This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Ocala/Marion County VCB. All opinions are 100% mine.
Sometimes we don’t always have the option to save travel for summertime. Family emergencies or even parents’ work schedules might mean that you have no choice but to take an out of town trip at some point during the school year.
You Can Still Travel During the School Year
Whether for emergency or for vacation, it is possible to travel during the school year without disrupting your child’s education. Here are 8 important things to consider when planning your next trip:
Check the calendar
The first thing you should do is study your school’s calendar to see whether your proposed trip falls during instructional periods.
Scheduling during holiday vacation avoids any conflicts with the educational calendar and keeps your child from getting behind.
Travel by car to avoid premium flight prices
Flight prices during common school vacations can be almost double what they cost during non-peak times. If you have to travel during a scheduled school break, consider a destination within driving distance.
Ocala/Marion County, Florida is easily accessible by car from most of the southeastern United States and there’s so much to do here! From outdoor adventures to historical sight-seeing to world class shopping and dining, they really do have it all!
Related: Explore Ocala/Marion County Activities
Look for new destinations
Just like airlines, major travel destinations and resorts often charge premium rates during standard school vacations. If you are traveling during those peak times, consider staying somewhere that everyone else isn’t.
Ocala/Marion County, Florida offers many of the same amenities as more well-known vacation destinations, but without the premium prices. Why spend a chunk of your vacation budget on mark-ups, when you could be enjoying it on experiences!
Related: Find out more about Ocala/Marion County Lodging.
Know your school’s policy
If your trip must fall on a day (or days) that your child is supposed to be in class, you’ll need to read up on your school’s attendance policy.
Some schools take a strict stance on missing school, for any reason. However, some schools allow for educational trips and/or take into account multiple factors when judging absences, like how many days your child missed the previous year.
Talk to your child’s teacher and administrators before making any definite plans to find out how they feel about travel. Be honest about your trip’s purpose — is it truly for educational purposes? — is it an unavoidable emergency?
If you are upfront with your school, they’ll be more understanding and likely to work with you.
Make it an educational trip
If traveling for pleasure, consider incorporating educational aspects that will compliment your child’s coursework.
Ocala/Marion County features a wealth of living history, as well as museums and tours to take a peek at Florida’s rich past. Actually experiencing historical sites can be a valuable addition to your child’s curriculum.
Ask for make-up work in advance
Teachers are much happier to cooperate with you on travel if you give them plenty of notice. Depending on school policy, your teacher may be able to release some of the that your child will miss.
Even if they are not allowed to send homework ahead of time, your child’s teacher may be able to give you an idea of what the class will be doing in their absence.
Stay connected with technology
As schools become increasingly high-tech, it’s easier for students to stay connected while they are away.
If your trip is longer than a few days, find out if your teacher is able to post assignments online or if there is a way to connect via video link.
Avoid traveling during standardized testing dates
It’s easier on everyone (you, your child, and the school) if you steer clear of test dates when planning any trips.
While most schools have make-up testing days, your child may be more comfortable testing on schedule with their classmates. Furthermore, your child might have to make-up classwork missed during make-up testing. Better to avoid the hassle!
Talk to your child
Keep you child “in the loop” so they know what’s going on every step of the way. That way any make-up work won’t be a surprise.
I always tell my girls that travel is a privilege and a responsibility. Oh, and to have fun too!
Check out more Florida Travel tips and information here.