in September runs less than $40 a night…I have paid $30 in the past. There are showers and laundry available. The campground itself is packed with fun activities so we would spend a day or two just fishing, on pony rides, at the petting zoo. Add that to the fact that you get all the perks of staying in a Disney resort, such as transportation and their extra magic hours, and we’ve found it is the least expensive way to enjoy Disney World.
If you’d like to learn more about homeschooling and travel, visit Homeschool.com’s Travel page.
Fun! And fun learning is forever learning!