Summer is already over or soon to be for most of the country’s school children. My family took our last big trip last week, and my 6 year old starts 1st grade next week. We are definitely mourning the end of summer and the end of summer travel season.
But just because summer is coming to an end doesn’t mean that travel dreams have to come to an end too. My family is always scheming and looking for ways to fit travel into real life, even on a school schedule. Here are my best tips for keeping the travel spirit alive in your household even as you settle into a school routine.
Plan a fall break
Have you checked your school’s calendar yet? Chances are you might find an odd Monday or Friday holiday somewhere in October or November that is just begging to be exploited for a three day weekend adventure. (My daughter has a Monday holiday for Columbus Day preceded by a Friday minimum days, so we’re thinking a long weekend in Disneyland is in order!) Make those fall break reservations ASAP.
Book holiday travel
Even if you can’t get away during the fall, it is definitely not too early to start planning for your family’s holiday travel – in fact, the best deals may already be gone! Start monitoring those Thanksgiving and Christmas flights right away.
It isn’t too early for next summer either, particularly if you are eyeing international destinations or thinking of getting a big group together for a trip like a family reunion or retreat. If you would like to use miles and points to book summer travel, now is absolutely the time to be looking to snag those few coveted award seats.
There are quite a few products great for travel that are on sale during the back-to-school season. Make the most of these items in back-to-school sales to be ready for your next trip.
Even if your family is going to be staying put for awhile during the start of the school year, there are ways to embrace the traveling spirit even while at home. Read some books about travel or far-off destinations (we are on a Roald Dahl kick in our house, and James and the Giant Peach was a perfect story for both children and adults with a serious case of wanderlust). Study up and learn about other countries too. My daughter really enjoys her subscription to Little Passports, a monthly subscription service that highlights a different destination in each shipment (Little Passports offers three different products for different ages: Early Explorers for 3-5 year olds, World Edition for 6-10 year olds, and USA Edition for 7-12 year olds).
Make the most of the weekends
Just because summer is over doesn’t mean you can’t keep traveling close to home. Play tourist in your hometown. Look for destinations within a few hour drive that would work for a weekend getaway. I spent a day this week exploring Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco – it’s just 14 miles from my house yet I’d never taken either of my kids on a proper visit. It was well worth it (and definitely cheaper and easier than all the other travel I’ve done with them lately).
So don’t let the end of summer slow you down. Your travel strategy may have to adjust, but travel is still very possible. Keep traveling!