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Half-term holidays cost up to three times more

Families are being charged up to three times as much for a holiday during half term according to a survey

 

Research by the Guardian found prices to be up to triple the cost for the February 2016 half-term break compared to identical breaks a week or two later.

This included holiday hot spots such as Center Parcs, French ski resorts and Dubai beaches.

But the survey did uncover one piece of good news – some holidays at Walt Disney World in Florida work out slightly cheaper during UK school holidays.

A second report had more bad news for family planning a half term break.

A study by M&S Bank found that autumn half-term flights are on average 24 per cent more expensive than last year.

It found the total cost of a holiday for a family of four, including flights, accommodation, dinner and spending money, had soared by more than 55 per cent on average for a week’s holiday in Tenerife.

Other popular destinations, including Menorca, Cyprus, Lanzarote and Madeira, were found to be more expensive too.

The survey suggested that the cost had been driven by a jump in flight costs, with the average return flight for a family of four more than doubling from £1,020 in 2014 to £2,148.

The reports come as the Local Government Association called for a “reasonable, common sense approach” to term-time holidays.

Last month, a dad succeeded in overturning a £120 court fine for taking his daughter out of school for six days to go to Disney World, Florida.

In court he successfully argued, that Section 444 of the Education Act required parents to ensure their children attended school “regularly”, and did not put restrictions on taking them on holidays in term time.

In extreme circumstances, parents who do not cooperate with school term times can be prosecuted and hit with a fine of up to £2,500, a community order or a jail sentence of up to three months.

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