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11/01/2013 07:38 am ET Updated Nov 01, 2013

Teens Who Took Educational Trips Get Better Grades, Have Higher Incomes Than Those Who Didn't

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Did traveling while young make you smarter? Could traveling as a teen have made you… richer?

A recent study from The Wagner Group found that adults who took educational trips between the ages of 12 and 18 had both better grades and higher incomes (of about $5,000 more per year) than those who didn’t travel.

What’s more, 57% of adults who took educational trips in their youth later attained a college degree, while only 33% of non-travelers got a degree.

We can’t say for certain that educational trips cause better academic performance or higher salaries, because it’s possible that kids who had the motivation or means to travel just also had the motivation and means to get a degree.

But the survey’s respondents do think that taking educational trips -- defined as “trips taken with school or family that incorporated learning activities” -- made them more interested in learning and influenced their career choice. And that's enough to make educational trips seem pretty darn powerful.

Some of the survey’s more encouraging finds:

  • 89% of survey respondents said educational travel had a “positive impact” on their education and/or career.
  • 86% said travel made them more intellectually curious.
  • 80% said travel made them more interested in what they learned at school.
  • 59% said travel helped them get better grades.
  • 52% said travel influenced their career choice.
  • 34% said travel made them a better person.
  • 90% said their trips were educational, fun, engaging and/or inspiring.

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