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#Holidayprices: is it worth risking a fine?

santorini 1788632 640One of my favourite ways of work avoidance is researching holidays: should we go to Mauritius or Morecambe? Bangkok or Bournemouth? Frankly, wherever you go is frighteningly expensive in the school holidays. But take your child out in term time and you risk a fine. Isle of Wight father Jon Platt took his daughter out of school in term time and his council levied him a fine of £120 for doing so. He went to court over the fine and won – but this week, the Supreme Court ruled against him.

I’m not sure where I stand on this one. So I compared prices. A week for the boy and me at a hotel in Greece including the flight/transfers/meals came in at £1,352 for both of us if we went on 3 June. But wait until 1 August and the price is £2,180: a huge £828 difference. A pretty little cottage in Cornwall would cost us £449 for a week in early June but £693 in August. That’s the same cottage, and I don’t think utilities or whatever expenses the cottage owners have are much different from June to August. And for the foreign trip, I’m sure that airports charge airlines more in peak months – and holiday companies are also just passing on the extra cost they are charged by the hotels. But when it comes down to it, the cost of retsina/bread/coffee doesn’t change over a matter of a few weeks, nor I imagine does aviation fuel, chambermaids’ wages and all the other expenses of a holiday when you strip it back to its elements.

And the saving for breaking the rules is compelling. Also, once SATs are over next month then I’m not sure how much actual education my son would miss if I took him out of school for a week: it seems to me that in the summer, they spend most of their time playing games. But I suppose I’m just too well behaved – I wouldn’t take him out of school for a holiday during term time. And also the holidays are long enough without subjecting myself to an entirely voluntary week of childcare....

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Monday, 17 December 2018