Should I Take My Kids Out of School to Travel? – 102

You know both Ryan and I have families who love to travel. Sometimes that may involve missing school or other of our kids’ activities. Today we talk about the decision, as a parent, to take your kids out of school for travel.

Should I Take My Kids Out of School for Travel?

We have talked a lot about this in our family (growing up with teachers). I was totally against it. But…

Reasons For

  • There is so much to learn outside the classroom.
  • Everyone deserves a mental health break.
  • Practice overcoming challenging situations.
  • Learning time management.
  • Learning resilience.

Reasons Against

  • It can affect the rest of the cast or team.
  • The school can lose funding.
  • They shouldn’t take missing school too lightly.
  • They can get behind on homework.

Facebook comments

Our tips or things to consider…
Can they do work/activities while on trip? (that’s the biggie for us right now)
Maturity of kid/ability to work on own
Scheduling of vacation “work chunks” or mapping out your days
Kids talking to friends about travel

Question: What do you think about taking kids out of school for travel?

Please let us know in the All Things Travel Podcast Facebook group!

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  • Hindman, Kentucky

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Episode 102 Transcripts

Episodes are transcribed with artificial intelligence,s so there are likely some highly amusing translations!

Shayne: Hello, and welcome to All Things Travel. You know that both Ryan and I have families who love to travel. Sometimes that may involve missing school or other kids’ activities. Today, we talk about the decision as a parent to take your kids out of school for travel. You’re listening to All Things Travel episode 102 original air date, March 30th, 2022.

Ryan: So Shayne, as you think about some of the trips that you’ve taken, maybe recently with daughter and your family, what’s been one of the best family vacations that you’ve taken. And then did that involve her missing school?

Shayne: Oh, do you want even better? When we had our first Disney trip? My wife was interviewing for a job at the school where my kid goes. And so at the same time, she said, by the way, if I get this job, we are going to Disney in November. So I’ll need off work and I’ll need to take my kid out of school?

So we sort of set the tone then

that for ourselves and for the school that we are a traveling family.

Ryan: Gotcha. Gotcha. I think most recently, one of our favorite family trips has been last fall. The four of us went for, my wife’s birth. We went to New York city and it was a long weekend. I think it was a through a Tuesday. So, you know, it was a good chunk of time And the kids did miss school.

And along with that, my daughter was missing some swimming. They hadn’t started competitions yet, but she was missing practice. And so what we’re going to talk about today is, what’s the decision making that a parent goes through. And then what are some of the considerations or ways that you can handle this?

If you do take your kids out of school to travel, and we’re going to hear from some of you all who shared with us on. But before we do all that Shayne. I want to know where in the world is. All things travel,

Shayne: Hindman

Ryan: kentucky. All right.

Shayne: And I’m wondering about this place because it is out in the middle. Usually these places are near some big city. This isn’t near Lexington, or it’s just out there. In fact, its population in the 2010, us census was only 776. So I couldn’t find a whole lot to do There but you know what, if they’ll reach out, will go. there and do whatever it is they do for fun.

Ryan: There you go.

The gauntlet has been thrown down.

Shayne: as long as it’s

Ryan: Who knows. All right. Well, I’m excited. I’m excited to hear about that. Well, Hey, Kentucky, thank you so much for listening. Reach out to Shayne or I, it sounds out to Shayne and, invite him down down for me, up for him and reach out to us on Facebook or via email, because I’ve got a little thank you gift for being featured on the show.

And I want to pass that along.

Shayne: And we do want to thank you for listening to the show, be sure and subscribe So that you never miss a single episode of all things travel.

Ryan: So Shayne, I grew up as an only child parents who were both teachers. My mom was an elementary school teacher. My dad was a high school teacher. And the idea of taking your kids out of school vacation, A big, giant taboo. I mean, the things that I heard about these parents that would take their kids out of school for vacation, it was an absolute no-no.

And so the first time that my wife suggested us doing that, I was like, heck no, I was adamantly against it. I’m like, we can’t do that. Our kids are in school and slowly and slowly, she wore me down. And we’ve done it multiple times and it certainly adds some things to think about. Well, you certainly have to make sure that it fits both your kid and what they’re doing at that time.

But Shayne, I don’t regret that decision at all.

Shayne: Yeah. When I was growing up, I don’t think we once took trip outside of.

Ryan: Yeah. Oh, absolutely not.


Shayne: the summer holiday. We never miss school to travel. And I obviously learned nothing from my parents in that regard.

Ryan: Well, Yeah. That’s some of the reasons why someone would choose to take their kids out of school and I’m throwing activities in there too, because I obviously, as our kids get older, they’re doing athletics. They’re doing clubs. They may be involved in productions, in performance groups. So I’m kind of lumping that all together today.

Cause I know your daughter is involved in theater. My daughter’s involved in theater. Both my kids do several sports and different activities. So. Putting that all in. Right. So what are some of the reasons why you would choose to take your kids out of that stuff to travel on a family vacation?

Shayne: I think there’s a lot of things to learn outside of class. And most of those things are on trips, whether

Ryan: Yeah.

Shayne: to a local museum or to an amusement park, even there’s so much, you can learn in the process, not just in the destination, but in the process traveling. Anything you can learn extra to what you’re usually doing has a benefit, a cognitive benefit.

Ryan: Yeah, no I agree a hundred percent and I think, it’s very important for our family time together. That’s not just at own time. I mean, I really feel like get close to. While we’re traveling we’re on vacations and the kids see us in a different way, and we see them in a different way rather than just the normal, schedule.

And so I think that’s really important. And, I’ve said this before in this show I get kind of, you know, a sappy dad mentality, but with my daughter, we’ve got three spring breaks, left. We’ve got two summers left before she goes and start something else, as far as in her wife with college and those times really do go quickly.

And to me, that’s worth the that’s worth the change in schedule and maybe the headache or the logistical issues associated.

Shayne: Yep. That is a good way to think about it. how many spring breaks, how many Christmas breaks, how many summer breaks do you have left with your kids and how are you going

Ryan: Yeah,

Shayne: of those?

and then another reason for traveling the other kids are in school. There’s a lot of times those destinations aren’t going to be as crowded because of all

Ryan: That’s absolutely true.

Shayne: their kids out of school.

Ryan: Yeah. Yeah. That’s absolutely true. So let’s flip the script here. What might be some reasons that parents would choose not to do that?

Shayne: So there was one time. I don’t remember what grade she was in. It wasn’t that long ago. And it was when we went to New York City and I bought tickets in January to see on. In November. So this is a long time planning. And in that time, I didn’t realize how much more difficult, how much more challenging her school year was going to be that next grade.

And she got the part of donkey in a Shrek: the musical, and

she had a couple of parts. Yeah. Yeah. And she had an upcoming part the Nutcracker. And so we, because we were in New York, in fact, the day we saw the musical was the day that they started their, oh, I remember what they call it, but it’s what they do a couple of nights before.

The dress rehearsal and the

Ryan: Okay.

Shayne: when I went and told the director where she Isa is going to have to miss Monday, because we’re going to be of town. We are seeing a musical though that makes it better, but she was not happy with us to have, one of the lead missing those

Ryan: Yeah. Yeah. And I think you’ve hit it here for me too. It’s just as the kids get older, the activities and the expectation for those activities and the complexity of their schoolwork changes in such a way that you do have to kind of map that out and think if it’s right for your family and your kids at that time.

We knew we were going to talk about this topic coming up. And so earlier this week, Shayne I put out on Facebook, the question for this, and I was really happy with the number of people that jumped in and provided comments. So our friends. It says I’m totally for taking our kids out of school, as long as they’re doing well in school.

And I feel like they’re capable of catching up easily with their schoolwork. I feel like it’s a great break and avoid some of the bigger crowds that popular vacation destination. So just some of those same ideas that we had changed. So thanks for that. Sarah, our friend, Michelle. I don’t take my kids out of school for vacation.

I do, it’s not more than one day. The only exception to this was when I had a trip planned the schools kept changing their vacations due to Corona my daughter’s in high school and does not like to miss because it’s too much to make up the work that she misses. And, the same thing happened to us.

Michelle, we had a vacation planned. The beginning of this upcoming Christmas break and school district changed the dates on us. And so, we had to decide, do we still take the vacation with our daughter who will be a junior taking finals before Christmas break and we decided to not take the vacation the way we had planned.

And so we were able to shift things around things up. But weren’t willing to take that that possibility that she was going to have trouble with.

Shayne: Same thing happened with.

My kid’s curriculum at school is insane. And so now in her last few years of high school, we know that it’ll be rare that we take her out for

anything, unless it’s not necessary.

Ryan: Now our listener, Rebecca, who’s one of our, one of our good friends of the show says, this is partly why I homeschool my kids.

Shayne: I like that answer.

Ryan: a whole other level of commitment, Rebecca. We appreciate that, that’s totally true if this is part of your life. And one of the things that I’m going to talk about in a little bit is has changed over the last couple of years, and it really does change how this can play out with leaving quote unquote school.

Shayne: We had that conversation in a laundromat. One day when our washing machine was on the Fritz, we were in a wa we’re in the laundromat doing laundry, and we’re actually having a little fun. So I said, Hey, what would y’all think? If this was our life, what if we were a mobile family homeschooling on the road and doing all of our laundry and laundromats across the country, across the world.

And we ended up having a pretty serious conversation about whether or not that was something we wanted. The answer was no, but we did talk about

Ryan: I was going to say that doesn’t seem like your life now, but you know, it sounds like a good conversation. So Leah Reed says, take them out. The experience of travel outweighs missing school, at least right now with one in middle school and one out in elementary school. So some of the same ideas that we laid out with, it depends on the level listener.

Patrick says I have no issues. Brett says it depends on their ages. My kids are still in grade school, so I would have no problem taking them out. My wife being the teacher is the harder one to get out. As they start to get older, it becomes harder and less likely that we can take. Our good friend, Andrew out in California, who has listened to All things Travel from the very beginning, spoke about not having or not taking the kids out of School.

And he says, yes, generally speaking for a variety of reasons. One, I pay good money for those schools. And two, I don’t understand why most trips can’t be planned around schedule breaks. Three. If the kids have to take their work with them, then as it really break for them, however, There are some butts to the idea, but if the school moves the dates around and the trip was planned around the original dates to everyone needs and deserves a mental health break

and three, not everything can be learned in a book. And sometimes what you learn in a book comes alive. When you see it, taste it, hear it and feel it. I think those are all solid reasons for both, for and against Andrew


Shayne: I might use that in one of my upcoming travel quotes. I really liked that.

Ryan: There you go. So I think it was really good to hear from our Facebook community about this. I think they brought up some good thoughts, some good suggestions. So for us, Shayne what are some tips or things to consider when it comes to taking your kids out of school or out of activities for for vacations?

Shayne: First of all your kid, is it something your kid can handle? I know

That was part of my intention was to give that extra challenge of the logistics of getting ahead or catching up doing homework on the plane or at the resort, you know, knowing your kid. And of course, as they get into a more rigorous curriculum in their later years, it’s going to get more difficult.

Ryan: Yeah,

I think for me it’s one it’s knowing your kid. And do they have the ability to work alone or will they have the support teachers and classmates back home and less in case they need it. And do you want them to do work and activities on the trip? That’s a biggie for us right now, and it’s actually changed.

It’s been very interesting over the last couple of years, Shayne with. Our school specifically now can do remote learning instead of snow days or things like that. And so there is a culture of e-learning, which I know is not the same as being in the classroom. We can have that conversation, but. It is very easy for our teachers to support remotely.

And the kids have Chromebooks that are dedicated to the school. They’re used to working independently with stuff like that, especially with coronavirus and the changes there. And so if they’re able to do that, we’ve actually found that’s been really nice. In fact you’ve heard Caleb talk about when we were in Las Vegas last year.

Shayne: That’s right.

Ryan: the school was not remote, there were still remote students. And so our kids had the opportunity to just do the schoolwork remotely with those kids who were remote. And in fact, then on two of the days, they had snow days back home in Indiana. so the, all of that stuff was done remotely anyway.

So. I think it’s really changed now with what students are expected to do, what they can do through e-learning. And to be quite honest, now that I work remotely, I work from home and on the computer. Most of our time if we’re out during school, we just have that built in. I mean, we have work time built in and you know, when we were in New York city, we would say, all right, we’re going to work from eight to 11 and everybody get everything they can get done.

And then we have the rest of our day, or, we don’t have anything till later, so we’re going to go back to the room and catch up on stuff.

Shayne: You are so Much more disciplined than that. I am.

Ryan: well, it’s not always easy and it doesn’t always work that way, but darn it. We really try,

Shayne: It makes it easier for you to take the trip next time. Cause your work still gonna get done.

Ryan: Well, and that’s true. And part of it too is then I think, especially for me, because I work very differently than my wife, her job is she’s in the office or she’s not in the office. And so for me, it’s a lot harder to kind of set it aside because I’m quote unquote kind of always available.

And so. It’s better to have that time where now I know the work is done and I can enjoy the rest of the vacation. And so for our kids, we try to do that too. Teaching them that a couple hours worth of work can help you have an, an enjoyable rest of the day and talking about activities with my daughter in swimming.

That’s one of the, one of the things that you have to keep up, running and swimming are the two things that she does. And so when we were in New York City, this last trip and fall, we actually got a A membership, a youth membership to the YMCA that Was closest to our hotel because our motel didn’t have a pool.

And she went, I believe three times over the course of the week to to swim. And the coach had given her the coach had given her workouts to do. And so she was able to keep up with that kind of.

Shayne: Yeah.

keep those afterschool activities in mind and look at the bigger picture with those. for example, I’ve got a client now and she has been trying to take her kids to Universal for a couple of years. Because of the older kids baseball schedule, just been difficult.

Ryan: Yeah.

Shayne: now she’s finally able to do that, being able to get that trip in.

And then another example is when my kid and I were taking TaeKwonDo together, there were black belt tests only twice a year

Ryan: Okay.

Shayne: one year, right? Because of the timing of visiting my wife’s family in Spain, we were gone long enough that we. Missed enough classes that we ended up having to wait an extra six months to, for our black belt test.

So keep things like that in mind, looking at the bigger picture, how has being gone and how long are you going to be gone and what you’re going to miss to affect? The other things that you’re trying to accomplish.

Ryan: Sure. Absolutely. Absolutely. And one thing that’s a little different than what we’ve talked about, and I’m not sure, I’m not sure what your experience with this is. Our family travels a lot Shayne, and we know that we’re very blessed and we’re very lucky to travel as much as we do as a family. And one of the conversations that we’ve had with our kids is, keep that in mind as you’re talking to your friends, keep that in mind, as you’re talking to folks about, travel.

Not that we don’t want you to talk about it, but not everybody gets to go to Disney. Like you guys, not everybody gets to go on these trips. And so just be sensitive to that, that, they are going to notice that you’re not there for three days in school and, and so just keep that in mind, as you’re talking that, you don’t always have to bring.

Everything that we did and how, what special things, because not everybody has that ability in their life. don’t know. Does that sound right? Shayne, do you understand what I’m trying to say?

Shayne: Yeah, it makes perfect sense to me.

Ryan: So those are some of our considerations or tips to think about, basically for us, it comes down to know the activities that they’re in and how are you able to do that while still being on vacation? I think what you didn’t hear today was just pull it off all the work till you get home, because I know my kids and I know me and that’s an absolute recipe for disaster.

It’s really finding that balance while you’re traveling. And luckily we’ve just been able to do that as a.

Shayne: Yeah, it makes it hard to enjoy a trip when you have that to look forward to when you get back.

Ryan: Yeah, exactly. So to wrap up here, Shayne, what is your next family vacation? And as part of that, is your daughter going to be missing any school or activities because of that?

Shayne: I am not going with them on this trip, but they’re going to Florida and a couple of weeks going to visit our older daughter during spring break,

Ryan: Uh,

Shayne: Any school. I believe she’s going to visit a couple of colleges while she’s there.

Ryan: You know, That’s interesting. We have started that conversation in our family where our next fall break will be a college visit break. And my daughter and I are going to. Do some college visits, do some driving around the region and check stuff out. But yeah, same as you are. Next family. A trip is going to be spring break, so it’s not going to affect school.

And in fact it won’t affect any athletics either. So it’s going to be a pure vacation for all of us, which will be really nice.

Shayne: We would love to help you plan your next amazing vacation.

Even if you have to miss a couple of days of school for it, we are both travel advisors with Creating Magic Vacations.

reach out to Ryan at R Y A N at or S H A Y N E at


most families are confused and overwhelmed when planning a vacation, work with you to plan a trip, perfect for your interest and save you time, money and stress.

Well, sorry, that was kind of a fake laugh.

Shayne: I am totally leaving that.