My teenager isn’t really taking a gap year.

That said, if you were to hear her describe heading into an online charter high school this fall, that’s exactly what it would sound like.

I can only imagine what our fellow back to school shoppers at Target were thinking, as an obviously not-even-close-to college age child was dancing around the glue sticks and pink erasers singing about her gap year.

“Gap year, gap year, I’m taking a gap year!”

Come the Tuesday after Labor Day, however, she will flip open the laptop provided, log in, and begin her freshman year of high school. Sure, she’ll probably still be in her PJs while doing so, but a gap year it is not.

Her sister, on the other hand, starts traditional brick & mortar sixth grade next week. This is why it’ll be just the 14-year-old and me on Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas later this month.


Strangely, the tween isn’t sad about missing a European vacation. She’s excited instead to have her mom all to herself for a week, their Labor Day weekend getaway to Virginia for a glamping stay in a beautifully restored vintage 1967 Airstream trailer, and best of all, she’s got Go Vacation on Nintendo Switch (affiliate link).

Nintendo Switch Go Vacation packaging

It might not be Mallorca in the Mediterranean but Mallory, my 11 year old soon-to-be-6th grader, will be vacationing on the faraway fictional island of Kawawaii from the comfort of home, with the a/c blasting away the late-August mugginess, all while kayaking, rollerblading, snow tubing, and horseback riding around her own island retreat.

Nintendo Switch Go Vacation 2

While the teen and I play laser tag, watch each and every theatrical production on board the Symphony of the Seas at least once (including Hairspray!), and go ziplining 9 stories above the middle of Royal Caribbean’s latest, greatest and largest cruise ship (the largest in the world in fact), we both will be happy knowing the smallest member of our family will be rocking a huge smile as she changes outfits, gets coconut treats at the food trucks and unlocks new Go Vacation adventures in the city, marine, mountain and snow resorts.

Nintendo Switch Go Vacation water bike jetski

Before we return from Barcelona, having thoroughly enjoyed our deck 6 balcony cabin and all that Royal Caribbean’s 228,000 ton, 18 deck floating resort has to offer, my baby will surely have earned the 20 activity stamps required to move into her own private Go Vacation seaside villa that she will get to furnish and decorate, invite friends over to visit, and watch a slideshow of her Kawawaii adventures on the touchscreen flatscreen TV in the villa’s family room.

Nintendo Switch Go Vacation Two Player Mode Snow Resort

Two player Go Vacation mode with two different activities at once — snow tubing and snowboarding!

*disclosure: the Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas European cruise is a press trip for the teen and I, and Nintendo so kindly sent us a copy of Go Vacation for Switch. All opinions expressed above are honest and unbiased, as always with me.