‘Stagger’ school holidays for cheaper breaks

school holidays

school holidaysKnowing when to take the kids on holiday can be a minefield. Do you take them out of school to ensure a cheaper break, but then suffer a fine? Or do you wait until the summer recess, but then get hammered by sky-high costs?

Well one family holiday specialist thinks it has a solution - staggering the school holidays.

Takethefamily proposes the Government staggers holidays as they do in France and Germany. This would help even out prices, and make everywhere less crowded - be it airports, motorways, holiday resorts or theme parks.

And keeping costs low is vital. The family travel bookings website recently found 58% of parents have considerably downscaled and/or shortened their holidays since the recession.

Some 18% of families can only afford to go away during term-time, and only 26% are taking the same type or length of holiday as they did before the recession.

Takethefamily found as many as 8% of families can no longer afford to take breaks at all.

And the website fears the situation will get worse when Government plans to ban term-time absences come into force. Parents who want to save money on holidays are often forced to take their children out of school for a few days.

Rhonda Carrier, head of content and parent marketing, said: "It's clear that the Government needs to seriously consider the likely impact of Michael Gove's removal of the discretionary right of head teachers to grant permission for term-time holidays.

"While our poll does show that 38% of respondents have occasionally taken their children on term-time holidays, 15% have done it often, and 32% haven't done it but are not against it in principle, we're not asking for Gove to do an about-face. We know that he is backed by EU human-rights law on school attendance.

"Nevertheless, figures released this week do show that absences due to term-time holidays have risen for the second year in a row, and that more parents have been issued fines as a result. Obviously, something has to give."

Consequently Takethefamily recommends staggered holidays as a "third way".

Some 59% of the 598 survey respondents approved of the idea, while a further 27% were open to the idea. Only 12% were against it.

So what do you think? Let us know by getting in touch via [email protected]