Admit it – you forgot, didn’t you? With the kids just back to school, and you’re still struggling to keep up with work, thank you cards, or getting back to regular running, one way or another – the next school vacation ( semester runs from February 12-20 this year) is already imminent and you haven’t done anything about it.

And this semester really matters. In the past, the February break was almost an afterthought. Easter, Pentecost, summer – as parents we are everywhere, maximizing our annual leave to enjoy every sunny day we can. But, we reasoned, who wants to blow their precious five days of vacation in the middle of winter? This time, after the time we’ve all had, we just can’t wait.

In fact, February is precisely the time of year when we need a vacation the most. The schadenfreude is off the scale as your plane rises from the freezing fog in the UK and drops you off, hours later, in a destination so sunny and gloriously unknown it might as well be another planet. And February is a privileged month for travel. It’s blue sky season in the Caribbean and the Maldives, and the peak month for snowfall on the alpine slopes. There’s also something to excite the little ones closer to home.

Thank goodness also for the grandparents, who often meddle in this vital week, bonding with our precious packs by taking them to feed the goats in the Cotswolds farm parks or even – for the intrepid – taking them to see the sloths of Costa Rica National Parks if moms and dads really can’t get out of the office.

The mid-term may only last a week, but it’s still a nine-day period, which is certainly long enough for an adventure. An adventure that will put a spring in your step until spring, and send children back to school with slightly wider eyes, and slightly wider horizons.

King Tut’s wow-wow trip

For: young children

Most elementary school children learn about ancient Egypt, so a trip there will really bring the subject to life and deepen their understanding. Stubborn Mule, which specializes in family adventure travel, has created an engaging itinerary for young children that includes camel rides around the pyramids at sunset and donkey rides through the Valley of the Kings, plunging in tombs to uncover Tutankhamun’s mummified remains and treasure, and – with a nod to Kenneth Branagh’s Death on the Nile, also released in February – sailing along the great river and sleeping on the bridge.