Studying While Traveling: When Grades Can’t Wait

Many of you will be lucky enough to go traveling this summer (READ: “Brain Games for the Summer“) but how will you be able to get in that studying while on trains, planes and automobiles? Traveling may expand your mind, but it can also make you rusty in subjects such as math and science (Want to catch up on math this summer? Use one of our in-home Irvine math tutors).

orange-county-private-tutorOf course, it is generally preferable to sit down and have a couple of uninterrupted hours of study but that is not always possible. Let’s take a look at a few tips to squeeze in some valuable study time even if there are lots of distractions.

1. Long plane ride, good study opportunity

If you’re lucky enough to go abroad this summer (READ: “Why You Should Study Abroad“), use that 10+ hour flight to hit the books. Let’s be honest, nothing fun was going to happen on that flight anyway so use the time to crack open that SAT prep book or go over your flashcards that your tutor gave you. Enjoy the mini glass of soda and overly salted pretzels and then settle in to academics while your siblings are watching movies. Once you get to your exciting destination, feel relieved that you are 10 hours closer to being totally done with summer study. You can also squeeze in another 10+ hours on that return trip home.

2. Crazy long car trip

Anyone remember hearing or saying “are we there yet”? I know I sure do. Of course, today’s never-ending car trips are made better with the invention of the iPhone and countless other portable electronic entertainment systems (REAd: “6 Iphone Apps for Brainy Types“). Why not put those down for the journey ahead and download the textbook that you need for your summer school or test prep study? Today’s students need not lug around bulky and heavy text books so there is no excuse not to spend at least part of that trip working on academics. Is the I-5 freeway really that interesting that you would rather stare at it for a few hours as opposed to getting some valuable study in? All you need is 25 minutes to complete 1 SAT practice section.


3. Hotel TV/Study time

Spending some time in a crammed hotel room with the whole family? Notice that the hotel TV doesn’t have all of your favorite shows recorded? Did your little sister steal the mini iPad so you can’t download your favorite shows? Take it as a good thing. Take a break from all this family time and sit in the hotel lobby with a cup of tea or a soda and spend an hour with your school books. Did you really want to spend all that time with your brothers and sisters? One hour each night can take you really far during that summer travel.

4. Pace yourself

You should still be able to enjoy your summer vacation and you have earned some time off but think about setting aside a reasonable amount of time each weekday, I recommend 30-90 minutes, then skip the weekends and just have fun.

5. Learn to love skype

Most people prefer to talk to their private tutor in person, but if you’re traveling most of the summer, why not spend a few hours on Skype with your private Orange County academic tutor? Many tutors are willing to tutor remotely if face to face tutoring is not a possibility for the student. Save yourself some time by going over your assignments ahead of time and have a list of questions prepared for your session.

6. Reading is portable

Have you convinced yourself that you simply can’t concentrate on academics while all the travel excitement is going on? There is no excuse not to read. Reading is a great pastime and can be done anywhere. eBooks, real books, it doesn’t matter how you read but simply that you read. You don’t have to read all the Great Books, (although that would be nice) even leisure reading is a helpful study tool because you can learn about words and phrases in context. Think SAT vocabulary. Pick out a few books that you think would be fun to read while you are on vacation. They can be about 17th century royals or post apocalyptic zombies, as long as you’re reading, you’re doing your brain a favor.

7. Learn about where you are

Learning doesn’t always have to come in the form of a text book. If you are traveling to another city, learn about its history and how it relates to American history, geography or geology. If you are traveling abroad, do everything you can to learn about the new culture. Eat the local food, go to a few museums, or look at the local scenery. Immersing yourself in another culture or language (Our foreign Language tutors can help) can certainly broaden your horizons when it comes to education in general.

Regardless of where you are going this summer or how long you’re gone, it never hurts to get in a little study time here and there. Whether you are doing an entire SAT practice test on a trans-Atlantic flight or squeezing in 30 minutes of review in the hotel lobby while the rest of the family is crammed into a room on the 5th floor, each hour will get you closer to your summer time academic goals.

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