Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Increasing cost of child care leaves a parent needing a holiday

Family Holidays
The average cost of bringing up a child from birth to age 18 has been estimated at around £150,000, and increasing around 4% per year. I was surprised it was a low as that but then I am still recovering from the cost of sending one child through university and supporting another through an apprenticeship scheme. 

Thinking about it I would have said that total of telephone bills they have run up over the years would amount to around a tenth of that £150k estimate but I have been known, by both daughters, to exaggerate at times. However, one of the joys of parenthood is seeing them grow up and fly the nest even if there is a delayed “failure to launch” and a boost is required. Another reason for celebration is the fact that I don’t have to pay for them to go on holiday anymore and I can take my vacation during the statutory UK term time, when prices are cheaper and there are not a lot of young children hogging the resorts swimming pool and water chute.

School holidays+annual leave=rising costs to consumers’ pockets

However, it is galling as a consumer, to see the hike up in prices as soon as the summer holidays, Whitsun and half term dates are announced. I can fully empathise with the fact that parents need a break, and it is expensive when you have children to pay for as well. I used to keep a calendar with school terms dates on the side of the refrigerators but now all I need to do is glance at a copy of any large tour operators brochures and price lists and I know when the schools are going to be closed. Perhaps this may be soon to change under pressure from both consumers and central government.

The holiday companies have been coming under a lot of pressure recently to review this charging policy and now Parliament are debating the issue. An online petition from a disgruntled father went viral as thousands of consumers signed up to it but there is a formal on line petition set up by HM Government. Some people would say that even if Parliament decided to pressurise the travel industry sector into capping their prices at peak times, would it have much effect considering the laws of supply and demand? Parents cannot take their children out of school in term time these days for family holidays without the risk of a fine, and so will have to take their leave within the dates set by those who oversee the education in England and Wales.
E-petition available for consumers to have their say
There are of course ways in which cost conscious consumers can make the most of their money and get a good deal on their holiday package, but if you are interested in making your voice heard, the link to the e- petition is as follows but it closes on 7th March 2014 at 2.40 pm:
Or you can get in touch with us and let us know the best holiday deals and tourist providers you have dealt with recently – as always – we’re listening!


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