In the last post I looked at Rabbi Shmuel Feust's answer on tuition vs. camp, where camp was deemed a necessity. The second question posed to him at the Agudah convention Tuition Forum is as follows.
Question: Can a person who doesn't pay full tuition take a vacation?
Answer: In one community, the tuition committee monitors all the parents--when they go on vacation, where they go, what type of hotel they stay in. The following year, the interviewer can tell them how much they spent on their vacation.
"Vacation" may mean going out of town for a couple of days, or it could mean taking a trip to Eretz Yisroel, Acapulco, Florida, or Palm Springs. The tuition committee would have a basis to say that you have no right to take such a vacation unless you pay full tuition. If however, you wanted to go to the mountains and stay in a bungalow colony for a week or two for health reasons or change of scenery, that may well be different.
I see value in taking low-key family vacations to national parks or historical sites. I personally have no interest in vacationing with the neighbors be it in Acapulco or in a bungalow colony. But that is neither here or there.
The Rabbi was very vague with his answer. I imagine that is because vacations are abused and there are sometimes cases where families need a break and it is affecting shalom bayit. However, I can't understand why sleepaway (not day) camp would get a "yes," while taking a low-key family vacation gets a luke warm "maybe."
There really should be a guide for applying for tuition reductions that lets you know when you should just forget about it and lets you know what type of expenses you are allowed to make should you apply. Maybe one could trade camp reductions for tuition of x dollars for lesser amount to take a road trip to a national park and camp out in Motel 6's along the way?