Disclosure: This is a partnered post
The great thing about being a parent is that you get to make the decisions. Nobody can argue if that means you’ve spent a chunk of your young child’s life gallivanting around the world. Why would they?!
However, at some point, you’re going to have to deal with the age-old debate of education versus travel with kids. Of course, the former is essential to your son or daughter’s future, which is why they need to be in the classroom as much as possible. On the flip side, travelling is an eye-opening experience that broadens the mind.
You want to strike a perfect balance between travel and your kid’s studies. That’s hard to do, especially when unauthorised absences are prosecutable. Therefore, if you still plan on going on regular holidays, you should make the most of the time you have available. That way, you won’t be in trouble, you won’t feel guilty, and your kids won’t suffer academically. Keep reading to learn how its possible to travel with kids once they are in school.
GETAWAY AT THE WEEKEND
For most people, the weekend is where they can sit back and relax without having to worry about work. They see it as a magical time that allows them to do nothing and focus on themselves and their families.
That’s a great attitude if you’re not into travelling. For the people who are burdened with the wanderlust bug, Friday, Saturday and Sunday are fantastic days to see the world without fretting about school or work.
Sure, it’s not easy to go abroad because Australia is massive and the closest country is either New Zealand or Indonesia, depending on your location. Still, staycations, where you choose a place in Aus that you haven’t visited before, are popular, as are camping trips in the wilderness. The key is to leave as early as you can on Friday and to return on Sunday afternoon or evening.
That way, you utilise your weekends to the maximum by visiting friends in another state or checking out sights you’ve never seen before. Lazing around a hotel pool beats walking around Ikea searching for ambient lighting! Plus, you’ll be back in time for the kids to go to school or kindergarten on Monday morning.
Living in the southern hemisphere has its advantages, yet the holiday season isn’t one of them! Although summer in Australia happens during Europe’s winter, it’s still Christmas. That means the prices are high, no matter the destination. Also, you’ve got the added stress of attempting to spend the festive period abroad.
What about the rest of the year? Well, that’s not great either. The winter coincides with everyone else’s summer, so the costs are pretty extortionate. Maximising holidays appears as if it’s almost impossible, but there are hacks you can follow.
An excellent one is to go away in the spring. September and October are low seasons in the likes of Bali and Singapore because Europeans and Americans don’t have enough time off. Sure, it’ll be full of Australians, but you can’t have everything at once! Alternatively, you could opt for a ski vacation during the winter.
Anywhere in the southern hemisphere – New Zealand, Argentina, South Africa – will have plenty of powder and shouldn’t be too crowded. After all, most travellers will be too busy soaking up the sun in the northern hemisphere.
TALK TO YOUR SCHOOL
If you can’t think of ways to travel in the off-season without removing the kids from school, you will assume the principal won’t sanction their absence. Let’s face it – they’ll have to do it for everybody. Usually, it’s not worth their time, which is why they say no.
However, this is theoretical – you don’t know the answer until you ask. And, the worst thing they can do is reject the idea, so it’s not as if it’s a big deal. You’ll find that the best kindergarten and schools tailor their curriculums so that it’s not only academically-based. These establishments value learning about new cultures and societies as much as you do.
Parents who can show that their trip is beneficial from an educational and personal growth perspective should stand a good chance of securing the necessary permission. You may, for instance, agree to video blog your children’s experiences so that they can present it as a class project when they are back in the classroom. Of course, you must agree that your child keeps up with homework if the teachers are scared they’ll fall behind.
Rules are rules, though, so you shouldn’t be cheeky. The amount of time off should only be a day or two at the max, and you’re better off waiting for a reply before booking flights and accommodation.
MAKE AN EXECUTIVE DECISION
Sometimes, a parent has to make a tough decision that doesn’t sit well with everyone. You may feel that the need to travel is stronger than your kids attending a classroom everyday. If that’s the case, there’s no need to apologise or negotiate – you’re the boss in that respect.
What you may not realise about long-term travel with kids is that you are the educator. For those who don’t have teaching degrees and experience, this is a daunting prospect. Yes, you can try and follow homeschooling tips while on the go and hope the process is effective. Or, you can search for school programs that are available online and accessible from anywhere in the world.
Time 4Learning is an incredible resource as it allows you to pick between everything from independent learning for short trips, homeschooling for longer ones, and mixed strategies for anything in-between. By researching the tools at your disposal, you can combine your child’s need for education and their desire to travel. It may not feel natural in the beginning, but you’ll evolve the more you practise.
So for those parents out there who are filled with wanderlust and eager to travel with kids, there are lots of options available. Be smart with your time and make the most of opportunities. At the end of the day, you know what is best for your family and your kids are only young once. Safe travels!