8 Steps to Planning a Summer Immersion Trip

I am a planner who likes to let things unfold naturally. But I firmly believe that you can't wait around for miracles. It's February, which means that I'm dreaming of how best to spend my next vacation time with kids. Should we enforce Spanish? Learn French? or visit friends across the oceans?

1.    What is your main goal?

a.    language

b.    location

c.     other activity

2.    What is your budget? (I strongly believe that you can do this on ANY budget. Quick tips to cut costs: stay with a host family, rent out your home while you are away to offset costs, eat from the grocery store when travelling)

3.    Where do you want to go?

4.    Where will you stay?

a.    Short-term furnished rental (www.vrbo.com, airbnb.com, homeaway.com)

b.    Home stay with other family

c.     Hotel

5.    How will you spend your days?

a.    Language classes: best for kids if they have NO language experience, or for adults, otherwise go to option b:

b.    Camps of interest

c.     roaming & lurking

6.    Who will be going with you?

a.    whole family

b.    family less one parent

c.     friends

d.    extended family

7.    Will you need and how will you transport your family around?

a.    walking

b.    public transportation

c.     car

d.    taxi or other car service

8.    How will you stay in contact with home? And how will you communicate with locals?

a.    phone

b.    internet service: skype

c.     apps: Whats app

Points to consider:

1)  I believe the best touch points for immersive learning come from peer groups, so be sure to surround yourself and your children with like-minded local souls.

2)  Sometimes travelling in groups from home may hinder your social flexibility with locals (it’s a lot easier to invite 4 to lunch, then to invite 8 or 10).

3)  When you are considering how to spend your days, take note of how comfortable your children are with the target language. Once they have enough tools to communicate on any level, I highly recommend skipping the ‘academic language center’ and immersing them with children of the same age interested in the same activities: art, soccer, surfing, gymnastics. They will have a natural connection with the other children and become all the more motivated to understand and communicate fluently.

Personally, we spend a lot of time in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. There are tons of language schools and summer camps for children, art classes for adults, etc., etc. When choosing your destination, definitely consider the off-time activities that you will enjoy. Please share any other suggestions that you have…. We can all use the tips!

Other destination suggestions:

·      Antigua, Guatemala

·      Madrid, Spain

·      Merida, Mexico

·      Paris, France

Book it! Do it! I can't explain the untold amount of benefits and riches that will flow to you and your family - honestly, grab that Golden Ticket. It's been waiting for you.

#onelife, #familyimmersion, #globaltravel