Working Mum: The premium on school holidays
By Tabitha Ronson
In a break from my normal drive to keep up with the other (richer) mummies in Master A's class I haven't been pressurised into taking my son away this half term holiday.
While a large percentage of his contemporaries have jetted off to exotic locales - the ski chalet in Kitzbuhel, the villa in Dubai, the retreat in St Kitts, Master A has been attending a week-long activity camp staged at a local school.
I investigated taking Master A ski-ing for the week but when I looked into the prices, and saw that it was almost £1,000 cheaper either side of the half-term break, I baulked and came to my senses.
As much as I would dearly love to be schussing down the slopes with my son, I cannot bring myself to be "robbed" in such an obvious fashion.
With prices over-inflated during the school holiday periods it's little wonder that increasingly more parents are choosing to take their child on vacation during term time.
A recent survey by Direct Line Travel Insurance revealed some 55 per cent of British parents were happy for their child to miss school to save money on a vacation outside school holidays.
I never thought I would be one of them, taking the higher ground and insisting the education of Master A is more important. But my position is changing.
Travel and the experiences that come with it are just as essential to a child's development as sitting at a desk, staring at a chalkboard while listening to a droning teacher day in day out (OK, a slightly Draconian view of teaching methods).
I consider myself to play by the rules but a £50 fine and a letter telling me I'm a bad parent for taking Master A on holiday in term time compared to a £1,000 saving. Hmmm, I think I could do the time.
For this half-term break though, Master A is having a blast, roaring around with his pals on imagined quests to rescue the world. I've saved myself around £2,500 and I'm still sporting my good parent halo.
Working Mum, wondering just how long these halcyon days will last.