Full-time traveling families were pretty unusual not all that long ago. However, as more and more people are able to work remotely, we are seeing the number of families on the road skyrocket. The newfound ability to work from anywhere has given even very young families a kind of freedom that parents of the previous generation could only dream of. Why wouldn’t they take advantage of this and see the world?
Of course, traveling full-time with kids does present a unique set of challenges. The number one roadblock parents must address is the education of their young travelers. The answer? Roadschooling: homeschooling on the road.
Popular Roadschool Destinations for Fulltime RV Families
Roadschooling is homeschooling. But it’s a bit different than traditional homeschooling. Sure, kids still need to be learning new things, and most families do choose to do some sort of traditional work. However, they also get to supplement those workbooks and textbooks with unique educational experiences.
Want to try some roadschooling of your own? The cities, sights, and attractions listed below are some of the very best places to learn something new during your roadschooling adventures.
Fantastic Roadschooling Cities
These roadschooling cities have a whole slew of awesome educational sights to see and attractions to visit, making them ideal roadschool destinations. You could make a visit to any of these places last quite some time, filling a series of school days with fun adventures.
Washington, D.C. is absolutely perfect for road schoolers. Not only is the place home to some amazing lessons in government and American history, you’ll also find the Smithsonian museums here. These are easily some of the best museums in the country, and since they’re all admission-free, you can check them out even if you’re on a tight budget.
New York City, NY
New York City is one of those places everyone should see at least once. Here you can find a variety of cultures and places, and ways to learn about these cultures In your day-to-day life. Additionally, you’ll find some top-notch museums and, when the shows reopen, the wonders of the Broadway stage. Of course, the life lessons learned in this bustling city are equally significant.
Chicago and Springfield, IL
Chicago is another big city that must not be missed for many of the same reasons one ought to see NYC. The Museum Campus is home to the Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium, and the Field Museum, among others. Meanwhile, the Museum of Science and Industry entertains and educates people of all ages.
Not far from the hustle and bustle of Chicago, you’ll find Springfield, IL. This is another awesome roadschooling destination, but for entirely different reasons. Springfield was once the home of President Abraham Lincoln. Here you’ll find his Presidential Library and Museum as well as the Lincoln Home NPS site. If you’re studying President Lincoln or the Civil War, this is an excellent place to add to your itinerary.
Philadelphia and Lancaster County, PA
Yet another large city, Philadelphia is the perfect place to visit if you’re learning about the birth of our nation. It is one of the oldest cities in America, was the location of many significant events in American history, and is where you’ll find such historical sites as the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and more. Other things worth seeing in Philadelphia include The Franklin Institute and Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Once you finish exploring Philly, be sure to head over to Lancaster County for the slower pace and entirely different learning experiences found there. This is Amish country, and affords visitors the opportunity to learn about this different way of life. Additionally, Lancaster County offers numerous factory tours, giving your student(s) a fun way to learn about how things are actually made.
Boston and Plymouth, MA
Boston is another city that is brimming with amazing American history and one of the most perfect roadschool destinations. Perhaps the most well known historical event to happen here was the Boston Tea Party, an event you can learn all about in an immersive experience at the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum. Many other wonderful history lessons and attractions can be found along the city’s Freedom Trail.
While in the Boston area, be sure to make your way to Plymouth as well. This is where you can see Plymouth Rock as well as the fantastic Pilgrim Hall Museum. That said, the best attraction in Plymouth is definitely Plimoth Plantation, a living history museum that takes you back to the time of the Pilgrims.
More Awesome Roadschooling Destinations and Attractions
Some awesome road trip itineraries cover multiple cities. Meanwhile, there are some single attractions that we consider destinations in and of themselves, even with the city or town that houses the attraction having little else to offer.
These are the sites and attractions we think are perfect roadschool destinations.
Little House Sites
If you’re looking for an awesome unit study to go hand in hand with your travels, I highly recommend reading the Little House book series by Laura Ingalls Wilder while visiting the many places her family lived.
These can be found in:
- Pepin, WI
- Independence, KS
- Walnut Grove, MN
- De Smet, SD
- Burr Oak, IA
- Mansfield, MO
Of these, the De Smet location is definitely a favorite. Be sure to camp at the Ingalls Homestead and take part in the hands-on activities offered there, including daily chores, horseback riding, driving a covered wagon, and more.
Even Walt Disney World Has Roadschool Destinations
Yes, you did read that right. Walt Disney World is incredibly fun, of course, but it’s also an excellent educational attraction:
- Epcot offers tons of excellent science and world culture lessons.
- History and classic fairytales can be picked up in parts of Magic Kingdom.
- Animal Kingdom is the ideal place to learn about animals, habitats, and ecosystems.
- Hollywood Studios offers some history lessons of its own, particularly the early years of big-screen entertainment.
To supplement your visit to Disney World, consider reading a Walt Disney biography and some of the older fairytales before visiting. Reading up on early American history, specific animals found in Animal Kingdom park, the history of communication, and/or world cultures may also be productive.
The Civil Rights Trail
If you have older children, traveling along the Civil Rights Trail is an educational experience they won’t soon forget. This trail includes locations in Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, D.C., Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia, and all are awesome roadschool destinations.
While all of the sites are well worth seeing, some of the most memorable include:
- Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL
- National Museum of African American Culture, Martin Luther King Jr, Civil Right Memorial, and Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
- Freedom Rides Museum in Montgomery, AL
- International Civil Rights Center and Museum in Greensboro, NC
- Martin Luther King Jr Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta, GA
- Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
- National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, TN
- National Voting Rights Museum in Selma, AL
The Historic Triangle
One of the absolute best places to immerse yourself in history is the Historic Triangle in Virginia. This includes Jamestown, Yorktown, and Williamsburg, and is a history lover’s dream come true.
Here you’ll find the Colonial Williamsburg living history museum. This place transports you to the colonial era and gives you a taste of what day-to-day life might have been like for those living during this time.
Additionally, you can check out the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown and the Yorktown Battlefield NPS site. The museum is absolutely amazing and gives visitors the chance to learn about the American Revolution through fun, engaging, and sometimes even hands-on and immersive exhibits. Meanwhile, the NPS site presents a living history experience and tour that is simply amazing.
Finally, there is Historic Jamestowne and Jamestown Settlement. Historic Jamestowne is the site of the original Jamestown and still houses some ruins from the settlement. Incredibly interesting talks are given and are highly recommended. Jamestown Settlement features a fantastic set of exhibits about the colonists who created Jamestown. Additionally, the museum offers a fun living history experience that includes a fort, a town, and some super cool old-style ships.
National parks will always be some of the very best places to learn about our country, making them amazing roadschool destinations. Whether you’re seeking a lesson in geology, ecosystems, history, or culture, there is an NPS site for you. These parks are often awe-inspiring and usually encourage outdoor recreation. Additionally, park rangers are engaging and happy to chat with curious young students.
Best of all, each and every NPS site offers a Junior Ranger program which allows young visitors to do a certain set of activities in exchange for a super cool badge. Many roadschooled kids collect these badges and display them on vests, hats, or banners hung by their beds.
These are some of our favorite roadschool destinations for RV travel with kids. But they are far from the only places to learn while exploring. Other fantastic learning opportunities can be found in nearly every city and town across the country. Keep your eyes out for attractions such as historical home tours (we particularly loved Monticello) and Presidential Library and Museum sites. Plan trips to zoos and science museums, or make a point of visiting sites mentioned in a book you’re reading.
Whatever roadschool destinations you choose, make it fun and engaging and your kids are sure to learn something new!