How Can I Pull My Child out of School When We’re Going on Vacation?

Are you planning on going on a family vacation in the middle of the school year? Here’s how to pull your child out of school the right way.

Family running on the beach

There is compelling scientific evidence that family vacations help make children happier and smarter. This alone is enough to make someone want to take their kids on multiple vacations every year.

However, going on vacation with your kids, especially on a whim, is not always possible. Most of the time they’re in school, which means you have to plan your trips around the school’s calendar.

Or is it?

Well, if you really want to go on vacation and take your kids along when school’s in session, you might have no choice but to pull them out of school. This is easier said than done – unless you know how to go about it.

In this article, we’re telling you how to do it.

What Do Your State and School’s Policies Say?

You won’t find a state or school that encourages parents to pull their kids from school and fly them across the country or world, regardless of how beneficial traveling is to kids’ development. In most instances, educational agencies and institutions have policies that discourage and even punish truancy.

Now, the question you would be asking yourself is: is going on vacation a good reason for a child to miss school?

You have our own views, but the benefits of traveling notwithstanding, schools don’t consider vacation during school time a good reason. Truancy is excused when there’s a health issue or family emergency.

So, if your child’s school has a strict policy on missing classes, you might have to re-weigh your options. 

Consider Your Child’s Age and Learning Ability

If the state and school’s truancy policies don’t seem to firmly stand in the way of your plans, the next thing to consider is your child’s age and learning ability.

When your child is in preschool or the junior grades, the academic stakes aren’t so high. Even if they miss a handful of classes, they still have plenty of time to catch up with the syllabus.

However, if your child is in a senior grade, the stakes are higher. If your child is nearing their final exams, this will largely affect their future. It’s important that the child makes the most of their remaining school time.

Learning ability is also a vital consideration to make. Some children are naturally slower learners, and others are quick learners.

If your child is a proven quick learner, it means they grasp what they’re taught easily. They won’t have any trouble catching up after missing a couple of lessons.

With a quick learner, you probably won’t be harming their academic progress if you pulled them out of school and took them on a vacation.

Where Is Your Destination?

Vacations aren’t equal, in terms of what your child will gain from the experience.

Some experiences will be life-changing and valuable for you and your kids and others will be, well, a waste of time. When you pull your child out for school to take them on vacation, you want to ensure what they’ll experience will make positive contributions to their development. A place like Taronga Zoo Sydney, for instance, will enhance your kids’ wildlife knowledge.  

Choose your vacation destination wisely.

Pulling Your Child Out of School for a Vacation Depends on Many Factors

Ideally, you should be able to pull your child out of school and take them on vacation. It’s your child and your money, after all, right?


Schools have policies that ought to be respected by parents. However, depending on your child’s school, your child, and your level of planning, you might be able to accomplish your mission successfully.

Keep tabs on our blog for more on parenting and child development.


  • heather

    Great information for parents and some tips I had not thought of before. We always went on any vacations during the summer months.

  • Kate Sarsfield

    Here’s the other side of the coin, the teacher’s perspective: it is not only annoying but sometimes heartbreaking to have children pulled out of class for 2 weeks. Most will catch up, but in Special Ed., where I worked, it’s not just the 2 weeks, it may be the months leading up to those 2 weeks that that are lost.

  • Crystal K

    I’ve always thought that some of the most valuable learning experiences happen outside the classroom – and that includes family vacation and special trips!

  • Rosie

    I doubt it would be good, there are many subjects that once you lose the place, such as math, it is hard to catch up when you get back. It is very competitive, and people pay so much in taxes that goes to education, and then even more if private school, why not make sure your child has a fighting chance at getting into a good college. When they have graduated college and have a good job, they can travel!

  • Tamra Phelps

    When I was in school, this happened occasionally when friends traveled with their parents. Things were not so strict back then, lol.

  • Diane K Brimmer

    This is really great information, glad that I have already raised my kids and don’t have to make these plans.

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