5 'smart' getaways
The best vacation souvenir isn't a trinket or a T-shirt but a skill you can use for life.
(MONEY Magazine) -- After his second day working on a dig in rural Thailand, Roger Prior was sore, dirty, hungry - and giddy.
"Most of my friends in Kalamazoo think I'm crazy," says Prior, a retired math teacher, who spent his vacation on an archaeological site. "But the excitement of digging up these artifacts far outweighs any desire I have to be on the beach."
It's not so crazy: Behavioral research suggests we're happiest when we're learning new skills or challenging old ones.
And while learning vacations have been around for decades, there are now higher-quality choices, and more of them. In 2000 the Culinary Institute of America offered 70 classes; last year there were more than 300.
"We're creating new courses twice a year," says CIA marketing director Sue Cussen. "People are pushing us for the next new thing."
These days, if you can dream it, you can learn it.