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The Case for Ditching School to Travel

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Some days it feels like all you do is drive the kids to and from school, soccer practice, after school art classes and music lessons. You can barely get dinner on the table some nights. Travel seems like a great idea. But do you really want to deal with the crowds that come along with school breaks? Disney is packed, the beaches fill up and the ski lift lines feel like they are a mile long. There has to be a better way.

There is.

Pull your kids out of school.

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You heard me, ditch school. Ditch art class, ditch soccer practice, ditch music lessons. Travel is an important part of every family’s life. School is important too, but sometimes the best education you can give your kids is to show them the world.

I’m not telling you to homeschool your kids and take a year off to wander the globe (Although if you want to do that, by all means do it! It is a dream of mine, just not a realistic possibility right now.) What I am telling you to do is to prioritize your family travel time together and figure out how to travel on the off-season so you can avoid the crowds and travel on a smaller budget. Here's how:

Pull your kids out of school

Many schools make it difficult to pull your kids out of school for an extended period of time. Talk to the principal. Talk to your children’s teachers. The more educational sounding your trip is the better. You aren’t just going to Europe. No, you are going to explore ancient Roman history in Rome. You are going to walk the path of great literary novelists of England. You are going to wander the remains of the Berlin Wall.

Look at what your children are learning in school. Can you plan a trip around their studies? Educators may be more willing to make an exception if you have to pull your children out so you can road trip through the original 13 U.S. colonies to see American history at its source for a week than if you just want to sit by a pool on a cruise of the Caribbean.

Making the most out of holidays

Even with a great plan presented to your child’s school, you may get a big fat "no." Some school districts are just like that. You should not give up hope on off-season travel though. Look for more obscure travel holidays like President’s Day and MLK day. Pull the kids out of school on a Friday and come back on Tuesday so they don’t miss as much. If you want to travel over spring break, look at discretely pulling your children out the Friday before so you can leave on Thursday night, or Friday morning ahead of the crowds. Kids deserve to have “sick days” just like mom and dad take from the office when they simply need a mental break.

Obviously this is not for everyone. Education is important.

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Some families may not be comfortable letting their kids miss any school. Or your child is striving for that perfect attendance record for the fifth year in a row.

If travel is a priority for your family though, you need to know that you do have options. Travel, no matter how near or far, is always, and I mean ALWAYS, worth it.

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