The kids seem to have only just gone back to school and already everyone’s talking about plans for October half-term.
However, I checked EasyJet for flights last week (as I wanted to visit my family in Italy as we didn’t get the chance over the summer) and it’s the same old story: flight prices sky-rocketting during the school holidays. I haven’t even bothered checking accommodation as the price for five of us to fly is already too much of a barrier. I’m talking about an extra £800 premium just for flights on Cheesy Jet if it’s during half-term.
Sofia is in year two at school and she’s only ever had one day off full stop. I’ve never taken her out so that we can go on holiday. However, I am getting increasingly frustrated that travel companies are holding us to ransom. I still won’t take her out, not because of the fine, but a) she wouldn’t want to miss school and b) I think it can be disruptive. That said, I certainly understand why others would.
Coincidentally, as I was looking into extortionate flights, I was sent a press release conducted by online travel agency www.sunshine.co.uk. The headline stated: Half of Parents Will Take Their Kids Out of School for Holidays Over Next 12 Months.
According to their research, 82% of the 1996 parents surveyed, with children between the ages of four and 16, said that they would be prepared to pay a fine, with almost half saying they actually plan to take their children out of school for a holiday during term time (apparently up 104% from the previous year). Unsurprisingly, the majority said they’d do it in order to save money on their trip.
I have to say, I’m not that surprised. As with all good PR stories, attention is drawn to regional differences. Liverpudlians were the most likely to take their children out of school during term time and Bristolians the least likely.
In the meantime perhaps we should all push for our schools to emulate the South Wales primary school that’s tacking all its inset days together in order to gain a week’s holiday outside of the standard school calendar…
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