Geography and Math Lesson

Posted by: 

It is a well-known fact that kids love to use their imagination.  What if you asked your students to become travel agents for the day, creating a 2-week trip within a certain budget?  I can tell you--your students will cheer!  This is math at its most fun and imaginative!  

This exciting, authentic math Lesson will give students a taste for travel!  Students will also have lots of practice with budgeting, as well as addition, multiplication, division, and finding a percentage of the total sum.   Throughout the math practice, students will get to explore the United States, choosing fun places for their client, Ida Love Ajourney, to vacation!  Yes, that's right!  Your students will assume the role of Travel Agent by planning a 2-week vacation for their client who wants to explore the continental USA by car!  With at least 4-stops, and 1 beach visit, and a budget of $4,500 (or whatever the teacher chooses) your students' client will be happy to pay them 15% of the total cost of the trip!  With free worksheet PDF calculation forms, space to draw a map and plan, and questions designed to help kids think the vacation through, students will utilize the site to complete Ida Love Ajourney's requests.    

The Objective:  As travel agents, students will plan a two week trip, with at least 4 stops to notable destinations.  Students will calculate specific travel expenses, miles driven, and will become geographically familiar with a portion of the United States by creating a map of the trip and all stopping points.   You can access the rest of the lesson plan, here.   What I like best about this lesson, is that all students have a "problem" to solve and can choose to attack this problem in whatever order, or in whatever way that gets the job done!  It promotes higher level thinking, and is just so very authentic--it's real life math!  

Meet Ida:  

First, students receive the following Travel Agency Math Lesson Inquiry Letter from THE MRS. IDA LOVE AJOURNEY herself!  They will create their very own travel agency name and choose a destination (note: this can be a general choice, such as The Northwest, or the East Coast).  You will want to help your students come up with a budget, or come up with a budget for them.  I had my students use a budget of $4,500.00.  

Then, students use the following sheets to plan their trip, answering the questions to help them create a complete vacation for Mrs. Ida Love Ajourney:

​When all the planning is finished, students will turn in the above worksheets for the teacher's approval.  They will then create a final map draft that illustrates the journey.  It will include all the information Mrs. Ida Love Ajourney will need for a successful trip.  

To finish their project, students write a letter to Ida Love Ajourney, with all her trip details included:

Best yet, students will find out how much their travel agency was paid to create this journey for Ida!  :)  You may also want your students to give a brief presentation of their trip.  Don't forget to access the complete PDF Free Lesson Plan and share with your teacher friends! is a wonderful resource for both consumers, educators, and students and will give students an authentic experience planning for travel.   If you haven't visited yet, create another tab right now and GO!  It is a wealth of information and excitement all in the push of buttons.  I tell you, if you don't have the travel bug, yet, you will once you start planning a trip...even if it is for the purpose of a math class and not for real travel at all! 

NOTE: In this lesson students will utilize the website, as well as car and hotel rental sites.  Students will need access to the internet and be briefed on proper internet supervision and usage guidelines.