What is the Educational Tourist?

Blogger award - Top 100 Family Travel BlogsSo, what IS The Educational Tourist?

What is The Educational  Tourist? – Researcher

Who is The Educational Tourist? WHAT is an educational tourist? I am!! I combine extensive, hands-on experience in the educational system with a traveler’s eye for cultural adventures. I create travel guides and give parents the ‘how to’ to make each family adventure marvelous so they can create memories that last a lifetime!

I research all the cool, wonderful, wild, weird, and historic information about a destination. Then, I stir that around with child centered activities and create a travel guide which combines the information a child needs to really understand and appreciate a place with activities to help that understanding really stick in their mind.

The Educational Tourist teaching class, What is The Educational Tourist, www.theeducationaltourist.com

What sort of activities?

In my travel guides you’ll find things like: Word searches, Color by number (In the Rome travel guide we use Roman numerals for this), Create your own things like pizza – gladiator name – family flag. These activities keep kids focused by having them search for animals in statues (Did you know there are animals and plants hidden in the Trevi fountain?), or looking for certain colors or items in museum scavenger hunts. When they are focused you can enjoy the museum, too!

See a travel guide for yourself for FREE!

Click here to download the FREE Travel Guide to France and see what all the fuss is about!

What is The Educational Tourist? – Writer

I’ve taught for 15 years in a variety of grades – kids ages 5-14. I not only taught various levels and subjects but also wrote creative classroom lessons for a nationally published magazine (The Mailbox for fellow teachers).  I use that hands-on classroom experience and create travel guides that kids can understand with information they actually care about.

I know these travel guides WORK because each one has been used with my own kids. I create a guide for our own trips. I take a rough draft on our trips to use. While we travel we use the information, add some, tweak some..and then when we return I publish so YOU can use the kids’ travel guides to make your trip fantastic!

Not all travel guides are created equally.

Have you actually READ travel guides lately? It sure seems like the target audience for most guides on the market is a retired history major. I say retired because who else has time to read 347 pages of the driest language on….. anything?  The history is complete, but it is too dry…and maybe too complete.

Kids are naturally curious and want to learn, but not literally EVERYTHING! On vacation kids want just the good stuff….just the interesting stuff…and that, ladies and gentlemen is just what is in my Travel Guides for kids – just the good stuff. Read more about how The Educational Tourist Travel Guides differ from the rest. 

Have you ever been to a museum and hired a tour guide? Did your eyes glaze over when they began to drone on and on (and on and on and on) about the differences between 27 paintings of Madonna and Child they were forcing you to see? You actually PAID this guide to lead you to 27 identical paintings of Madonna and Child and tell you as much boring stuff about them as physically possible.

Did your travel partner have to wake you up when your tour was over? Now, imagine being a kid in that scenario! UGH! Your mom and dad drag you to a museum and bore you to tears. What does a kid do? They act up! They whine!! They tell you the whole thing is lame and they wish you had left them at home!


You CAN take the kids (and your spouse) to a museum without anyone whining! The KEY is preparation. Curious children need to know….Why are they going? What is the big deal about this museum? Even more important….why is THIS Madonna and Child so important. (You have to admit that is a valid question when it seems almost all of the paintings in museums have the same subject!!)

The Educational Tourist in front of Chihuly glass tower at in Oklahoma City Museum of Art, www.theeducationaltourist.com

My travel guides for kids answer those questions. They serve as Cliff Notes for adults, too, so you can answer those questions for your spouse, too, if he or she is whining. 😉  But better still, while you are admiring the art in the museum the kids are answering questions, looking for clues, and putting tally marks on the pages of their guide. Everyone is interested and everyone is engaged. Everyone enjoys the visit!

Want to know what all the fuss is about with the travel guides?

Click here for a FREE peek into The Educational Tourist travel guides.

Choose your destination!

London       Louvre     Austin      Canada      Nassau      New York     Spain    Galleria Borghese        Vatican City     Prado Museum     France

What is The Educational Tourist – MOM

The adages about how “It isn’t lost till mom can’t find it” are true. Moms are the glue in families! Dads are important too – nothing taken away from them, but most moms are travel guides extraordinaire!

I’m a mom, too. I’ve planned, packed, lugged and carried my kiddos all over the US and abroad and have learned along the way. Somethings were learned the hard way (Note to self: ALWAYS pack the first aid kit with you – and not in the luggage which is underneath the plane where you won’t see it for hours and hours and hours….) and I share all the lessons with you so the way is paved smoothly!

The Educational Tourist in Austin riding a segway with children, Travel outside your comfort zone, www.theeducationaltourist.com

Need tips on packing light? I’ve got you covered. Want to avoid having kids whine tired feet for walking? Been there and done that and I can teach you what to do!

Are your kids missing school and you are wondering how to convince the school your trip is educational? Boy, have you come to the right place! Read how travel can help you learn math and practice reading skills.

What is The Educational Tourist – Parent

Like you, I’m raising global citizens. What does that mean to me? I want my kids to know enough about the world to enjoy it. We fear what we don’t understand. Let’s teach our kids so there isn’t anything to fear and they can fit beautifully in the world around them.

I want my kids to have an open mind to:










I can show you how to expose your kids to all the above things that will open their minds and expand their horizons while you have a wonderful family adventure!

What is The Educational Tourist? Advocate

Sometimes travel takes place at the ‘wrong time’. By that I mean sometimes travel opportunities come up during the school year. For example, maybe dad has a business trip and the rest of the family can tag along. Perhaps someone is getting married and you want to combine the trip with a few days of exploration since you’ve already paid to get all the way to the destination.

Uchisar Castle near Goreme, First Aid Kit, www.theeducationaltourist.com

Since I believe that travel is educational, and during travel, a child’s world is increased in ways that can’t happen any other way, I’m a HUGE believer in taking that child out of school if need be.

When you take a child out of school you’ll need to consider several factors: How much time are you allowed to have in absences? What will the child miss in curriculum? How can you use your travel to satisfy the missed school time so your child isn’t buried in make up work.

After spending 15 years in formal education, I can help you understand what is ‘formally’ educational about your trip! You can improve reading skills or math skills with travel.

When you travel I strongly recommend my travel guides for kids. They are educational on topics like history, art, and culture AND  keep kids happily engaged in your trip so you can enjoy it, too! Show the book to your child’s teacher as proof your kiddo was learning!

You CAN raise a global minded citizen and have fun doing it.

What is The Educational Tourist? Teacher

I hear a lot from people – “Yeah, but you’re a teacher.” like teaching is some mysterious thing that only certain people can do.

The truth is ALL parents are teachers.

Don’t believe me? Think about this!  Who taught your kid to use a spoon? Who taught your kids to use the potty? Who taught them to choose clothing that was appropriate for the weather? (Extra points if you can actually get them to wear the weather appropriate clothing though. Mine wear shorts in the winter!) Who teaches them to say I’m sorry, brush their teeth, use a seat belt, and to not throw cheerios at the dog?

You taught them all those things and you can teach them even more. I’ll show you how to teach them about philosophy, art, history, and culture while you have the family adventure of a lifetime. YOU are their greatest teacher and always will be. Show them your passions and what interests you in the world. There is nothing more valuable than giving the kids a peek into your soul.

What is The Educational Tourist? – Adventurer

My philosophy on travel is to experience cultures different than my own by being an engaged participant in the experience. Don’t just be a casual observer. Taking the kids along can show them how to serve as a part of the world around them. Teach them how we are all alike AND different and how interesting that is! Show they how they fit in.

The Educational Tourist and kids geared up for zip line, www.theeducationaltourist.com

Throw inhibition to the wind! Ride camelsswim with dolphins; charm snakes; if it appeals to you give it a try! Teach the kids to get out of their comfort zone by getting out of yours!

I have had lots of practice with this one. Dad had to work during the days on shore while we were on a Disney cruise. SO, that meant I (who is totally a rock in the water) had to go snorkeling….and I (who is truly a lover of things low to the ground) had to try zip lining from a very high spot…that had 7 – count them 7, spots to hurtle through the air.  I took a deep breath, told the kids I was scared but that stepping outside of your comfort zone was important and that if I could do things that made me nervous so could they. Raise brave explorers!!

The Educational Tourist in front of the gorge in Ronda, Spain, What is The Educational Tourist, www.theeducationaltourist.com

I believe that a traveler should not only take in the usual tourist spots such as museums, churches, and palaces, but also taste the local cuisine, say hello in the native language, and savor the rich and unique flavor of each destination. You can teach the kids about the far flung and exotic with a little preparation before hand. You’ve come to the right place for kid friend travel tips and information for multi generational travel!

Be respectful and visit the church of a different religion than you own. Watch artists create. Watch snake charmers charm. Get off the beaten path! Take the kids and don’t look back. The memories you make are priceless.

The Educational Tourist visiting the Alhambra in Granada, Spain, What is The Educational Tourist, www.theeducationaltourist.com

Join me on these adventures!

Happy travels,

Natalie, The Educational Tourist

The Educational Tourist logo, What is The Educational Tourist, www.theeducationaltourist.com

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29 Responses

  1. Kristi says:

    I always learn so much from you!

  2. Nicole Anderson says:

    I truly admire the vision you have to come up with this amazing concept that I’m sure every parent would simply love! Just brilliant and you have a fabulously appropriate knowledge base and background to pull this off. Its just such a great source of information and this site is something I will be letting quite a few of my friends know about.

    • NatalieTanner says:

      Thank you so much! We parents really need to work together to share our strengths. Raising kids is a tough job but the most wonderful and important, right? Thanks for sharing with your friends! I appreciate it.

  3. This is such a wonderful resource! As we consider planning for a family, I’ve been concerned about how it will affect our travel, and how beneficial it would be to the kids. I love that you put something together that is both educational and gets kids out into the world.

    • NatalieTanner says:

      You really CAN have it all! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂 You are at an exciting time – planning for your family. It will only be MORE fun.

  4. What an interesting concept. I don’t have any kids myself, so my trips are totally the way I want them to be, but for someone with kids this could be a great resource. I am sure travelling with kids can be a bit stressful and some tips could help 🙂

  5. rhiydwi says:

    My eyes ALWAYS glaze over when I’m on a guided tour of anywhere! You’re totally right – guides and guide books try and squeeze too much information in. I, and my fellow short attention spanned people and kids, want the basics. Such a great concept and idea you’ve got going!

    • NatalieTanner says:

      The honesty in your comment just cracks me up! LOL! Oh, we have ALL been there. Once, in the cathedral of Seville, I was discussing Christopher Columbus’ tomb with my kids (it is WAY cool) and I sensed there were 2 ladies behind us. Thinking we were in their way, I pulled my kids over closer. The next place we stopped to talk, there they were again so I scooted my kids closer to give them room. That is when my MIL, who was traveling with us, told me, “Natalie! They are listening in.” LOL! Thanks for the warm wishes. 🙂

  6. Rebecca says:

    This sounds brilliant. I don’t have kids but I remember going to museums as a kid and it was so hard for me to pay attention after a while but I think your method is so much more engaging.

    • NatalieTanner says:

      Thank you! I only remember one ‘historical’ visit for school when we went to NASA, which is the US space exploration center. It was a school field trip and I remember learning nothing!! While it was fun and all…it could have been SO much more educational as well. Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comment.

  7. Your passion for this perspective on life literally jumps right off the screen! I am quite excited to dig a little deeper, to see just what you mean about a different kind of guide (I am SOOO sick of the typical stuff that floods the internet!). Really looking forward to using some of your tools on our upcoming family travels!

    • NatalieTanner says:

      Thank you, how sweet! Yes, I am passionate about it for sure!! I just want everyone to be able to have the adventure of their dreams!! You CAN do it with the kids. It just strikes me as so sad when people either don’t take the kids or don’t take them to fantastic places they dream of. Welcome to the site! Let me know if you need more personalized info for your upcoming adventures!

      • Oh I would love that! Let’s email 😀 You can reach me at 8duffels2mutts@gmail.com. We will be taking our preschoolers to the rainforest(notthe Amazon) and cloudforest in Ecuador soon. Would love some ideas to teach along the way..we do carry a magnifying glass and hope to pick up binoculars soon!

  8. I love the concept of educational tourist. I am one of those firm believers that travel is one of the best teachers in life. The more you travel, the less ignorant you are of the world. It also makes you more sensitive to the different cultures and ways of life.

    • NatalieTanner says:

      We really need more of that in the world, don’t we? Always lovely to connect with like minded peeps! Thanks for stopping by!

  9. Riely says:

    Such an amazing concept to create a guide ideal for kids and to promote engaging them in learning while enjoying exploring an historical site. A great source of information for parents. Kids love to learn as long as they understand what is being presented. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Ha Truong says:

    This is such an interesting concept. I can see your passion with creating trips to educate your kids in learning and engaging with the history as well as the culture. Love this concept and will apply when I have kids 🙂

  11. Only By Land says:

    You put that well about paying for a guide and how it’s not interesting, then for the kids it’s twice as bad. Unless there’s a Buzz Lightyear involved my daughter won’t be interested! You have a wonderful concept and I now understand better past posts of yours I have read and I’m looking forward to future posts for ideas when I’m traveling with my daughter!

    • NatalieTanner says:

      Thank you so much for telling me this. I wasn’t sure about telling this about me…but interesting to know it gave you a better feel for other posts. I didn’t realize. Thanks for your opinion!!

  12. Suzanne says:

    Thank you for sharing your backstory. I am also happy you mentioned that all parents are teachers. Many people fail to realize that mommy and daddy are the first teachers you ever encounter in life. I agree with you that travel can be the best education kids can get. It’s hands-on, global and its impact remains indelible on the mind.

    • NatalieTanner says:

      Welcome! Thank you for saying that! I wasn’t sure…. 🙂 I feel especially passionate that parents teach everything!! So much more than they realize.

  13. leahshoup says:

    I love how you are able to mix all of your hands on experience with a love for traveling! I hope that one day, when I have children, that I can educate them in this way. For now, thanks for the amazing resource and keep up the good work!

  14. Joanna says:

    I love how you chose to raise your children and engage them in learning by having fun and by traveling. I actually think that this is the real education a child has to be given, real examples and real interactions with life, not just boring subjects in school. Practice made fun is the best way to get a child to understand and learn better.

    • NatalieTanner says:

      Thank you!! We agree completely. Thanks for sharing your opinion. It is always so great to meet like minded peeps!! 🙂

  15. I would like to be an educational tourist for my nephews. They are adventure-seekers already. I want to read and share my knowledge with them.

  1. June 1, 2017

    […] And take the KIDS! Get tips for taking them anywhere! […]

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