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Going anywhere during school holidays is ridiculously extortionate?

(43 Posts)
Openup41 Fri 01-May-15 13:42:23

I am not talking Florida, Barbados or anywhere remotely exotic, just your bog standard two day seaside/cottage/theme park break!

I had not promised my dc anything but had hoped we could surprise them. Literally everything is out of our reach. It is all so depressing. I feel bad as her friends fly off all over the world. Another 15 years of only being allowed to holiday during school breaks.

I do not know how other families do it. Feeling crap at the moment. sad

HmmAnOxfordComma Fri 01-May-15 13:44:35

We stay in hotels. They literally are exactly the same price regardless of school holidays or term time. (Although city ones can be more expensive weekdays than weekends because of all the business people staying week nights.) Much cheaper than a cottage.

Sirzy Fri 01-May-15 13:45:24

We book early and get good prices. We have already booked next years holidays.

DisappointedOne Fri 01-May-15 13:46:30

You can get cheap breaks but you need to be on the ball with it. Book flights as soon as they're released, look for accommodation early. Leaving it till now is too late.

NotYouNaanBread Fri 01-May-15 13:48:32

We use Airbnb.

Also, non-obvious places can be really cheap. I'm taking the children to Lisbon (DH has to stay home as he's teaching) in the autumn half term and flights were surprisingly cheap, considering (BA via LHR too, not Easyjet). And Airbnb in Lisbon is for NOTHING.

RedButtonhole Fri 01-May-15 13:48:39

We book caravan holidays. I know they have a reputation for being grim, but if you book small-ish resorts in a nice location it can be really lovely. I book through The Sun and the cost of accommodation and use of pool etc for 4 people is less than £100.

RedButtonhole Fri 01-May-15 13:49:54

That's for 4 nights.

Heels99 Fri 01-May-15 13:51:05

Go on a weekend during term time if its for two days.
Stay in a youth hostel.
Sun voucher holidays
Take dd out of school.

Heels99 Fri 01-May-15 13:52:40

What is your budget people on here are great at finding bargains

NotYouNaanBread Fri 01-May-15 13:53:53

Hostels are GREAT too, esp. as the children get a bit older. They're not all like they were back in the day!

NotYouNaanBread Fri 01-May-15 13:54:18

Also, well, camping.

mumtoaninja Fri 01-May-15 13:57:17

It doesn't have to be expensive. There are lots of late deals/offers about in school holidays.
Last May half term we had 10 days in France. (ok, so not exactly 5* AI luxury, but a holiday still and loads for the children to do!) cost £250 for a decent static caravan for 7 nights on a well equipped eurocamp site right next to a lovely sandy beach, £65 Dover-Calais rtn and £1k spending money. We then spent a couple of days in Paris staying with friends and a day at Disneyland too! All for less than £1500!!
This year we booked with The Sun holidays, managed to get a week in France again plus ferry for less than £400 in the summer holidays. Again with spends etc, it will come in under £1500.
It can be done.

goldacre Fri 01-May-15 14:17:37

Not quite the same but how about a staycation and making an effort to do things you won't normally do. We can planning 3 day trips over May half term (1) Canoeing on the Norfolk Broads followed by archery (2) Visiting Holkham Beach/Flying Kites (3) Vaguely contemplating 1 or 2 nights' camping to thrill the kids but not honestly keen on this one - I would rather drive home and sleep in my comfy warm bed. (We live approx. 1.5 hrs' drive away from the Broads)

Openup41 Fri 01-May-15 14:34:33

Thanks for your responses.

Mumtoninja - we have nowhere near a £1500 budget.

Could you start a holiday fund - save what you can, and book a holiday when you have saved up the money?

You could also look for free/cheap days out near you, so that you can give your dc some treats during the holidays - I know it isn't the same as a holiday, but it is better than nothing.

FairyPenguin Fri 01-May-15 14:41:38

We use Tesco Clubcard vouchers. They can be exchanged for days out (eg Thorpe Park, Legoland), meals out (eg Cafe Rouge, Prezzo), hotels, transport (eg Eurotunnel, railcards). I know someone who did a whole week in one of the UK cities with her son on Tesco vouchers, just paid for train fare separately.

TheRealMaryMillington Fri 01-May-15 14:42:11

we camp (if your've got the kit)
we have also had brilliant stays in Youth Hostels - family rooms for £70 a night. in great places
how many kids and what sort of place…and budget?
glamping can be a middle ground in terms of cost. Glamping pods are £40 per night, v cosy and in lovely places, yurts etc are more but still some good deals

vvviola Fri 01-May-15 14:42:50

We try to go abroad when that country isn't on holidays. Admittedly the flights/ferries can be a bit pricy, but the accommodation is better.

E.g. We're in Ireland, but are going to Wales this year - first week of our school holidays are still within England/Wales term time.

I'm not sure how holidays are staggered and where you're based, but would that be feasible - drive to Scotland/Wales while they are still at school (or do the prices just go up for everyone at the same time)

DontOpenDeadInside Fri 01-May-15 14:43:37

For the last 10 years we have had the same problem so have not been abroad. We usually do the sun holidays caravan in haven. So we have thought "sod it" for next year and have booked for a term time holiday. They all have near enough 100% attendance the rest of the year and its the week before holidays so they won't be missing that much. I don't feel the slightest bit guilty.

TheJiminyConjecture Fri 01-May-15 14:53:41

Have you looked at cheap hotel chains? We're off for a couple of nights in a city cente travelodge - total cost for a family room in school holidays £63. Same with premier Inn, we're booked for a night so we can visit a safari park. Tesco vouchers for the entrance and about £50 for a family room.

Certainly not the most exciting hotels in the world but will be fine for an adventure with a 5 yo and a 6 weeker.

Notyouagaintoday Fri 01-May-15 14:55:23

Ya so nbu . I just checked Alton towers for October half term, 3 nights for 6 is £1800!!!!!
Disneyland Paris is £1000.
Out bloody rageous!

OnIlkleyMoorBahTwat Fri 01-May-15 15:00:35

That Alton Towers price is ridiculous. You could probably go to Barcelona or similar for less

mummymeister Fri 01-May-15 15:16:09

when the Gove changes to holidays in term time were being discussed he was warned by trade associations and the travel industry that compressing all holidays with children into 13 weeks would see the prices in those weeks rise disproportionately to cover the losses in the other 39 weeks. The theme parks and attractions did the same. the tories knew this but pressed ahead. Don't open - you know about the fines and its still cheaper?

DontOpenDeadInside Fri 01-May-15 15:31:00

Our authority only fine for continued absences and then only if they don't improve. But yes it would probably still work out cheaper especially as my nan is paying for the holiday

Ohanarama Fri 01-May-15 15:31:19

We once stayed a few nights in a travelodge in the cotswolds (Burford I think). It was a great base for exploring the cotswolds and Oxfordshire. From there we also went to Blenheim Palace for free using Tesco vouchers, a great day out with loads to do and see.
We have also booked basic apartments in seaside resorts in the Med using airbnb. You have to factor in travel costs but if you go to the South of France you could potentially drive or get a train which is probably cheaper than flying during the summer holidays.
If you think your children could cope you can get cheap overnight coach holidays to the costa brava with Ferris holidays, lots of families (even those with babies) do this to get a week in the sunshine.

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