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Tips for Vacationing During the School Year

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What’s not to love about travel accommodations at deeply discounted prices? What about quieter travel periods and less-crowded destinations? For families like mine, this is very attractive, but it most likely means traveling during off-peak times, i.e. during the school year. If you are considering travel during this time, here are a few tips for vacationing during the school year.

Age matters

If you have an infant, toddler or preschooler, your child is at the optimal age for vacationing during the school year. This is what I call the JACKPOT stage because it also means you don’t have to pay for an airline ticket for your little bundle until your child is two years old.

In some instances, even if you have a kindergartener, it’s still a great time to travel. At this young age, there will be little detriment if for a student to miss the teacher’s lecture. So, when they are this age, this is the perfect time to take advantage of the deals, discounts and smaller crowds that you can’t find during a regular school break.

Check with your child

Sounds crazy, I know. Checking with your child does not mean that your child calls the shots. What kid wouldn’t want to take off a few days to enjoy an awesome vacation? Well, kids know their class schedules, and if there is a special assignment due or a class project that just cannot be missed, then there’s a possibility that your child will not want to take off. Again, school year travel is age dependent. Just plan ahead and discuss the best time with your children, especially the older ones.

Know the rules

Does your school have an excused/unexcused absence policy? Often schools make these decisions as they occur, on a case by case basis. Some schools have no nonsense attendance policy and basically, forbid it. I’ve had the pleasure, in the past, of my kids being allowed up to five days of missed school for travel purposes, but that’s not always the case. There are also excused absences for “education days.” As long as the child is doing something educational while they are away, they are excused. Familiarize yourself with your school’s rules, so that there are no repercussions and a good time is had by all!

How’s school going?

This is not just a random question you ask your children when they get home from school. This is a legitimate question that you need to ask yourself before you take them out of school for a few days. If your child is already struggling with certain classes and grades are low, taking them out can make matters worse. However, if your child is excelling in his or her classes and quick to catch up, then it may be okay to consider taking time off to travel. Even the smartest and brightest kids can fall a little behind, if they miss enough days.

Make it quick

If you decide that taking a vacation during the school year is for you and your family, keep in mind the length of time you’ll be away and ideally make it a rather short stay for obvious reasons. Again, take all of the above into consideration and use your best judgement. Jet lag is also something to consider. As adults, we find it hard to assimilate after long flights. So, naturally, kids do, too.

No matter the time of year, travel is always an opportunity for education and exploration. Whatever your plans, just have fun!

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Our Hilton Mom Voyage team members live throughout the U.S. and have traveled by air and car all over the world with their families!

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