Taking trips during school holidays can cost up to 3x more. Is that fair?
Let’s be real for a second - if you’re currently working somewhere other than a school, you’re probably pretty jealous of the six-week break kids and teachers get each summer. What you’re probably less jealous of is the amount of extra money anyone with a child or teacher in their family has to shell out if they want to take a trip during the school holidays. Some number-crunching by The Mirror suggests it’s not uncommon for holidays abroad to cost 3x more than they would during term time, which can mean many families end up spending hundreds of extra pounds.
For the travel companies, it makes financial sense. If a business’ main aim is to make money, it’s sensible to base their price on supply and demand. (Basically, when you have a limited ‘supply’ of something, like hotel rooms, you should keep putting up the cost as long as there is still ‘demand’ from people to buy ‘em). Plus, lots of holiday destinations are only seasonally popular, which means companies there need to maximise money-making during the busy times to tide them over in the quiet ones.
But, unsurprisingly, having to spend much more money than their childless friends for the exact same holiday package feels unfair to many parents. And this sense of unfairness is compounded because it affects those on the lowest incomes the most. Some are trying to work around the problem by taking their family on holiday during term time, but the British government is trying to stop that by fining them for doing so. (Their POV is that education is more important for kids than a week in Marbella).
So now people are suggesting that the government should either put more regulation on travel companies to force them to stop charging loads extra in August, or allow schools to stagger their holiday dates so everyone’s not off at once.
Read our explainer on: profit.