We have decided to visit my sister next year. She lives on the other side of the world so it’s not a family holiday we are going to do very often. In fact, it’s unlikely that we are going to make it again during the time my kids are still at school.
After making the commitment to do the trip this Christmas I started to look at prices. OH MY GOD! It’s a long time since we have flown long haul and I realise that fuel is expensive and there is a bigger environmental tax on airlines these days with the world melting and all that, but. OH MY GOD!
Just have to say it one more time. OH MY GOD!
For us to take a family holiday over Christmas in the school holidays was going to cost us £6000! That’s before we’d booked anywhere to stay, topped up the iPad with any movies or even bought the kids a pair of flip flops and a magazine each. And I need a new bikini!
After a few days coming to terms with the fact that I might need to get a job just to pay for this holiday (another OH MY GOD!) a good friend suggested I look at the costs in January and February. Well I knew it would be a bit cheaper but hadn’t considered it as my eldest is at school and I don’t generally agree with taking them out to go on holiday.
Well… I quite quickly changed my moral mind and got the credit card out. All booked. 4 Malaysian Airline flights for almost half the cost of going in the school holidays.
I had no idea the differences were so big. We don’t go on many holidays abroad as we have the campervan so I don’t think I have a real appreciation of what things cost. We both love the UK and tend to find it’s easier with the kids to holiday with our home on wheels. We have every possible kids activity packed on board (plus a constant supply of G&T’s) and to be honest, I’m not great at cramming a 2 week life in to a suitcase.
So why is it so unfair on people with kids. Even worse for teachers with kids.
I had a quick look online for cheap last-minute holidays and a week all-inclusive in Ibiza is around £500. Go a week after the schools go back and it’s almost half! How is that ever fair for people with kids? We are the ones most desperately in need of holidays!
As I said, it’s a moral dilemma I struggled with (briefly) but realistically, to go in the school holidays was just not affordable.
It’s been so long since I’ve seen my sister. I can’t wait.
What’s a mum to do?
What the Department of Education say:
Headteachers have the discretion to grant leave, but they should only do so in exceptional circumstances. If a headteacher grants a leave request, it will be for them to determine the length of time that the child can be away from school. This leave is unlikely, however, to be granted for the purposes of a family holiday.
Parents can be fined for taking their child on holiday during term time without consent from the school.