I have not traveled tons outside of our country, but I have traveled enough to know that you can learn a lot more about another culture when you actually allow yourself to be immersed in it, ideally academically and physically. If it is financially a possibility, traveling with your children is a huge plus in their learning. There are more and more options available in the way of doing this. You can stay at conventional hotels, timeshares, and all sorts of varieties of these. I found a neat looking condo style hotel in Panama - Hotel Casco Antiguo - that might offer a chance to really get to know another country and its culture.
You can Register for an eBrochure Here to get more information about it for yourself. It looks like a really interesting location, and in this day of uncertain investments, a second home that you can physically touch is a nice concrete investment, I would think. Our family is not quite in the place to do this right now, but if you have done something like this yourself, share. I'd like to know how it worked out for you!