Half term holiday rip-off

Restricted to half term holidays, many families are likely to pay a premium of more than 50% to go away this year, holiday operators say it’s just supply and demand.

Taking advantage of parents, businesses have put the cost of some holidays up by more than £1000. Under the Governments new academy programme, head teachers could be given the power to shift term dates to give parents the option to go on holiday without being over charged.

Some of the worst culprits were holidays to Lanzarote, traveling from London, with one example at a popular four-star resort increasing its price during half term by a ridiculous £4,619, the holiday went from costing £1,720 to £6, 339.

Although parents can now be fined for taking their children out of school during term time, the fine of £50 or £100 is a lot less than the enormous increase in holiday prices over school breaks and many families have said they would be prepared to pay the fine that by far outweighs the peak time holiday costs. There is likely to be a rise in families who break this rule, feeling the increase in general living costs, this year those who cant afford peak rates may opt for paying the fine and getting away on a cheap off peak holiday.

In England from September 2009- September 2010, 21,000 penalty notices were given for unauthorised absences, a rise of 17% from two years before.