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girl in museumThe next time your kids moan and groan when you suggest visiting a museum or historic monument, tell them you’re investing in their future—literally. So says Eileen Ogintz in a recent blog on her website, Taking the Kids.

Educational travel has a clear impact on children’s academic performance and career growth, according to a new survey by The Wagner Group, as part of the The Wagner Group campaign for the U.S. Travel Association, writes Ogintz. “The best part of this survey is that regardless of ethnicity, family income, age and gender, travel’s benefits to education and future success is universal,” Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, said in the blog. Whether it’s local culture, history or nature that you include in your family travels, Dow added, what your kids absorb can greatly impact their future career achievements.

Strong correlation between traveling when young and future success, both academic and financial

Adults who traveled as kids or students:

  • Were more likely to graduate from high school and college.
  • Got higher grades than non-travelers.
  • Were more intellectually curious, both inside and outside the classroom.
  • Said that their travel was fun, engaging and/or inspiring.
  • Earn nearly 12% more (or $5,000) per year, compared with those who did not travel.

How to convince the kids that an educational trip today will benefit them tomorrow?

Here are Eileen Ogintz’s six ways to make trips to museums more fun:

1. Let the kids help plan the itinerary, starting with taking a virtual tour before you leave home.

2. Stage a scavenger hunt in a museum: buy post cards when you arrive and look for the “real thing” as you make your way through the exhibits.

3. Don’t try to see it all! Focus on the kids’ interests and only a couple of museum exhibits.

4. Divide and conquer, especially if the kids are different ages and have different interests.

5. Seek out interactive family discovery zones.

6. Leave when the kids have had enough!

 

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