The short weekend getaway trip. For some it’s a simple as booking a last second flight and simply making it work no matter what the flight arrangements. If your option or preference is to travel with your children, the word of the day becomes improvisation. The school year can take a pretty good chunk of possible vacation days away from you. That is if you let it. With two teenage girls under the roof, every precaution is taken to ensure that the absolute least amount of school is missed. Fortunately, we rarely miss the opportunity or regret the choice for that 48 hour giveaway.
But from the kid standpoint, especially when it comes to those in high school, the weekend getaway can also cause a strain on studies. Fortunately, kids are quite resilient and can adapt to most adverse situations. The trick still remains that you, the parent, must somehow take the focus off the fun. The last thing you can do is put your children in a position to fail just because you want to get away for a few days and unwind.
In my own personal experience, I’ve discovered my kids have adapted to these frequent travel getaways throughout the school year. It’s no longer a shock to be in the Everglades on Sunday and be back in Tennessee at school on Monday. As a matter of fact it is encouraged and applauded by them. In order for your kids to succeed in school and still allow all of you to have a good time you must make a compromise.
Believe it or not we have become quite accustomed to watching our kids in full-scale homework mode quite regularly on an airplane with the tray tops down. I’m still not 100 % sure which has more bacteria, the tray or the book? The fact is that there is little reason to not simply get away.
In general we all have hectic lives and the thought of taking that quick 48 hour trip usually sounds better on Monday than Friday. By the end of a 5 day week that may have presented you with more questions than answers, the tendency to sit down and just take it easy makes complete sense. But if the opportunity to get somewhere completely out of your environment in three hours or less. That’s not crazy, it’s called taking every moment and for that the reward is great.
Memories Your Kids Will Never Forget
Some of the greatest times have been the drop-off at school on a Monday after landing a few hours earlier. It’s a look between all of us that says, “Yeah, that was cool”. It’s those times that seem to stick with my kids the most. They know we will go to extremes to see the world and they want every part in it too. The education they receive in school will open their minds. The education they receive on a plane, train, boat or auto will open their eyes.
The key is to be flexible with your time and your schedules. If you are left with a morning arrival on the same day your kids are to be back at school, you must adapt. Even if the temptation is to stay up late or go out on the town one more night, be smart and treat it like any other school night. It’s not the easiest transition but with proper planning, it can be quite simple. The flexibility and willingness for my wife and I to take our kids on planned and impromptu trips have made us look like rock stars. We are not rich but sometimes it sure feels like we are.
Off-Season Weekend Trips can Be Had For a Bargain
Speaking of the Everglades trip, we received an incredible r/t price for Nashville-Fort Lauderdale on a last-minute search for flights. For less than 9,000 points, with the help of a companion pass, we had 4 tickets with a late Friday afternoon departure from Nashville and an early Monday morning return from Fort Lauderdale. After two fun-filled days on South Beach and the Everglades, we opted for our final night to stay quite close to the airport. We returned the rental car that evening, took the complimentary shuttle back to the hotel and got a good night of sleep. The next morning we took the shuttle back to the airport, breezed through pre-check with our carry-ons, and was dropping the kids off at school a few hours later.
It’s merely an example of what you can do in a short amount of time and determination. When you live on a schedule where 6 weeks is about your limit between trips, just adapt. Good planning, minimal spending and an itinerary that allows is short on details but heavy on fun can make just another weekend, a memorable one.
Live Within Your Means, Travel Beyond Them!