Ask the Experts: How do you manage travel during the school year?

It can be challenging to travel with the kids once school is back in session, though the wanderlust bug might still be biting. Whether you are going around the corner, across the state or out of country, you’ll also find further incentive to explore during the school year because crowds have dissipated and prices tend to drop.

family travel during school year

So, how do you manage it? We asked several travel experts and Atlanta locals to give us their thoughts, tips and encouragement… and here is what they had to say!


Stuart and Kirstie Wickes, The Family Adventure Project

Most people think of travelling as a 9-5 thing. We turn that upside down for little after-school overnight adventures, using the idea of microadventures to squeeze in extra travel experiences.  How does it work? We get the kids to do homework first and pack their things for school tomorrow, then leave the house at 5, head off and stay somewhere new and local, we camp or stay in a hotel, have a look around, enjoy a meal together, sleep, wake, breakfast and are back in time for school. If you do it once a month and you have 12 extra mini travel adventures a year. Check this post out for some more ideas:


Eileen P. Gunn, FamiliesGo!

The most important thing that we do to make time for day trips and weekends away is to avoid kids’ classes/organized activities on the weekends. When we can’t avoid a weekend class we schedule the first class on Saturday, done by 10:30. It does limit what our child can get involved in (scheduling swimming lessons has been hard) But you don’t want to sign kids up and then blow off the activity because it sends the wrong message (and wastes money). And let’s face it; a 1:00 dance class on Saturday or a Sunday morning soccer game completely kills your weekend in terms of getting out of town. We’re not ready to give up daytrips and weekends away from September to June. See more from Eileen here:


Karon Warren, This Girl Travels

My kids are still young, so pulling them out of school to travel is not too difficult. I give their teachers advanced notice, so they can prepare homework lessons for the kids to complete while we travel. That way, the kids stay up to date with their class. See more from Karon here:


Sue Rodman, Field Trips With Sue

If you have a great opportunity, Go. Especially if your children are younger and can be taken out of school. They say you have 18 summers to travel with your kids, but it’s a lie, and time flies:


Katrina Morrison, My Mommy Flies

Plan travel around school breaks that do not coincide with a major holiday.  Think President’s Day and Columbus Day.  School is closed that Monday and it’s a great way to extend the weekend. Teachers typically do not plan test or major lessons the week prior to a holiday so you can take an extra day off on Friday and depart early Thursday.  That’s a 4-day weekend with only 1 absence!  It’s also good to know how many absences are allowed before your child is considered a truant. Read more here:


Krystyn Hall, Really, Are You Serious?

We look at the school calendar and try to plan bigger trips during the less popular breaks (i.e. fall and late winter). For shorter trips, we will decide last minute to hop in the car and go a couple hours away with no real plan and see what we can find. And we usually bring a lot of snacks! See more from Krystyn here:


Barbara Burns, Atlanta’s Frugal Mom

Whenever we travel, we always use Groupon, Living Social, and Goldstar to search for discount tickets to events, attractions, and restaurants in the area.  Sometimes we look to these places for inspiration, sometimes simply to see if a place in mind has discount tickets to offer. Read more from Barbara here:


Aaronica B Cole, The Crunchy Mommy

We do day trips on the weekends or find hidden gems within a couple hours driving distance. Chattanooga offers great family fun, as do the Georgia mountains! See more from Aaronica here:


Turkesha McIvy, Naturalbabydol

Fly on weekend to a different state and rent a car. We will then state hop across the borders to sight see at three top landmarks in each state. This works perfectly when school is in session and during the Summer. It exposes the kids to different areas and cultures. See more here:


Looking for more travel tips? We love these! And this post has GREAT ideas about raising a good traveler.

family travel expert advice-
Lesli Peterson

Lesli Peterson

Lesli made her way to Atlanta over 20 years ago, after living in Germany, Japan and six U.S. states. She relishes the discovery of obscure, offbeat and unwonted places, and she will chat up any willing stranger to uncover a new secret locale.

After 18 years in software development, Lesli bailed on the corporate scene. When she’s not traveling, she’s hiking in the mountains or checking out Atlanta’s culinary scene, whiskey in hand.

Lesli has two kiddos -Cooper and Elliot- plus two bonus kids currently at UGA, and she’s happily married to her soul mate.
Lesli Peterson

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