Trying To Holiday In The UK
Today's subject is something I feel very strongly about...
More specifically, trying to holiday in the UK as a family of six during the school holidays.
I know this is a subject that has been brought up time and time again but I just have to share our recent experience of trying to plan a family Holiday in the UK because to be perfectly honest it was a bit of a shocker.
Firstly let me tell you that T and N have both had 100% attendance at school for the past few years, they both work exceptionally hard and as a result have achieved some fantastic results. This is something we're all proud of.
Last year I was going through a pretty naff pregnancy which meant we weren't able to take the children away so this year we wanted to do something special, a treat for the younger ones and a reward for the older ones for working so hard at school.
Now we don't have loads of spare money, I stay at home to look after the family while hubby works as hard as he can to provide for us all. We're okay but we're not particularly well off either so we always need to have a clear budget in mind when we're planning anything big like a holiday. This is why, when we began our search for holidays in the UK, we were so shocked to see that our budget didn't even come close to covering it. The reason for this was purely because we were looking for a break during the school holidays.
Our children were suggesting all sorts of places they'd like to go: tree houses, Butlins, hotels, Alton Towers, Bluestone, boat trips, Center Parcs etc etc. but none of these were affordable on the dates we were able to go. As a quick comparison we looked at Disneyland Paris and it worked out to be around the same price as Butlins! I mean, really??
I accept that it's a busy time for holidays but is it really necessary to increase the price by so much? The most sickening part is that the prices aren't even just doubled, they're MORE than doubled simply because of the date. Does the holiday home miraculously evolve into a state-of-the-art luxury accommodation during the school holidays? Do they go in and stock all the cupboards with complimentary M&S food and drink as a treat for the school holidays? Do they provide you with a personal butler for the week? No, you'll be experiencing exactly the same holiday as someone who stays there the week before the school holidays start. Yet you'll be paying so much more. Doesn't exactly sound fair does it!
I'll give you an example. One particular resort charged approx £300 for a holiday home the week before the school summer holidays started, the following week (the first week of the summer holidays) the exact same accommodation increased in price to approx £1500!!! What the *insert swear words of choice here*???
So essentially we are being punished for not wanting to take our children out of school for a holiday. I know many parents do, and I completely understand why they do, because the fine for taking them out of school is significantly less than the ridiculous price increases for holidaying during the school break.
I believe children deserve a treat after a long school year but this situation is making it incredibly difficult for parents to reward their children for all their hard work and it puts us under even more pressure both financially and emotionally.
Someone who has the power to make a change needs to address this problem and put a stop to the unacceptable overpricing of school holiday breaks. It just isn't fair on our children - they either have to miss out on some of their education or miss out on a holiday and personally I don't want my children to miss out on either. Why should they?
In the meantime if anyone knows of anywhere that doesn't increase their prices by an extortionate amount during the school holidays (I'm well aware this is a long shot) please send me the details.
I'd love to know what you think about this subject so please feel free to leave a comment below.