Cash-strapped parents prompt rise in travel truancy

Cash-strapped parents prompt rise in travel truancy

As any parent planning an Easter escape can tell you, once school is out, the cost of holidaying goes up.  Prices can rocket by as much as £300 during school holidays and more than four out of ten parents2 (44%) now take their kids out of school during term time for trips, according to research by Tesco Bank.

Almost two thirds of parents (63%) whose kids are skipping school for some fun in the sun say they do it because they simply can’t afford the higher prices during school holidays.

One in five parents (22%) don’t believe the time away impacts on their child’s education and three quarters of those who pay for their children’s education take the view that they are entitled to the take the time out as they pay school fees.

It is an emotive issue with many local schools and education authorities trying to crack down on so-called “travel truants”.

Adding to families’ holiday cost concerns is the fall in ‘kids go free’ packages.  A third (34%) believe there are fewer ‘free’ offers for their kids now than there were three to five years ago and well over a half (56%) say they didn’t get any reduction for their kids on their last family holiday.


Only 14% of families enjoyed a kids go free offer on their last package holiday and half as many found a children’s free travel offer on their holiday flight. Coming in at the lowest for holiday discounts was insurance, with only 6% of families benefitting from a ‘kids go free’ offer for their last holiday.

Julie Hopes, Commercial Director, General Insurance at Tesco Bank said: “The increase in the cost of holidays during Easter and the summer months clearly puts extra pressure on parents looking for a good value family break. Traditionally, ‘kids go free’ offers have helped to ease the strain but there is a clear perception that these deals are no longer as widely available.

“To help make the pounds go further and to give parents one less thing to worry about, Tesco Bank is offering free cover for children on all new family travel insurance policies bought in store or online by 28th April.”

Tesco Travel Insurance policies bought online by 28th April 2010, will include up to four children under the age of 18 for free.  Most parents questioned by Tesco Bank (52%) expect ‘kids go free’ policies to be capped at 16 years of age so the additional two years will be seen by many as a bonus.