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More Travelers Carve Out Time for Classes on Vacation

Meghan CoyleMarch 1, 2019

Some travelers are taking home new skills, including surfing, making pottery and even gladiator fighting, a new report from TripAdvisor says.

According to TripAdvisor’s 2019 Experiences Trends Report, classes and workshops are some of the fastest growing categories of travel experiences, especially among U.S. travelers.

The most popular destinations for these classes are abroad. Kyoto, Japan, and Venice, Italy, experienced more than 200% growth in classes and workshops booked on TripAdvisor.

The world’s most booked classes and workshops are actually quite affordable, as well, coming in at $65 or less. Prices can vary seasonally, though.

Find out which of these top five TripAdvisor Experiences are in the budget for your next trip:

1. Gladiator school in Rome, Italy

This class is a great opportunity for your kids to put on a helmet, pick up a sword and try being a gladiator for a day. The two-hour class is taught by gladiator reenactors, not far from the Colosseum. Kids will get a costume and learn the basics of sword fighting before participating in an optional tournament. The $63 class fee covers admission to the Gladiator School of Rome Museum.

2. Surf school in Maui, Hawaii

Adults and kids can learn to catch a few waves in this two-hour surf lesson in Lahaina Harbor. The rash shirt, which will save your skin from sunburn when you’re out in the water, is included in the $52 class. You’ll also get a surfboard, booties and probably a little boost into the waves from your instructor.

3. Carnival mask-making class in Venice, Italy

Take a class on traditional mask making from a master artisan in Venice. You can choose from a production class or a decoration class. In the production class, you’ll learn to make your own papier-mâché mask. The decoration class will provide the masks, and you can paint it to make it your own. You’ll not only learn a skill, but take home a souvenir, too, and all for $63 a class.

4. Samurai school in Kyoto, Japan

This family-friendly class introduces kids and adults alike to the history and art of the samurai way of life. The one-hour class costs just under $65. Participants will be able to wear a traditional uniform and learn sword technique and the discipline of Kembu, a samurai performing art that’s been perfected over many hundreds of years.

5. Pottery class in Siem Reap, Cambodia

If you’ve always wanted to try pottery, this class is an affordable way to do it. A local artist will teach you to use Khmer carving tools to make Cambodian ceramics and mold a bowl on the pottery wheel. The $25 workshop is two hours long and includes transportation from the city center to the studio. Your creation will be fired in the kiln overnight and ready to take home with you the next day.

Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice: