Virtual learning has gone from an occasional perk for kids to an absolute necessity. It has provided at least a few upsides for all the complications it has caused, including newly coined “schoolcations.”
Not only did families extend their summer vacations, knowing that there wasn’t a need to rush back for the start of the school year, they’re now also visiting places they wouldn’t otherwise be able to see due to school schedules. Families are exploring the country without fighting the crowds around holidays or taking their kids out of school. Instead, schoolcations give kids the opportunity to visit museums, monuments, parks, or even just enjoy the pool after a long day of class.
Hotels, which have been struggling to keep occupancy rates up, are more than happy to assist. Many of them have created special packages for schoolcations. These often include supervised study areas, free Wi-Fi and school supplies, and additional hands-on programming. At a minimum, it’s a nice change of scenery. At it’s best, it’s a unique way to enrich kids’ lives in an otherwise challenging environment.
Kimpton Tryon Park & Kimpton Cardinal Hotels – Charlotte, Winston-Salem
Kimpton has added a Chief Virtual Learning Officer (CVLO) to select hotels. This specialty concierge is available to every family staying at the hotel and can help set up their virtual learning sessions in the hotel. Special perks are also available, including complimentary Wi-Fi access and document printing, a mid-day “Snack Pack” for kids, school supplies, and kids desks or booster seats (offers vary by hotel).
You can also opt for the full CVLO package when booking that includes late checkout, a bagged lunch for kids, the opportunity to purchase a second room during school hours (8am-3pm) at a special day rate, and even a welcome cocktail or bottle of wine for the parents. See additional details.
Montage Palmetto Bluff – Bluffton, SC
The newly launched Montage Academy at the Montage Palmetto Bluff is more than just Wi-Fi and a desk. The hotel offers a monitored study hall during the week, complete with a learning concierge to assist kids, but the hotel has taken things a step further to provide hands-on experiences.
In the afternoon, kids can participate in a range of daily electives, including arts & crafts, science with the Palmetto Bluff Conservancy, culinary adventures with our esteemed culinary team, physical education and sports, plus geocaching and scavenger hunts to explore the Bluff. See additional details.
Ritz-Carlton Reynolds at Lake Oconee – Greensboro, GA
The Ritz Study Buddy program is customizable. A dedicated counselor will connect before you arrive to learn about schedules and to build a personal syllabus and then continues to provide mentorship and assistance throughout your stay. The program also offers additional experiences outside the “classroom,” such as nature walks, educational scavenger hunts, harvesting in the chef’s garden, and even fishing.
Additionally, a hub for recreation will feature arcade and lawn games, as well as age-appropriate arts and crafts. Kids also will receive a personalized tackle box upon arrival with a variety of school supplies, molding clay, cards, and more, based on age level. See additional details.
Four Seasons Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort – Orlando, FL
A magical vacation doesn’t have to mean falling behind at school. The Four Seasons is offering supervised schoolwork sessions in small-group classroom settings for either half or full days. The package includes a personal and socially-distanced desk and Wi-Fi for each student in a large, airy room with a wall of windows for plenty of natural light.
For who’s kids need a full day (9am – 3pm), lunch is ordered from a special menu and delivered to them. The afternoon also features the option for enrichment sessions, including arts and crafts and physical education. See additional details.
Omni Amelia Island Resort – Amelia Island, FL
Bring your school-aged children to study at Camp Amelia, a quiet and private environment where they can learn virtually. Each learning station is set up for to two students (must be traveling together) and are equipped with school supplies, hand sanitizers and snacks. High speed Wi-Fi is also available at no additional cost.
This is an unsupervised space, so an adult must be present with kids. It beats sitting in your room, though! When it’s time to get out of the classroom, take advantage of the Field Trip Passport, which is packed with educational activities led by naturalists at Omni Amelia Island Resort. See additional details.
If you’re looking to take advantage of the upsides to virtual learning, talk to a AAA agent about different destinations for a schoolcation. They can help you book your stay and offer advice on opportunities to maximize your stay with museums and other educational activities!