Wednesday, June 16, 2010

American Express Learning Vacations

School's out, but the learning shouldn't stop.

Research shows that children’s educational development slumps during the inactive summer vacation months — a phenomenon known as “Summer Learning Loss.” In fact, students score lower on standardized tests at the end of the summer than they do at the beginning of summer.

According a recent American Express Spending & Saving Tracker Survey, the overwhelming majority of parents believe that learning should continue far after the last school bell has rung.

  • Nearly nine-in-ten (88%) of those surveyed with children under the age of 18 said they believe it is important to take an educational vacation in which learning is the main focus
  • 45 percent of parents say their summer vacation plans this year will in fact include an educational component. Specifically:

    o 30 percent will head to a destination to explore its history and culture

    o 27 percent will explore wildlife while on vacation

    o 8 percent will travel to a destination focused on culinary arts
Whether traveling with a three-year-old or a thirteen-year-old, American Express is offering resources to help any parent take their lesson plan on the road with them this summer.

American Express has family travel specialists who can help parents design or find a learning vacation tailored to their interests. They’ll also help parents maximize their travel dollars by ensuring they’re taking advantage of all the value-added benefits available by booking through American Express.

Brain-Boosting travel packages currently available through American Express Travel include:

Patriots of America
Starts at $2281 (per person); airfare not included

Your family’s journey will take you through historic Pennsylvania and Washington DC. You’ll get a close-up look at the first government seat of the United States during a time when electric lights and motorcars were a thing of the future. You’ll visit Amish country and the battlefields of Gettysburg; the U.S. Marine Corps, Colonial Williamsburg, Mount Vernon and all the great monuments of Washington, DC.

This package typically includes 14 meals, a $200 discount for children under 12, and all gratuities.

Red Rocks & Painted Canyons
Starts at $2531 (per person); airfare not included

If ever there was a place that was just as wondrous as the wildest imagination, then the geological fantasyland you'll explore on this Arizona vacation is it. Your family will spend the night near the rim of the most amazing sculpted canyon in the world, float past sandstone canyon walls on a rafting trip in Glen Canyon, flight-see over natural bridges and gravity-defying boulders during two nights at a Lake Powell resort, and see whimsical hoodoos on a trail ride in Bryce Canyon.

This package typically includes 16 meals, a $200 discount for children under 12, and all gratuities.

Castles & Kings: London to Paris
Starts at $3890 (per person); airfare not included

Your family’s journey will take you through the amazing annals of time, where different chapters of history come to life around every corner. Travel from London to Paris while you picture yourself ruling England from inside Windsor Castle, step into the 17th century in the opulent Palace of Versailles to see how much King Louis XIV enjoyed his role as a monarch, visit Notre Dame Cathedral, see street artists at work in Montmartre, and take a private dinner cruise on the River Seine, a "living" witness to Paris' 2,500-year history.

This package typically includes 13 meals, a $100 discount for children under 11, and all gratuities.

The Galápagos Family Adventure
Starts at $6,695 (per person); airfare not included

Your adventure begins on board a Galápagos cruise specially tailored for young travelers. You’ll set sail from Quito, Ecuador, cruising between islands on your comfortable ship and coming ashore via a sturdy panga (rubber raft) to explore the Galápagos, a wildlife lover's haven and virtual museum of unspoiled nature. Families will enjoy fun and educational on shore excursions led by expert naturalists, along with plenty of activities on board the ship. Nature walks, games on the beach and special wildlife briefings are just the beginning of your family’s adventure.

This package typically includes three meals per day, per person.

For parents planning their own Brain-Boosting style family summer vacation, here are a few recommendations on how parents can leverage American Express’ Destination Family program to save on their hotel stay:

Chicago, IL
Families visiting Chicago can explore the Chicago Children’s Museum, visit the Hancock Observatory and discover the wonders of Shedd Aquarium in Grant Park. When they take advantage of the Destination Family program, they can also enjoy perks at the Park Hyatt Chicago, Hyatt Regency Chicago or Hyatt Regency McCormick Place such as:

o Free full breakfast (up to 2 adults and 4 kids)

o 15% savings on Hyatt Pure Spa services

o 15% savings on dining

o 1/2 day kids program at Camp Hyatt for 1 child per stay

o Locally inspired in-room kids’ snack amenity

o One complimentary in-room movie per stay

o Guaranteed late checkout (2 PM)

Boston, MA
Families visiting Boston can walk into history along The Freedom Trail, explore the New England Aquarium and take a trip on an Old Town Trolley. When they take advantage of the Destination Family program, they can also enjoy perks at the landmark Omni Parker House such as:

o Complimentary upgrades to Kids Fantasy Suites

o 25% off adjoining or connecting rooms

o 1/2 day pass to Kids Camps at resorts

o 20% off round of golf for up to 4

o 20% off spa services, including Mokara Spas

o 30% off dinner for up to family of 4

o Guaranteed late checkout (2 PM)

Whether you choose a pre-arranged “Brain Boosting” package or design your own learning vacation, families who book through American Express Travel online or over-the-phone will receive perks that make their summer vacation more enjoyable and hassle-free. Additionally, American Express Cardmembers also receive a $250 discount per child under 18.

Bon Voyage!
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1 comment:

Anjie said...

Those ALL sounds like great vacations! Maybe when my kids get older, we'll be able to use American Express to book one. Thanks for sharing!

Educational stuff is on our "Summer To Do" list, but it is mostly local museums and such.

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