Would You Take Your Kids Out of School to Travel?

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Would You Take Your Kids Out of School to Travel?
Family Vacation Critic Offers Advice for Parents Tempted By Fall Deals

Pennington, NJ — September 28, 2010The latest fall travel deals, which include big discounts on family resorts and attractions, “kids-stay-free” deals, cheap flights and complementary upgrades, make it tempting to take a break at this time of year — but for families with kids in school, is it okay to take them out of class? Or should this be avoided at all cost? Family Vacation Critic (http://
www.familyvacationcritic.com) — the new family vacation site featuring reviews of kid-friendly hotels, resorts and family destinations — offers some friendly advice for those who may be considering cutting class.

“It’s understandable that you might be tempted with so many great deals being offered to lure you away from home,” said Lissa Harnish Poirot, editor of Family Vacation Critic. “Hotels, airlines, theme parks, attractions and even restaurants are slashing prices by as much as 50 percent. Disney, for example, is great value at this time of year and the quieter travel periods also mean smaller crowds.

“However, before you book, consider whether your child is able to miss even a few days of school by taking into account his/her age, grades and school policies. If you decide it’s not a good idea, you can always make the most of the fall holidays and weekends, by taking a short-break instead.”

To help you decide whether or not you should take your kids out of school to travel, Family Vacation Critic offers this advice:

What Is Your School’s Policy?
Most often, schools make these decisions on a case-by-case basis, depending upon the circumstances; but rarely do they encourage travel-related absences. Some schools have non-negotiable attendance rules that forbid it.

How Is Your Child Doing in School?
If your child is already struggling with certain classes or has difficulty adjusting to transitions outside of their normal routines, taking your child out of school can further disrupt his or her education.

What Grade Is Your Child In?
As children get older and the pace of study picks up, it can be harder for them to catch up with work that has been missed. Ensure that you child does not miss any key periods prior to exams, regardless of age.

How Does Your Child Feel About Missing School?
Talk to your child about the possibility of missing school. He or she may have a special project or sporting commitment that should be taken into account.

If you decide to take a trip, follow these rules to lessen the impact on your child’s education:

Meet with teacher(s) beforehand
Listen to their advice and remember that you may be making extra work for them, so be appreciative and keep in mind that they have your child’s best academic interests at heart. Don’t just ask for homework, but for a lesson plan that you can work on with your child while away. Ask teachers if kids can do an extracurricular report or presentation to make the trip educational, and bring the travel into the classroom.

Keep the Trip Short
If possible, plan around a long weekend so you’re only missing a couple of days. Avoid long-haul flights — re-entry will be difficult enough for your child without throwing jet lag into the mix.

Time the Trip Wisely
Avoid the first few weeks of school and any particularly busy times during the year. If your child is involved in a team sport or any extra-curricular activities, take these commitments seriously. Always avoid testing periods.

Make It an Educational Vacation
Try to tie your vacation into something your child is studying if possible. For example, if your child is studying the Revolutionary War, taking him or her to Boston, Concord, Lexington and Bunker Hill is a way to make history books come to life.

Don’t Make It a Habit
Treat school-time trips as the exception and not the rule for vacations.

To read more on this topic, to find fall family travel deals or post your thoughts on our forum visit www.familyvacationcritic.com.

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About Family Vacation Critic

Family Vacation Critic is a comprehensive online family travel resource and a forum for parents to share information on all aspects of traveling with kids. The site features reviews of family hotels, resorts, attractions and destinations, as well as family vacation deals and travel ideas. The site was launched in June 2009 by The Independent Traveler, Inc., a subsidiary of TripAdvisor LLC, which is an operating company of Expedia.

Family Vacation Critic and the Family Vacation Critic logo are trademarks of The Independent Traveler, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other logos or product and company names mentioned herein may be the property of their respective owners.

2010 The Independent Traveler, Inc. All rights reserved.

Media Contact
Carrie Gonzalez, Family Vacation Critic
cgonzalez@familyvacationcritic.com
(609) 730-9155 ext 231
Twitter: @familyvacation

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