Need Help Traveling with College Freshman. When to Go??

Discussion in 'Disney for Families' started by Nazran, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. Nazran

    Nazran Mouseketeer

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    My family and I have been to WDW 2x now. We home school our children so we have the luxury of scheduling trips as we please. Typically we arrive the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Fast forward to 2019... we want to go for a 7day trip and this time we want to take my niece who has never been. She will be starting her senior year in HS in Fall of 2018 and by the time we would normally go she will be enrolled in college hopefully.

    I would love to go with lower crowds and cooler temps. I looked at the college calendar for a few state colleges and they seem to be somewhat different. It looks like however the only viable time with cooler temps would be the week before Christmas in 2019. However it is more expensive and Star Wars land should be open by then creating what i think will be monster crowds for the whole resort.

    My next thought would be January but it appears most colleges are back in session the Monday after New Years which i think in 2019 is Jan 4? Outside of summer and spring break do college kids get any other week long breaks?

    What about the flip side.. of this question. I am paying her way. Is it right for me to ask her to ditch classes if she wants to go? (That sounds horrible now that i type it) Can the average college freshman skip 2 to 3 days of classes? Its been 25 years since I was in college and back then the professors could have cared less if I showed up or not. Most provided a course calendar i think that showed what assignments had to be turned in or chapters covered etc...

    Can someone with some college age children give me some advice please :)
     
  2. Alesia

    Alesia DIS Veteran

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    1. You're right, that's a pretty horrible thing to ask.

    2. It depends on the specific classes, but it certainly can be a big deal.

    The best thing to do is to wait until you have her class schedule and plan around that.
     
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  4. Nazran

    Nazran Mouseketeer

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    Yikes that is an unnerving concept for me since I typically book at 499 days :)
     
  5. princess jasmine 76

    princess jasmine 76 Mouseketeer

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    Hi. I can give you a two-part perspective. I am the mom of a college freshman (or he will be this fall), and I am employed as a college administrator. We are from the lower hudson valley in New York.

    When my son was growing up, up until last year, we used to extend our Thanksgiving weekend to cover a trip to Disney World because it was a time when our family could travel and minimize time spent away from school and work with that long weekend. Unfortunately, due to my husband's job the summer time is the worst time for us to try to get away.

    This year will be different as he will be starting college this fall. We have elected to take our Disney trip from Dec. 30 - Jan 6. Bonus for him, as his birthday is New Year's Eve. I'm nervous about the NYE crowds, but this year the marathon weekend is scheduled after we leave so I am hoping crowds go from crazy to not-so-bad the few days before we leave. Fortunately our son would not return to college until Jan 14, which would be after our trip. The dates we have selected work with his winter break. The first few days through Jan 1 are definitely more expensive than the last 1/2 of our trip.

    Do you have an idea of where your niece will be going to college? You can go online to view academic calendars. A lot are posted for the next couple of fiscal years out. You are correct though in that colleges are all different so it is hard to gauge accurately.

    The college I work for is different in that we have a 2 week spring break and 1 week break in the fall, which is unusual for colleges.

    Personal opinion of course, but I would absolutely not recommend your niece skip any academic classes. All too often I have seen students melt down from the regular stress of academic pressures, never mind when they have to catch up on academic work or exams due to injury and illness (although the college I work for is very competitive academically and the curriculum is rigorous). In the circumstances of injury or illness, there should be protocols in place that will assist with getting a student back on track with missed work (i.e. extra time to submit papers, make up tests, etc). That would be a hard sell when one is missing classes due to Disney World. College is hard. Having been home-schooled, your niece may also need time to get used to an academic classroom setting for the first time. The transition to college is a major adjustment. Just my thoughts, of course you know what is best for you and your family.
     
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  6. Nazran

    Nazran Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for the advice. It is my niece though not my daughter. One thing that might work in our favor planning wise is that I am thinking about an off site stay. A party of 6 is expensive to lodge on property. I am looking at homes to rent currently. If we go that route I can wait longer until her plans are a little clearer.
     
  7. Alesia

    Alesia DIS Veteran

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    You might find that you like it better. You also might find that you like a different time of year better than November.
     
  8. princess jasmine 76

    princess jasmine 76 Mouseketeer

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    I am so sorry - I realized my mistake and edited my post to reflect that you asked about your niece and not your daughter. Good thing I don't work in the Communications Dept. at my college :)
    I agree that staying off-site would be a lot cheaper!
     
  9. FutureDisneyEventPlanner

    FutureDisneyEventPlanner DIS Veteran

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    When I was in college, just a year ago lol, we would go the second week in December every year. Colleges usually are out by then and most grade schools are not so the crowds are low. :) Prices are good as well. I would know, I was a broke college student who paid for my own trips. Lol.
     
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  10. 2019TripIdeas

    2019TripIdeas Mouseketeer

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    Any chance she has a January term? I know a lot of private schools do now- my university did- and it meant that you could opt in to taking a single class for the month of January and some people didn't at all and stayed home for that little mini term instead. Our "regular" spring term started in early February and ran through late May.

    Also, depending on where she goes, the number of online classes could have a major impact. We have relatives who go to in-state colleges who had MOST of their freshman classes online (this is still weird to me, since they're living in dorms, etc). Their upper levels have all been in a physical classroom. In that scenario, I could see a freshman year
    trip being easy.
     
  11. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    You're looking at 1.5 years from now. You aren't going to be able to figure this out yet.

    Yep, colleges are very different. You're going to have to wait until she is accepted and accepts their acceptance, and then see what calendar THAT specific college looks at.

    Who knows? See above. It's impossible to judge when to go by when other colleges, that she might not go to at all, have their breaks.


    Right now we have a friend whose daughter is at Grand Canyon University. Their breaks are nearly 100% off from University of Washington, which is off from a college in Southern California, etc etc. Three women I know are going to these schools, and if they are all home at once it's almost miraculous. Unless you choose to go right over xmas or New Year's, you're not going to be able to choose a time accurately.

    If you try, make it a refundable booking.

    Absolutely not. Unless you're also willing to pay for the counseling sessions and possible extra tuition IF she is having a hard time and has to drop out for awhile or switch schools. College was hard enough back when I was a freshman in '87, with tons of kids dropping out the first year; it's worse now.


    It's just like if one of your kids chooses to take up a sport or activity that follows a school year calendar. You're going to have to change it up from what you've been doing. My travel life was golden until my homeschooled son was asked to be on Dance Company at the YMCA, which follows the local school calendar. Even kids from out of district end up with problems in scheduling b/c their districts (and I live in a separate district just 7 minutes' drive away and if he went to the local school he would be a week or two off from spring break, etc etc, from his dance schedule) are on different schedules. And the local colleges are all off from one another as well.
     
  12. DisneyTravelers2008

    DisneyTravelers2008 Sally & Clay (Disney Travelers 2008)

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    Now that our son is in college, we either go when he gets out early in December for the Christmas break or over his spring break. I used to pull him out of school for 2 days while in high school but college is different. I am always afraid he will need the absences for a real emergency like illness or something in college. :)
     
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  13. mjkacmom

    mjkacmom DIS Veteran

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    I have 2 in college. They start in September, have final right up u til a few days before Christmas, are off 3 weeks in January, the second week of March, and finish up finals in the middle of May. I don’t know of any college student who would miss classes for a vacation, some of them are 3 hour classes that only meet once a week.
     
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  14. mom2rtk

    mom2rtk Invented the term "Characterpalooza"

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    My daughter is a rising HS senior. She used to miss a whole week for Disney each fall. Now she misses 3 days and we still go in early December. But we know that gig is up when she starts college. I would never ask her to miss class. I have 2 fairly recent college grads, both very strong academically, and neither would have wanted to miss class for a trip. I would never even ask.
     
  15. Hikergirl

    Hikergirl DIS Veteran

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    If you really want to take your niece then it is best to wait to book until you know her schedule.
    Our state schools are off from mid-December until mid Jan so your dates would work, but it looks like where you are they would not. It just isn't going to be possible to guess whether or not she will have it off, especially since you don't even know where she will be going to school.
    No, it is not right to ask her to miss her classes so either plan a trip that works with her schedule, or just plan one that works for you and don't invite her.
    It really stinks when you try to work with different school schedules, once my dd started college we weren't able to take trips during the school year since her schedule is different than my other 2 still in HS. It is nice that you want to include her, but it just may not be possible if you only want to travel at certain times of the year.
     
  16. QueenIsabella

    QueenIsabella DIS Veteran

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    No, you have no right to ask her to miss class. And if I were her parent, I would be pretty peeved if you did ask. At this point, you have no idea how she's going to manage in college. Even if she's a fabulous student now, she may struggle with adjusting, the academics, even socially.

    That said, I think your heart is in the right place. You simply can't plan this far out--you don't know where she'll be going to school, so how could you possibly guess the calendar? DH and I both graduated from a college with 4, 7-week terms. Then DH did graduate school at a college with trimesters. My two older kids went/are going to colleges with semesters, but even their schedules didn't synch up.

    The best you can hope for is to look at the calendar for her eventual school of choice, and see if you can find a week that's reasonable to you. But even then, she might not want to or be able to go. I had a work-study job that required availability during breaks (I helped with scheduling). Sometimes there's make-up work, or mini-classes, or other things going on. Again, it really depends on the individual school, and also how she finds her way in it. Sports, sororities, and some clubs have stuff going on, even when school isn't in session. My oldest was very involved with a campus volunteer group--she was let into the dorm early, stayed late, and went on a travel volunteer opportunity during spring break. She would not have given up these things for a trip to Disney.
     
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  17. J'aime Paris

    J'aime Paris Living happily ever after

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    My DD will be starting her Sophomore year of college in late August.

    She would not miss class for a trip. Way too much material covered, and many of her profs took attendance.

    We were able to manage a couple of trips. She had a long weekend off of school in October after midterms, and we spent Wed. night thru Sunday at Universal. And we went to the Dominican Rep. for a week during her Spring Break.

    But they were scheduled around her availability. She would have been too stressed otherwise, and it wouldn't have been relaxing/enjoyable.

    You may be paying for the trip...but someone is paying tuition...
     
  18. NYCgrrl

    NYCgrrl DIS Veteran

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    One. I would be really peeved at any sibling of mine who invited one of my children on a possible "Lets cut class" vacation without discussing the scheduling with me first. It would be a...slap in the face to the values we grew up with and I would wonder what the heckenspeck was wrong with her. Big time.

    Two. College is a time to grow and expand one's horizons. You may not realise that yet but to my way of thinking you are subverting this process by possibly inserting your needs and wants into a familial gift with strings attached. Your helping or fully paying for her college costs has no meaning at this level.

    Either choose to go when your niece is out of school with the knowledge that her parents are in agreement or plan your trip w/o her in the party.

    I'm not without some similarities in this situ thus am speaking beyond philosophy.

    I invited my youngest niece to come with us on our July 2018 Disney trip in part because she has just graduated from HS and decided to take a year off from schooling to figure out her future. Her parents couldn't get their act together and had no funds to buy her prom outfit; I paid for it. Her oldest sister (almost 15 years older) attended a 4 year college with my financial help so she is aware of that history which came from her sister and not me.

    Youngest niece just informed me this weekend that she wont be coming on the trip because she found a job. I had planned several portions of our trip with her in mind and am somewhat disappointed she won't be there BUT am proud she is able to think like the kind of adult I'd wish her to grow up to be and forgo short term fun for long term goals. When she goes to college I think she'll see the experience in the right frame of mind.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
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  19. Allison

    Allison DIS Veteran

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    There is too much variety in college calendars to plan anything until she knows the school she is attending. Do not ask her to miss class. That is not a good thing in any way.
     
  20. Nazran

    Nazran Mouseketeer

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    I appreciate the feedback. I think you are all quite right about no use really planning until I know what school she will be attending.

    I am slightly amused at the righteous indignation though at a simple question I clearly knew the answer to when I posted. Thanks for confirming so strongly what a jerk I am setting her down the path to probable drug addiction and white trashness for wanting to take her to Disney World! Particularly the post almost suggesting I would abduct my sister in law's child from class. Lighten up people.
     
  21. QueenIsabella

    QueenIsabella DIS Veteran

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    Oh, please. If you "clearly knew the answer when you posted", why bother to post? Some of us take a college education very seriously. I hope your niece does, too.
     
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