September 19, 2008

Go to School on Vacation

By Judy Babcock Wylie

Anyone who is considering a learning vacation this summer, but is not sure where to look, can go to the article "Top Six USA Learning Vacations," on's continuing-education section: http://

It describes what it considers the best six options, such as the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center where you can study the Pueblo Indians in the Mesa Verde region of Colorado. The one-week programs are open to students over age 12. Another is a three-day family adventure trip offered by Yosemite Outdoor Adventures. Closer to home is the Indiana University Mini-University set of classes. Each runs for a week, in which students can attend up to 15 different lectures. For more information and links to sign up for any of these learning vacations, go to the site above.

If you want to save money and also love train travel, go to the Amtrak site,, and click on the Hot Deals button. It includes many ways to save on train tickets, including: weekly specials you can browse, advertised specials, regional tour packages, an Amtrak/MasterCard sweepstakes offer, passenger discounts, rail passes, multi-ride tickets and Amtrak Vacations.

If you need ideas on where to go, head for the main site,, and click on "cities" to show departure options.

A good way to keep up with airline news is to keep an eye on the USA Today blog on airlines: It was one of the first sources to have all the information on the ATA shutdown, and routinely follows which airlines have joined which alliances, which are close to going bankrupt, which airlines' flights have been halted due to poor maintenance routines, and other juicy business news related to airlines and your safety.,, has an interesting article on preventing crime while on a cruise. It includes warnings of how to set up rules for children before you board, how to search your cabin on entering, how to safeguard your key, cautions on dealing with intoxicated passengers and tips on defending your family from unscrupulous crew members. It's sobering, because we usually feel safe onboard a cruise ship and may let our guard down.

In print

"The Back Door Guide to Short-Term Job Adventures: Internships, Summer Jobs, Seasonal Work, Volunteer Vacations, and Transitions Abroad," fourth edition, is written by Michael Landes and published by Ten Speed Press at $21.95. It is just the thing for the recent graduate who wants a little "time out" to explore the world before going on to the next level of education or entering the job world.

It offers more than 1,000 options for work, volunteer involvement, learning vacations and exploration adventures all over the world, from picking crops in France to river guiding in Alaska. Each option listed includes a Web site to explore, steps to get involved, what you'd actually be doing, and also gives details on how, when and where to get more information.

(c) 2008 Daily Herald; Arlington Heights, Ill.. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.