Here are some ways that we have made the most from our learning.
1. Learning before the trip - Learning before the trip can be a detailed as a unit study or as simple as reading a book based on that location. In 2010 we took a big family trip to China. So before our trip we spent some time studying China. I remember reading Little Pear to J and then the fun that he had eating a tang hulu just like Little Pear enjoyed.
I am glad that we took some time to study a bit about ancient Rome before our trip this summer. Miss K was able to recognise a "water duck". Of course, it took us a bit of time to realise that it was an aqueduct that she saw.
So read a book, do a unit study, watch some videos, look at maps be ready to learn while you travel.
Sometimes learning just doesn't happen before a trip. It could be that there isn't much information about the destination or there just isn't much time. Don't worry learning can still happen. Sometimes you have no idea what you will find on the outing until you are there. I had no idea that we would see the house that inspired Jane Erye when we went on our walk the other week.
2. Learning during the trip - Tour guides can help you learning through my son really doesn't like joining Chinese tour groups and I don't blame him that much. We have used tour guides at other times and that has been helpful in learning about what we are seeing. We took a free walking tour of York and learned so much about the city so not all tours have to cost money.
Take lots of photos. We took over 2,000 photos while we were in Italy. I have deleted the blurry ones as well as redundant.
Take about what you are seeing. We talked about tides as we were at Lindisfarne. If you have questions, look up information or ask a local.
Buy a book as a souvenir. We received a free book at Lindisfarne when we were.
3. Learning after the trip - I have found that often the trip can pique our curiosity and so we go home and learn a bit more. We have read books when we returned. After Florence and Rome, I read Michelanglo by Diane Stanley. That was a simple book to read but helped to fill in so many bit of knowledge.
Organise your photos so you can pull them out when you study a place later. As we have studied Justinian, I pulled photos from our time in Istanbul for reference.
Not everything has to involve long travel times. We have learned from things locally as well.
A day at Valley Forge
I realise that we are blessed in being able to travel. I know that not everyone is able to do so. I trust that you find ways to learn in the area where you live.