Travel News > February 2010 > Travel firms slammed for school holiday price hikes

Travel firms slammed for school holiday price hikes

19/02/2010

Tour operators have come under fire from head teachers for charging families extra to travel during school holidays.

The National Association of Headteachers has suggested that travel firms are unfairly profiting from the fact that parents are reluctant or unable to take their children out of school for family holidays.

Package holidays typically cost at least 50 per cent less during term time, but since the government clamp down on school absenteeism families are often unable to take advantage of the cheaper deals available outside school holidays.

The travel industry association ABTA dismissed suggestions that tour operators were being greedy. A spokesman pointed out that tour operators often make a loss on holiday sales during the low season and they have to make profits during the peak periods otherwise they would go out of business.

Also, it claimed tour operators' own costs go up during peak weeks when demand for accommodation is high from other European markets, not just the UK.

ABTA suggested families kept costs down by booking early to take advantage of cheap deals and kept their eye out for special offers throughout the year.

The best way for parents to save money on family holidays might be to avoid package holidays altogether, however. Book budget flights as soon as they come available to get the lowest fares and wait for last minute deals on accommodation and you could knock hundreds of pounds off the cost of a family holiday.

Other ways to save money include buying travel insurance online (insurewithease offers free cover for children travelling with parents) and shopping around for airport parking and car hire.

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