We’re all going on … a learning holiday!

Font Size:

Want to come home from holiday with more than a few trinkets and a sunburn? What about mastering an old curiosity or passion, and returning with some wonderful and exciting new skill sets?

Educational travel is the ultimate way to immerse yourself in a destination and make your holiday deeper and more meaningful with memories and new skills that will last a lifetime.

From working alongside farmers and fisherman in Brazil to learning a simple tea ceremony in Kyoto; learning how to make your own pots in Peru to picking up a step or two at traditional Danish dance classes … with educational travel, you’ll return from your holiday enriched and enlightened and ready to share your experiences and newfound knowledge with friends and family.

There’s almost no limit to what you can learn on holiday. Think of the hobby or skill you’d like to learn, then find a destination that offers the educational tour to suit your desires and budget. We’ve found a few tours to whet your appetite.

The largest outdoor art studio in the world
Starting on home soil, renowned Australian painter Amanda Hyatt offers a 13-day painting workshop through the Flinders Ranges, Clare Valley and Hahndorf in August 2019. The tour includes accommodation at Wilpena Pound, Burra and Hahndorf, 18 meals, welcome and farewell drinks, and the services of a workshop manager and your internationally renowned teacher. You’ll be sightseeing, joining in on intensive painting classes that include craft demonstrations, instruction and critique sessions. This is a definite bucket list type tour for anyone with a passion for the outdoors and painting, with the opportunity to learn first-hand from one of the country’s best.

Learn French in France
It’s no secret that wherever you travel in the world, the locals love it when you try to speak their language. You may be hopeless, but the effort is often appreciated. A few lessons prior to heading off will usually cover you for some of the basics, but any Francophiles looking to learn a little more French than oui and non will love this immersive French language crash course at Institut de Français on the French Riviera.

For eight-and-a-half  hours a day, five days a week for two to four weeks, you can dive right into a French immersion language and rapidly acquire fluency in French. At this school, small groups are encouraged to learn French by any means necessary, but mostly, by having fun. The Institut also provides accommodation in nearby Villefranche, just a short walk from the school.

Through social interactions, sports, food and fun, learning French at the Institut de Français would be a rich and memorable experience.

A sailing sojourn
Whether you’re an experienced sailor or this is your first time on a boat; or if sailing has been a dream of yours, there’s no longer an excuse not to experience this.

The Trinity Sailing experience has been described as ‘life changing’ and offers a number of hands-on sailing holidays around the UK, including Brittany and the West Country, Devon and Cornwall, the isles of Scilly (off the Cornish coast) and the West Coast of Scotland. No experience is needed, and all ages are welcome to join on one of their three historic sailing vessels: Leader, Provident and Golden Vanity. It’ll be the adventure of a lifetime.

Writers’ retreat
Want to run away to a writers’ retreat in scenic England where your imagination can run wild? Look no further. The Arvon writing course focuses on a variety of different genres including comedy, poetry, short stories, fiction, non-fiction, playwriting, song writing and more! While they do run shorter day courses, most stays take place at retreats across England, in West Yorkshire at Lumb Bank, at the Hurst in Bughurst in Hampshire and at Totleigh Barton, a 16th century manor in Devon.

Or a sweet retreat
Here’s one that’ll make you breathe a little quicker … Chocolate making classes in Brussels. This is for those of you who want to dabble in some delicious skill building but not have to commit to a full tour. The class runs for two and a half hours, no previous experience is required and everything is made from scratch. Each student will make 30 chocolates, which includes mendiants (crispy chocolate base with dry fruits) and pralines, as well as chocolate ganache (the filling). Sweet.

Have you ever been on a learning holiday? Where did you go? Would you recommend such a journey to our members?


Preparing food for paying guests in a Tuscan restaurant

A Tuscan cooking class where you will be restaurant chef for a day.

Three themed cruises for a once-in-a-lifetime experience

No one will be bored onboard these three amazing (and affordable) themed cruises.


Participating in a volunteer vacation allows travellers to ‘do something good'.

Written by Liv Gardiner


Sign-up to the YourLifeChoices Enewsletter

continue reading


Granny flats - a good idea but beware the baggage

In this extract from Avoiding the Ageing Parent Trap, author and lawyerBrian Herd tells why granny flats have become so...

Health news

Going to sleep later increases the risk of heart disease and death

Sorry, night owls, science says your late-night habits are unhealthy. A recent study concludes those who stay up late have...

Health news

Omega-3 supplements may slow cellular ageing

Do you take omega-3 supplements? Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for your health, especially your heart, lungs, blood vessels, immune...


A neuroscientist's go-to nutrients for brain and memory support

How often do you sit down in front of a meal and think 'wow, this is going to be great...


Who knew a crossword could do all this?

If you tackled this morning’s crossword, or successfully completed a sudoku, congratulations. Your brain is in a happier place. It...

Seniors Finance

Be a savvier saver with these nine tips

Many people have seen their savings pots wiped out by the impact of the pandemic. At the other end of...

Finance News

Big four banks dragged to court over credit 'rort'

Screaming, dressed in glistening armour and wielding an axe, Aaron Flores has defended the honour of Australia on the battlefield....

Health news

Public toilets are a disease risk

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced more people than ever to consider the potential for airborne particles to damage their health,...