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How to plan a family vacation during the school year

Elaina is a Phoenix-based freelance writer, blogger and co-founder of the Kidlee baby book app. Check out her blog, Fun Finds For Mom, for product reviews, recipes and fun activities for moms and kids.

Don't wait for summer to plan your next family vacation

There’s no law that says you have to wait until summer to get out of town. Here’s everything you need to know to plan the perfect family vacation during the school year.

Schedule it

First things first. You’ll need a copy of your child’s school calendar, which can usually be found on the school website. When possible, schedule the family vacation during school holidays or scheduled days off.

Winter Break and Spring Break are typically the best times to schedule longer vacations for popular family destinations like amusement parks, cruises, ski resorts or beach getaways. Single holidays like Veteran’s Day, Civil Rights Day and President’s Day are ideal for three-day road trips. A “staycation” at a local resort is an easy way to enjoy a quick weekend vacation without even leaving town.

While each school’s calendar is different, common school breaks include:

  • Labor Day (September 1)
  • Fall Break (October)
  • Veteran’s Day (November 11)
  • Thanksgiving Break (November)
  • Winter Break (December)
  • Civil Rights Day/Martin Luther King Jr. Day (January 19)
  • President’s Day (February 16)
  • Spring Break (March)
  • Easter/Passover Break (April)

Remember -- the earlier in the year you schedule your vacation, the easier it will be to score flight and hotel deals.

Clear unexcused absences with the school

If your trip will involve your child missing school, talk to the school’s administrator and your child’s teacher in advance to let them know the dates the kids will be absent.

Plan for school work on the road

Make arrangements for your kids to bring along any school work or projects they will need to complete during the vacation. With advance planning, even a few missed days of school won’t be a problem. Some parents give their kids a travel journal and encourage them to keep a written record of their experiences. Your child’s teacher may appreciate having him present a report after returning from the trip.

Quick tip: If you're taking a family road trip, make sure you get your car inspected before embarking on your journey. That includes checking your tire pressure and tread depth. If you're due for new tires, check out the MICHELIN® Premier® A/S tire featuring a new standard in safety with its innovative EVERGRIP safety technology that uses both a revolutionary tread design and unique rubber compound.

This post was sponsored by Michelin.

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