A report published by the government has suggested that family holidays, once considered as an essential, is now considered as a luxury. A couple of years ago, parents questioned thought that an annual vacation was a necessity but now believe it is something they can live without. Other items now being described as luxuries rather than staples include expensive birthday parties for children, fashionable toys and expensive clothes.
Areas which are now considered important are having a healthy diet, getting exercise and having access to a computer at home. These findings are published by the Department of Work and Pensions, who suggest that families have become more frugal since the economic downturn. It adds that families consider a nice weekend away as a sufficient break rather than a two week annual holiday. Days out, nights away and short breaks where families can share an experience together were more important for the family than the length and cost of a holiday.
Having enough space for children at home (ie. a bedroom for each child) was important for parents according to the study; also the notion of having somewhere to sit and eat that was away from the television. Naturally, cookers, washing machines and fridge freezers were thought essential, and indeed a bicycle and how to fix it!
Tour operators are expecting a surge in holiday bookings since England crashed out of the World Cup (we lost to Germany 4-1, although more accurately 4-2, if you didn't know already).
As England supporters will no longer be glued to the TV screens over the next few weeks, holiday bookings have shot up. Many families were waiting to see how far England progressed in the competition before making their holiday booking. Now England have been knocked out, people are willing to book their breaks away.
For families without children at school this is great news as holidays are always cheaper during school term time. Many that thought they'd not get away will now be able to jet off outside of the peak!
Just in case you don't know, the summer term ends around 10th July for fee paying schools, and 23rd July for state schools although school term dates do vary from county to county.
Bon voyage if you're going away, and have fun at home if you're not!
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