More and more parents are taking their children on holiday during term-time, despite facing fines designed to curb the practice.
With the UK now officially back in recession, many families are feeling the financial squeeze more than ever. While people are making cutbacks in a number of areas, the family holiday is a priority that few people are willing to give up.
It has been found that three out of ten parents are planning to take the family holiday during term time – meaning that children run the risk of falling behind on schoolwork.
This is despite the fact that they face a fine for taking their children away from school, which has gone up by 60% in the last year.
Fines were introduced in 2004, and mean that parents face a charge of £60 if they are caught – a figure which rises to £120 if the fine is not paid within 28 days.
Far from acting as a deterrent, the fines appear to be doing little to prevent families from holidaying during term-time. The number of parents taking their children out of school has gone up from 7% in 2004 to 21% in 2012.
“The difference in price for taking a trip during the school holidays and during term-time is huge,” said Selwyn Fernandes, managing director of LV= travel insurance, which carried out the research.
“It is not surprising that so many parents are willing to risk a fine of £60 when they can save ten times that by holidaying outside of the peak season.”
Analysis of family holiday prices has revealed that parents can end up paying almost 50% more for a family getaway during the school holidays than in term-time.
The cost of a week’s family holiday to Florida is an average of £2,619, whereas during the school holidays it is an average of £3,824 – a difference of 46%.
Of those planning on taking their children out of school for a holiday, 57% said it was to save money while 32% argued that they could only afford a holiday during term-time.
The cost of a holiday is rising all the time, but there are a number of ways to save money while abroad. One of the best is to invest in a prepaid travel money card.
These will allow you to access money and make purchases in a safe and secure way, while also bypassing expensive bank charges for foreign card use.