How do you handle vacations?

Hey all --So I’m going on vacation for two weeks and it got me wondering how everyone else handles WK when they go on vacation. (Vacation mode? Reviews only? Just keep trucking?)

I went on a one week ‘vacation’ a few months back where I was taking time from work but not going away so I kept WK going and just didn’t do any new lessons. That worked great for me at that time because I felt like I was on top of things at the start and I didn’t mind taking some time every day to do reviews as they came up.

This time I’m going on an actual trip to Ontario and for twice at long, and unfortunately I’ve also been spending the past few weeks crawling out from under an avalanche lol. I took one week mostly off, let the reviews really pile up and when I did try to catch up I was not focused enough. I usually keep my apprentice around 100 but wound up failing down a big chunk of higher level items and that number got up to around 150 for a bit. Got back down to 100 last week and decided to just keep going with reviews only for the two weeks before my vacation to see how low I could get that number. I know for some of you this extra month slowdown probably seems completely unacceptable, but to be honest I really don’t want to be touching my phone on this trip much at all. If they really start to pile up in my first week of vacation I might flip on vacation mode, but I figure this strategy might let me stay on top of everything more or less with 10-15 minutes a day. We’ll see how it goes.

I just know for me if I studied new words this week and last week and then threw on vacation mode, I’d fail those all back down as soon as I came back. Figure this way has the added bonus of helping me hopefully knock out some leeches and be able to come back with a much lower apprentice number and hopefully improve my stats at learning the new stuff quicker when I’m back too.

Any thoughts or strategies from you all? Since I’m figuring I’m going to be a roughly 5 year WK person really looking for ways to make the system (and the learning) sustainable


Nah, I went on just doing reviews for about two months before. Plenty of people just do reviews for a certain period of time for various reasons, it’s pretty normal.

If that’s the case, turn on vacation mode. Chances are you’ll end up forgetting to do them and the reviews will pile up. Alternatively, when you wake up and before you leave to do any activities, do your reviews. Then, turn on vacation mode. When you get back and are unwinding, or if you have down time during the day, turn off vacation mode and do the ones you didn’t get to doing or let a few come in so you can do them in the morning.


My longest vacation since I’ve been doing WK has been a little over a week. I planned to just keep on going during downtime and stay on my normal pace.

In practice, this was harder than I expected. I was using an app instead of the site, touchscreen instead of mechanical keyboard, doing reviews in an unfamiliar location, out of my routine, tired after a long day of sightseeing, etc. so my reviews took MUCH longer than usual and my percentages were unusually low.

I was not able to return to 0/0 every day like I normally do, and by the end of the vacation, it took a day or two back in my normal environment to get through the backlog. Also, I probably made less than half as much progress towards my next WK level that week as I typically would.

Anyway, just one anecdotal data point, but I’d say if you can stay on top of things, go for it, but don’t let WK get in the way of enjoying your vacation… the Crabigator will still be there when you get back.

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I wrote about this on my Guide for Wanikani.


IMO vacation mode is pointless - it just makes the SRS system out of sync with your actual knowledge. It makes more sense to stop doing lessons for a while before the trip, and set WK’s review ordering to “lower levels first” when you get back.


Turning it on and off a bit is a good idea. First day we’re gonna be driving 8 hours to get there, and we’re actually driving a few hours to different places several times on the trip, so I feel like those might be good times to catch up a bit when the conversation lulls. Maybe I’ll just turn it off on travel days or something.

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@Escalus Yeah I felt the way skipping a bunch of days fucked the SRS without vacation mode on, so I generally feel this way, that’s why I stopped doing new lessons. I am just going to have to force myself to not rush through the backlog when I get back if I don’t do vacation mode (if I were to stop doing reviews w/o vacation mode right now I’d have 500 by Sunday night and that’s half the length of my trip). That’s on me not WK though. I do use WK to break up my work a bit, so if I can just force myself to only do a small number at a time when I’m back and not feel rushed it might be fine.

in your situation, i’d say go on vacation mode

you’ve already done the prep for vacation mode (that is, no new lessons before activating vacation mode), and it sounds like you’ll be way too busy for reviews. so activate vacation mode, and then deactivate it at the same hour when you get back.

(at the same hour: if you activate it at 9am, de-activate it at 9am too, so that the timings keep lining up)

this summer i was on a vacation where i knew i’d have tons of free time and not much to do, so i kept doing lessons and reviews as usual. in september i’ve got a vacation where i know i’ll be busy nonstop 24/7, i’m absolutely going to activate vacation mode.

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edit I realized now you said “out of sync with your actual knowledge” Lol which makes my post a Moo point now. But I’ll leave it up just in case.

It doesn’t though. If you activate vacation mode at say, 7:14am on a Wednesday then you have to deactivate it on a Wednesday at 7:14am then everything stays the same (though wk does the forecast at the top of the hour which is the reason you see reviews at 7am or 8am for example).

Wk had a bug in the past where users were seeing different numbers in their reviews when they would deactivate vacation but they supposedly fixed it.

Let’s say your forecast is reviews at 8am and at 10am on Wednesday for simplicity and nothing else. If you go on vacation the same Wednesday at 7:xx and deactivate it next Wednesday or any other Wednesday at 7:xx, then your forecast will remain exactly the same.

SRS is frozen with vacation mode. The shifting you’re speaking of is when people go on vacation but don’t come back on the exact day and same hour. Then you see a shift which ruins your forecast.

With the example above, if instead you deactivate vacation mode on a Thursday at 11am then you have shifted 28 hours. So instead of seeing your reviews as it was on Wednesday for 8am and 10am you will see 12pm and 2pm. Not only did you mess up the times but the days as well. If you had perfect forecast on weekends for example they are now gone :’)

I go on vacation because fuck me of I’m in a situation where I can’t do reviews. I avoid using WK on my phone so if there’s no PC, there’s no WK for me.

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I’m currently on Day 3 of a 10 Day vacation. I just brought my laptop. I have downtime during Vacation time, and bang out my reviews in like 6-8 hour intervals. When I am outside, no review though. I only do lessons if I forecast having little reviews later.

But if you have limited internet, I probably recommend just sticking to reviews when you can do them. :slight_smile:

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I flick that vacation mode switch sooooo fast. I want to enjoy my time without the slightest bit of stress. In the past I tried to push through and keep going at the same pace during vacations but stuff always comes up that prevents me from doing my reviews, even with the best of intentions, leading to nightmare backlogs of reviews awaiting me at home. No. I just go right into vacation mode now so I can relax and enjoy myself

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