There has been much publicity about the costs of raising a child. The numbers are scary when you add them up. Factor in the expense of a larger home, time off work, food, toys and education and the expense amounts to a small fortune. Include expensive gadgets, mobile phones, and youngster’s increasing thirst for fashion and the situation looks worse. If you consider the possibility of further education, boutique clothing and holidays it is enough to put you off having any kids at all.
Much has been written about the costs of all aspects of bringing up kids but the issue which seems to make the news most often at the moment is holidays. Travelling during the peak school holiday periods comes at an enormous premium and many parents are becoming vocal about their frustrations on this issue. Peak travel can cost two or three times the cost of a trip at other times and now at least one MP is seeking to do something about the situation.
Debating the Issue
Liberal democrat MP John Hemming is campaigning for airport passenger duty to be scrapped during school holidays to reduce the cost of travel at peak times. An e-petition online recently received 166,229 signatures, sparking a debate on the subject.
Why Peak Travel is Costly
Taxes are obviously only part of the problem. The cost of travel is dictated by demand and there is little that can be done to persuade the travel companies to reduce prices whilst the demand is there. It has to be said that it is unrealistic to expect commercial organisations to be charitable enough to drop their prices for families when they need the peak periods to generate the bulk of their revenue and to compensate for the quieter times.
Tired of Moans
Frankly I am rather tired of parent’s complaining about the costs of bringing up children. It should hardly come as a surprise. Few people are wealthy enough to have it all and so the rest of us have choices to make. If you want children there will be sacrifices and one of them will be the frequency and nature of your holidays. I really don’t see why tour operators, hotels and airlines should moderate their charges to accommodate families when I am sure that other travellers would be equally keen to make savings if they could.
The situation with school holidays doesn’t help travellers without children either. The summer break covers the warmest portion of the summer when most people would like to get away but with families having to holiday during those weeks the costs are high for everyone and the destinations more crowded. Parents also vie for the valuable time off work during those periods as most companies quite understandably have to restrict the number of people who are off at any one time.
Personally I avoid travelling during school holidays like the plague and not only for financial reasons. I much prefer just about anywhere when it is crowd free and particularly top tourist attractions and theme parks which can be unbearable. Parents will just have to accept that holidays are more costly when you have kids and if you don’t like it don’t have children!
Article by Sally Stacey