Back to School for Travellers

Kids aren’t the only ones going back to school this fall. Savvy travellers of a more mature age can pack their bags and set off for classrooms at home and around the world.

The benefits to mind, body and pocketbook are countless. Summer crowds have thinned out, airfares begin levelling off and learning opportunities abound.

You could make your way to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, relax in a new culture and join your peers at the Instituto Allende’s Lifelong Learning Program ( Pick from daily Spanish lessons and a wonderful array of arts and crafts offerings.

Or request a brimming vacation catalogue from Road Scholars (formerly Elderhostel), a Boston based not-for-profit in educational tours geared mainly toward older adults in Canada and the United States, as well as 150 other countries.

Assist the CRIS organization in Kelowna, B.C., helping people with disabilities enjoy the outdoors using adaptive equipment to hike, paddle, cross-country ski and snowshoe to otherwise inaccessible places. For those seeking an unstructured education, why not just buy your own ticket, grab your carry-on and join a walking tour in almost any city you travel to. Many are free of charge and simply rely on tips.

Would you like to volunteer your skills somewhere in Canada? Your heart may also learn something as you help out and share your knowledge (

Finally, for the ultimate gold star adventure, study alongside college students while your floating classroom circumnavigates the globe with Semester at Sea (

Evelyn Hannon is the editor of, the largest online travel resource for women. Her newsletter connects 65,000 women worldwide.

A version of this article originally appeared in Zoomer’s Sept. 2014 issue.

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