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Holidays where clients can learn a skill

Two men practising capoeira
Two men practising capoeira

As the latest research shows clients are becoming increasingly drawn to holidays where they can learn something, Abra Dunsby rounds up trips that allow travellers to acquire a new skill

Kuoni’s recent Worldwide Travel report has revealed that almost three out of four people agree that holidays are instrumental to lifelong learning, having been on at least one holiday where they had the opportunity to learn something new.


“We’re seeing a thirst for workshops, classes and excursions – not just from the family market but for adults of all ages who want to pursue their interests, or try something different in new surroundings,” explains Wendy Kenneally, Kuoni’s commercial and operations director.


From tea-plucking to pizza-making, we round up the holidays that allow clients to come back with a richer understanding of a destination’s culture, as well as another string to their bow.

Ploughing fields and cooking in Thailand

On a trip to Thailand, clients will visit the Elephant Care Centre in Chiang Mai, where they’ll be given an induction and training on elephant care, and make medicine balls from local Thai herbs. This is followed by a visit to a local family, who will teach them how to cook homemade Thai dishes before eating dinner together.


Near the small town of Sukhothai, clients can learn about agriculture on an organic rice farm, transplanting rice seedlings, harvesting and milling rice, and even ploughing the paddies with water buffalo.


Book it: The 11-night Thailand Explorer Tour costs £2,295pp including accommodation, flights, some meals and group transfers.

Capoeira and jungle skills in Brazil

Families on this holiday to all four corners of Brazil can learn the ancient martial art of capoeira in Brazil’s Salvador. Capoeira – a fusion of dance, acrobatics and music – dates back to the 16th century, and families will learn how to kick and spin, plus other techniques in the class. The trip also includes a two-night stay in an Amazon eco lodge, where families will meet with indigenous communities and learn jungle survival techniques. The day is followed by shing in the river and cooking the catch cover an open fire.


Book it: The 13-day Family Brazil Adventure Holiday costs from £4,360 per adult and £3,840 per child including B&B accommodation, flights and transport.

Sushi-making in Japan

Clients are increasingly visiting Japan for its food, so learning how to prepare sushi properly is a must for foodies. On a tour that ticks off Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Hiroshima, clients will also learn the art of sushi-making alongside a local chef in Tokyo. They’ll make three different types of this traditional delicacy and then enjoy their creations for lunch.


Book it: The 15-day Luxury Best of Japan tour starts from £8,895pp including accommodation and transfers.

Wood carving in Malawi

Acacia Africa’s South East Adventure safari trip takes in Tanzania, Zanzibar and Malawi and is suited to those who value travelling responsibly, as many of the locally owned resorts run programmes that bene t their communities.


One example is Chitimba Lodge, set on Lake Malawi’s shores, where clients can take part in activities taught by locals. The lodge works with the Mphetas School of Carving, where clients can attend a wood-carving workshop and make a bowl, key holder or animal carving to take home with them.


Book it: The 21-day trip is priced from £1,985pp with an Adventure Pass from £655pp including camping accommodation and most meals.

Limoncello and pizza in Italy

On Travel 2’s small group tour to Sorrento, clients will spend five nights on a working organic lemon farm, where they’ll learn how to make limoncello from the citrus fruit. There’s also a chef on hand to teach them how to make pizza, or to show them the ropes during an optional Italian cooking class.


Book it: The six-night Local Living Italy small group tour includes accommodation and flights, travelling September 15.

Navigation skills in England

On Ramblers Walking Holidays’ Navigation & Hill Skills break, clients will get to grips with interpreting maps and using a compass while wandering through the Cumbrian countryside, with the option to pick up their National Navigation Award Scheme (NNAS) Bronze or Silver certificate.


Book it: The three or four-night break starts from £290pp including accommodation, map tuition, equipment and assessment.

Tea-plucking in Sri Lanka

Clients can learn more about tea-making on Indus Experiences’ Sri Lankan Nature Trail itinerary. Guests will visit an organic tea field and are shown which leaves to pluck, before returning to the tea factory to learn how to dry, roll, ferment and sift the leaves under the chief tea taster’s instruction. Guests will also receive a souvenir packet of their own tea to take home with them.


Book it: The 16-day trip costs from £2,670pp including accommodation and flights.

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