Let’s stagger our UK school holidays
In my first column since the kids went back to school I thought it timely to talk about how costly a time it is for parents during the holiday period.
The cost of a family day out at say, a theme park, or local attraction has become a very expensive thing to do and leaves many a parent scratching their heads wondering how they are going to keep the kids occupied for six weeks. To give an example, a recent trip to the zoo for two adults and two young children cost a whopping £70.00 and all that was left was wondering how to fill the other 41 days.
We all aspire to take our children away on holiday during the summer break and will be all too aware of how the cost of doing so is becoming increasingly out of reach for so many.
During the school holidays, the price of a holiday rental sky rockets to astronomical proportions, in many cases doubling in price only to slump back down as soon as the kids head back to school. I’m sure I’m not the only one who looks on the internet to book the summer break, only to sit there in front of my computer completely aghast at how much it’s going to cost to have a week away for some quality family time and to recharge the batteries.
The trouble is, as parents we face little choice about paying these high prices as the law penalises parents who take their kids away during school term times, meaning many can rarely afford to take their kids away on holiday.
The answer to this cannot be more encouragement to remove children from school to accommodate holidays. A good education is increasingly important in this day and age. The answer must be more creative than that and unless the holiday companies and individual cottage owners can show some restraint in the prices they charge, which is extremely unlikely when the demand is so high, then the government should intervene to help out those who are finding themselves priced out of a family break.
This could mean staggering school holidays throughout the country and therefore lowering the demand in the narrow timeframes currently available to parents, which in turn should cause the prices to drop naturally.
If, like me, you want to support the local tourism industry and holiday in our beautiful and diverse British Isles, this solution would not only benefit parents, but should also be a massive boost to the local tourism industry, because all too often when I speak to other parents about how expensive it is to take the kids away on holiday in this country, the usual response will be to go abroad, as even with the flights factored in it very often works out cheaper.
With this in mind, staggering school holidays seems like a no brainer, not just for struggling parents, but should also act as a shot in the arm for the local economy, as more people are able to holiday in the UK throughout the year.
It seems to me like it’s long overdue.