There are many articles online about pulling kids out of school for travel purposes, weighing both pros and cons. In full disclosure I’m going to say that we do pull them out for travel during the year, and I don’t regret it. This is a personal choice, and one I will explain further in another post—including our reasonings behind doing so. But the short answer is that they’re young enough they’re not missing much right now, so precedence for “school break travel” goes to my hubby’s work employees with much older kids who can’t miss school.
We always ask their teacher to provide us with any missed work, but I always like to bring along some type of literary/writing journal related item so they can document their travels. This is something I’ve been doing since I was a kid whenever my family would travel, (it’s one of the ways I became a great writer actually!). This is also a Writing Teacher/Writer recommendation if you’re ever looking for ways to help your kids write more. And travel is one of the best ways, since kids are excited about it. In my experiences teaching and professionally writing, we’re always more excited to write about the things we love and are excited about.
I wanted to carry on the Travel Journal tradition for my kids for a few reasons:
1. Writing/drawing about one’s experiences tells so much more than just simply snapping a photo. An example is this very blog post you’re reading right now. I can show you pictures of the travel journals I use without explaining them and you will have to fill in the blanks. Or I can write a post explaining it all and it makes so much more sense to you. I love the idea that my kids can look back on their travel diaries and a fun time is brought to memory so vividly because they described their feelings in that moment. A photograph simply can’t describe all that.
2. It gives us a hands-on, educational, and creative outlet during our trip. Travel in itself is educational. It’s a field trip. And any teacher will tell you that there’s always some type of “during” or “follow-up” activity for the field trip to gauge students’ engagement and learning about the event. Travel journals are the same way. Kids are much more likely to be engaged with and remember the experience when using them.
3. Travel journals make the best trip souvenirs!!
Now again, in full disclosure, I’m going to say that I don’t usually sit my kids down at the end of the night in a hotel room and ask them to complete a journal entry or activity. This simply isn’t practical for us, because we’re usually exhausted, playing, or too busy. However some great times during the day are when I’m having my morning coffee in the hotel, getting dressed, getting ready for bed and/or packing and unpacking. These are all daily 5-10 minute moments that provide a reasonable opportunity for travel journaling to take place.
The other cool thing about travel journals is that they also double as photo albums and/or autograph books if needed on a Disney or character-heavy trip!
Below are links* to some great travel journals for all age groups, including my favorite one which I’ve used my entire life before the fancy ones, and my kids own since they’re toddlers: A simple composition book. To purchase any of the items below simply click on the photo!
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