Travel Tactics: 5 Tips for Parents Traveling with Kids During the School Year
For many families, summer break is the ideal time for a vacation. However, this time of year isn’t always suitable. Whether it’s a parent’s work schedule or seasonal factors, you may wish to book a family getaway during the school year. Doing so requires strategic pre-planning and cooperation with your child’s school. However, it can be done, especially if you keep the following tips in mind.
As a parent of a school-aged child, it’s your job to ensure your child meets the attendance requirements of the school district. This means knowing the school’s policy on attendance, looking at the school calendar to coordinate your trip(s) with scheduled breaks, and making sure everyone is on the same page well in advance.
If your child will miss multiple days, take their classwork with you. This will give them something to do during airport waits and unoccupied moments. The best online tutoring websites can also be a brilliant secret weapon, ensuring your child stays up-to-date (or lightyears ahead).
Work Closely with Teachers
Some teachers encourage learning outside the classroom, while others do not. Of course, both sides have good arguments for their views, but if your travel plans consistently clash with school policy, consider moving your child to another school district or homeschooling them.
For your child to succeed, their teacher must support your choice to travel during the school year. If you have no choice about it, be the type of parent that enforces good study habits and honors deadlines, not the one that allows their child to turn in half-completed assignments long after the due date.
Be Respectful of Your Child’s Wishes
While most children would be excited about missing school for a family vacation, there may be times when your child doesn’t want to leave their friends or miss class. Take these situations into account, and do your best not to schedule travel during those days. It might be a pain to work around your child’s schedule, but ensuring they can maintain strong friendships and enjoy their favorite activities will be worth it.
If traveling during the school year is something your family regularly does, it’s a good idea to let your child’s teacher know well in advance of any planned trips. For example, during fall conferences, you could broach the subject with teachers, letting them know when you’ve scheduled family vacations throughout the upcoming year. Then, as the planned trip(s) draw near, remind the teachers to avoid catching them off-guard when the time comes.
Find an Educational Element to the Trip
Every trip has something to teach if you and your child are paying attention. So do your best to find age-appropriate and educational moments for your child as you travel. Whether you’re learning about a different culture, visiting a museum, or something else, make the trip educational and fun.
Traveling during the school year can be challenging for the student if not planned ahead of time. With that said, when a child gets the chance to travel around the country or the world, they gain knowledge and understanding about people and things they’d otherwise never encounter. That is a tremendous advantage many kids don’t get, so travel with your kids when you can. Just be sure to work closely with their school and teachers if you plan to travel during the school year.