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Would you take your kids out of school to save money on a Hawaii vacation during off-peak travel times to the islands?
We posed this question on our Facebook wall and got almost a unanimous vote. Yes, the majority of parents would absolutely pull their kids out of school early if it meant getting a better deal on their Hawaii vacation. With family vacations costing a pretty penny these days, most people will do anything they can to save money, even if it means slightly compromising the kids’ learning experience in school. However, many parents who answered our question justified taking their kids out of school by saying that traveling is a huge part of the learning experience, cultivating real world adventures, culture, and open mindedness, and we couldn’t agree more. What better way to learn about a different culture than to explore it for yourself?
Peak travel times are summers and winters, for obvious reasons. Kids are on school breaks, which means families plan vacations around these months. But, you can beat the crowds and the high prices by working outside of these days. For example, a trip to Hawaii in the month of October or May is not only cheaper for airfare and hotel accommodations, but the islands are always much less populated, giving you a less crowded experience. This is especially ideal for those long, lazy beach days in Hawaii. Who wants to spread their towel out only two feet away from the next family? Not me. Which is why off-season traveling is one of the better ways to not only save money, but maximize your vacation as well.
If you choose to pull the keikis out of school, make sure that you plan ahead for it. No one likes a flaky parent, and besides, it compromises your child’s schooling. Like we’ve said before, planning a vacation to Hawaii is best done in advance. If you buy your tickets one year to six months prior to the trip, you will have plenty of time to figure out the school thing. For example, let your child’s teacher know you will be leaving one week shy of summer break and see what will be missed during these final days. If there are tests, reports, speeches, or homework, make sure to get everything taken care of ahead of time, even if it means crunching down on the homework a bit early. You want to make this situation a win-win for both the parents (saving money) and kids (not missing out in school). I have seen many parents bring summer homework and reading to the islands for kids to work on while vacationing. This not only keeps them sharp during the break, it also gets them ahead for next year and catches them up on what they’ve missed out on.
So how exactly can you make this happen? First, plan for a month that is ideal for you and the family. Whether its December or July, choose the season that you wish to travel during. We understand that planning for a large family can be challenging, what with ballet recitals, sports games, school schedules, and holiday parties, which is why we recommend getting the date circled on the calendar as soon as possible. This way, you can plan your events around your vacation date, instead of the other way around. Second, book your flights. Like we mentioned before, if you can choose an off-season travel date, this is hands down the best way to save money. But, if it just can’t come together this way, then we suggest booking during an unpopular day. Mondays and Tuesdays tend to be cheapest, whereas Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays are always the most expensive. Also, if you’re planning to travel around a holiday date, why not travel on that exact day? For example, having your Christmas festivities on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas morning can mean saving you hundreds of dollars on your flight. That way you and the family can fly on Christmas Day and beat the crowds. Or, plan to fly on Fourth of July if you’re scheduling a July vacation.
These are small tips that help out in a huge way, and it’s worth giving them a try. Planning a family vacation can become a large expense that turns many parents off. Which is unfortunate, because everyone, even young children, deserves a vacation and deserves some time outside of the normal schedule of daily life. So if you’ve been needing some time away with the whole family, give our suggestions a shot and see how you can save on your vacation. Don’t feel guilty about pulling the kids out of school to save money on your trip, because it is so worth it! Their learning experience will be heightened through the travel itself, and we’re pretty sure you won’t hear too much grumbling from them anyway.