There?s no getting away from it: Family holidays versus school term times has been an issue testing the patience of parents and schools. How do you balance school schedules with the need for families to book time away without breaking the bank?
This morning I appeared on Sky News along with a Tom Bewick from Brighton and Hove City Council about that council?s move to address the problem. They are considering moving a week of summer holiday time to earlier in the year so parents could take advantage of cheaper rates from the travel industry.
Is this a good idea?
My take? It?s great to see a council responding to parents and the way we live now.
We all know the incredible benefits that travel provides to children and families. It expands our minds and our horizons. We know the importance of being able to visit extended family who might be scattered around the country or the globe. Plus, not all of us have the kind of jobs where we can dictate our time off to coincide with school breaks.
On Sky News, presenters Stephen Dixon, Samantha Simmonds and Jacquie Beltrao pointed out that rescheduled term times could simply result in the travel industry jacking up prices at an additional time of the year.
Sure, while high season getaways can scoop out loads of cash from your wallet, I?ve talked to enough owners of hotels, resorts, cafes, attractions and more to know that many rely on the demand-led prices at busy times to carry them through the lean off-season months. Without high-season rates, we would have a lot fewer groovy B&Bs, unique local restaurants or luxury resorts with platinum-quality service.
That doesn?t excuse the unscrupulous players in the industry just looking to gouge travellers (at any time!). But by spreading the demand throughout the year, schools can help make the family holiday away more manageable and affordable for a lot of families.
What do you think? Would you like to see a similar measure taken up by your local school?
About Jennifer Howze
Jennifer Howze is the Creative Director and co-founder of BritMums. She blogs about family travel at Jenography.net, tweets at @JHowze and Instagrams at @JHowze. Previously, she wrote the Alpha Mummy blog at The Times and as a journalist has contributed to The Times, The Guardian, The Independent, The Wall Street Journal, Travel & Leisure, Budget Travel, CNN.com, Allure, SELF and Premiere, among others. She won The Maggie Award from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America for a health article in Seventeen magazine.