Holiday hikes hit half term

24 October 2009

Parents planning to treat their kids to a last minute family holiday during autumn half term will be hit by massively inflated holiday premiums, according to the latest study from Santander Cards.

Research has found that the cost of a holiday for the week commencing 24 October, when most schools break up, jumps by up to 249 per cent compared to the following week, when schools return.

Santander Cards looked at prices for a family of four in the run up to half term across five popular autumn sun destinations - Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, Florida, Sharm el Sheikh, and Crete. It found that the average family holiday abroad taken over the half term break will be 104 per cent more expensive than holidays taken a week later.

Families travelling to Lanzarote from London Gatwick face some of the biggest premium hikes, with a family of four having to pay £5,485.62 for a holiday package between 24 and 31 October, compared to £1,572.46 a week later. That makes it three and half times more expensive during term time and equates to a premium of 249 per cent.

Families flying from Manchester to the guaranteed sunshine of Sharma el Sheikh will find a similar story, with a holiday package costing them £6,544.58 during half term, compared to a more palatable £2,433.08 the following week.

The biggest half term ‘bargain' can be found in Crete, where a family flying from London to Chania during half term faces a premium of just 18 per cent, significantly lower than the other destinations.

Interestingly, half term package holiday prices appear to rise slightly more if you're flying from London rather than Manchester, at an average of 108 per cent and 101 per cent respectively. However, it's still more expensive to fly from Manchester generally, with people paying around a 22 per cent premium across both weeks on package holidays compared to those flying from London.

Emma Roberts, Director at Santander Cards, commented: "Our research shows that parents with children of school age face a massive premium if they want to take their children away during the half term break. It's not surprising therefore that some families would rather take their children out of school during term time and risk censure from their children's school than be hit by such staggering premiums.

"For those parents who are worried about the ever mounting costs of going abroad during the school holidays, the Santander Zero card is a great way to avoid paying additional and sometimes unexpected fees. With no foreign exchange fee on spending abroad, it's the ideal credit card for families looking for the best deal on their holiday spending."

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