Family holidays cost £418 more in school break as parents say they’d rather let kids skip class

Family holidays during the school summer break are on average £418 more expensive than during term time, with two thirds of parents saying they would let their children take time off studies as a result.

Research shows many families could be priced out of summer breaks during the six week school holiday, with a trip to Croatia costing on average £1,422 more in August than in September.

The analysis, conducted by travel money experts FairFX in July, looked at 390 holidays to six European holiday hotspots from three different holiday providers for a family of four.

It found that the combined average total price of holidays this August in all destinations was £2,024.33, compared to £1,606.17 in September – a difference of £418.17.

While it is usual for holidays outside of term time to cost more, the firm’s CEO described this year’s price hikes for families – who will also face the additional cost of PCR tests – as “scandalous”.

Ian Strafford-Taylor said: “It’s no secret that trips abroad tend to cost more during school holidays because of the supply and demand mechanic behind pricing strategies, but some of the price hikes facing families this summer are scandalous, with some holidays we researched up to 68 per cent more expensive.”

It comes amid a surge in bookings for flights and foreign holidays after quarantine rules changed for fully-vaccinated travellers returning from amber list countries.

A separate survey of 1,000 British parents by FairFX found that almost two thirds – or 63 per cent – said they would take their kids out of school for a family break.

Of those, 53 per cent confessed the pandemic – during which pupils spent long periods learning from home – had changed their attitudes towards letting children skip studies, with 23 per cent admitting money was a bigger priority.

For its research, FairFX looked at prices for amber-listed Italy, Portugal, Greece and Ibiza, as well as green-listed Croatia and Malta from providers TUI, Holiday Gems, BlueSea Holidays, Love Holidays and Lastminute.com.

While families hoping to head to Croatia can expect to pay on average 68 per cent more during the school break than in term time, those hoping to head to Italy or Ibiza are also likely to pay around £300 more.

The only destination with a less significant rise was Greece, where the analysis found prices went up by just £49 compared to term-time trips.

How do hotspots compare?

Croatia: A family of four going to Croatia could expect to pay 68 per cent more during the school break than in term time at an average cost increase of £1,422 more in August than in September.

Italy and Ibiza: Families heading to Italy or Ibiza could expect to pay around £300 more on average in August than in September.

Greece: A family trip to Greece would cost on average £49 during the school summer break than in term time, the lowest hike found during the analysis.

Mr Strafford-Taylor said: “It’s no surprise that saving money is a bigger priority as many families are likely to have faced financial challenges during the pandemic.

“But with continued uncertainty around quarantine regulations, the added cost of Covid-19 tests and summer breaks at a premium, parents are facing a triple threat.”