Cheaper holidays tempt parents to trade school days

Published on 1 January 1970 by Raffick Marday

Families with school aged children in the UK are fed up with being hit by extra charges to go away during school holidays, according to a new survey.

Nearly a quarter of UK families with children at school either have or are considering taking their holidays during term time in order to save around £664 on their costs.

The new research revealed that nearly 1.8 million families in the UK are willing to let their children miss out on some of their schooling in order to be able to afford a family holiday. On average, parents were happy for their kids to miss up to 6.3 days of teaching.

The data showed that 93% of these parents think that airlines and travel companies act unfairly when they deliberately manage prices so that they are higher during school break periods. 65% of those say that they can't afford the extra costs involved to take a holiday when the schools are closed.

Head of travel at Gocompare.com Jeremy Cryer commented: "It's an unfortunate fact that the cost of holidays and flights increase substantially during school holiday periods.

“This leaves many parents with the difficult decision of whether to take their children out of school to take advantage of lower prices or to bite the bullet and pay the school holiday rates.

“With an average cost saving of over £600 it's clear to see why many parents choose to take the saving over the schooling,” he added.

Only 14% of parents said they only have holidays with their children during school holiday periods. Although there was some discussion about legislation to ban term time holidays and impose fines on parents who took their children out of school to go on holiday, the government dropped them due to a backlash from cash-strapped parents.

"Many parents would also argue that a child's education should be more than just time spent in the classroom and that travel broadens a child's horizons, gives them valuable family time and adds to their life experience,” concluded Mr Cryer.

By making sure that you organise your travel money well in advance of your holiday, thus avoiding expensive airport rates, you can help to keep overall holiday costs to a minimum.

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