British families hoping to go on a foreign holiday during the May half-term next week face paying up to 20 times more than the week after, it can be revealed.

The sky-high cost of jetting abroad to European destinations such as Spain, Greece and Portugal during the school holidays is putting huge pressure on parents to go abroad during term time and accept the fines for taking their children out of class.

Parents face a fine of £60 per parent for each child if taken out of school without permission for a week. This rises to £160 after 21 days, and then after 28 days parents can be taken to court. These figures are rising to £80 and £160 from August.

Research by MailOnline carried out today compiled the prices for a family of four adults and two children going away from Monday to Friday on an all-inclusive package holiday with easyJet Holidays, comparing May 27 to 31 with June 3 to 7.

The biggest price gap was for the Fergus Club Palmanova Park, a four-star family-friendly hotel on the Spanish island of Mallorca, which costs £29,771 next week, which was 1,853 per cent more than the £1,524 cost for the first week of June.

This was something of an anomaly compared to the other holidays on offer, although there were plenty of others priced around two or three times more for half-term.

For example, the Altamadores Hotel in Gran Canaria is £4,111 for May half-term but £1,347 for the first week of June – a price difference of 205 per cent more. 

For the Magic Cristal Park Hotel in Benidorm, the figures are £2,978 for May half-term, £1,010 for the first week of June and a price difference of 195 per cent more. 

The Blue Sea Palm in Lanzarote was £2,922 for May half-term compared to £1,038 for June, which is 182 per cent more. And the Avlida Hotel in Paphos, Cyprus, was £3,031 for May half-term and £1,360 for June, making it 123 per cent more.

How package holidays in May half-term break compare to week after

Booking for Monday to Friday, all-inclusive via easyJet Holidays, for a family of four:

Fergus Club Palmanova Park - Majorca, Spain

  • May half-term: £29,771
  • First week of June: £1,524
  • Price difference: 1,853% more

Altamadores Hotel – Gran Canaria, Spain

  • May half-term: £4,111
  • First week of June: £1,347
  • Price difference: 205% more

Magic Cristal Park Hotel - Benidorm, Spain

  • May half-term: £2,978
  • First week of June: £1,010
  • Price difference: 195% more

Blue Sea Palm - Lanzarote, Spain

  • May half-term: £2,922
  • First week of June: £1,038
  • Price difference: 182% more

Avlida Hotel - Paphos, Cyprus

  • May half-term: £3,031
  • First week of June: £1,360
  • Price difference: 123% more

HD Parque Cristobal - Tenerife, Spain

  • May half-term: £5,004
  • First week of June: £2,331
  • Price difference: 114% more

Sahra Su Holiday Village and Spa - Dalaman, Turkey

  • May half-term: £2,758
  • First week of June: £1,335
  • Price difference: 107% more

Ukino Terrace - Algarve, Portugal

  • May half-term: £2,536
  • First week of June: £1,241
  • Price difference: 104% more

All Senses Nautica Blue - Rhodes, Greece

  • May half-term: £3,816
  • First week of June: £1,886
  • Price difference: 102% more

Seaside Palm Beach - Gran Canaria, Spain

  • May half-term: £6,458
  • First week of June: £3,583
  • Price difference: 80% more

Amada Colossos Resort - Rhodes, Greece

  • May half-term: £5,757
  • First week of June: £3,745
  • Price difference: 53% more

Atrium Palace Thalasso Spa Resort - Kalathos, Greece

  • May half-term: £5,505
  • First week of June: £3,819
  • Price difference: 44% more

Cullinan Belek - Antalya, Turkey

  • May half-term: £8,069
  • First week of June: £5,811
  • Price difference: 39% more

Others which were at least 100 per cent higher in the May half-term included the HD Parque Cristobal in Tenerife (£5,004 versus £2,331); the Sahra Su Holiday Village in Dalaman, Turkey (£2,758 versus £1,335); and the Ukino Terrace on the Algarve, Portugal (£2,536 versus £1,241).

Premium resorts also saw big differences in monetary terms - such as the Seaside Palm Beach in Gran Canaria which is £6,458 in May half-term or £3,583 the week after, a difference of £2,875.

The Amada Colossos Resort on Rhodes is £5,757 versus £3,745, a difference of £2,012; while Cullinan Belek in Antalya, Turkey, is £8,069 versus £5,811, a difference of £2,258.

The high cost of holidays has led many parents to have a serious think about whether it is worth taking their child out of school to save huge amounts of money on their family vacation. 

And Pepe Di'Iasio, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, told MailOnline today: 'The very high cost of holidays in school breaks is a real problem as it puts extra financial pressures on families and then some parents end up taking children out of school during term-time.

'Unfortunately, doing that is disruptive both to the child's education and their teachers who then have to try to help them catch-up. Fines are there as a deterrent but they're a blunt instrument and don't always work. We would encourage parents to talk to their schools rather than simply taking children out of school during term-time.'

MailOnline has contacted easyJet Holidays for comment on the findings. 

The research was done on the day that low cost Irish airline Ryanair said it has seen annual profits jump by more than a third and said rises in air fares are easing.

The group reported a 34 per cent rise in profits after tax to £1.64billion for the year to the end of March after seeing passenger numbers rise 9 per cent to 183.7million despite disruption to Boeing aircraft deliveries.

Ryanair said a 25 per cent leap in revenues to £11.51 billion helped offset surging fuel costs.

Chief executive Michael O'Leary said recent fare pricing was 'softer' than expected and the company moved to boost demand in the first quarter of its new financial year.

He added: 'We remain cautiously optimistic that peak summer 2024 fares will be flat to modestly ahead of last summer.'

Mr O'Leary is pencilling in an 8 per cent rise in passenger numbers over the year ahead, to 200million, but said it was too early to give profit guidance for 2024-25.

Ryanair said it expects to have received 23 fewer new Boeing 737 Gamechanger aircraft by the end of July compared with its contract with the manufacturer, which is suffering major delays.

The group had 146 of these planes - which carry more passengers and are more fuel efficient than previous models - at the end of March.

It hopes to increase this to 158 by the end of July but 'there remains a risk that Boeing deliveries could slip further,' Mr O'Leary warned.

It comes after MailOnline revealed last Friday that Britons hoping to beat the cost-of-living crisis can head abroad for a much cheaper holiday this summer as demand for foreign trips surges.

Seven-day trips for a couple to Turkey, Greece , Spain , Portugal and Cyprus are all being offered for less than £750 including flights in the first week of June.

Meanwhile prices for beachfront holiday lets in England are sky-high, with a two-bedroom place in Devon on for £3,100 in the same week. A similar place in Cromer will cost £2,200; or £1,700 in Seaford, £1,500 in Margate and £1,000 in Whitby.

Package holiday giant Tui revealed better than expected results last week after notching up record revenues as it said travelling remains 'very popular'.

And easyJet disclosed last Thursday that its bookings are well on track for the summer season, with around 77 per cent of its third quarter programme already sold.

Also last week, Which? found Britons deterred by the cost of a Center Parcs break in the UK could save up to £800 on their accommodation by going to a European site.

The Department for Education (DfE) announced on February 29 that parents in England who take their children out of class without permission will face higher fines as part of a drive to boost school attendance following the pandemic.

A fine must be considered if a child misses five days of school for unauthorised absence.

It comes after nearly 400,000 penalty notices were issued to parents in England in 2022-23 for unauthorised school absences – which was much higher than pre-pandemic levels.

Nearly nine in ten (89.3 per cent) of the fines were for unauthorised holidays as families looked to book cheaper vacations outside school term times, according to DfE figures released last December.

The DfE has said school absence fines will be brought under a national framework to help tackle inconsistencies in their use across England.

Under the new measures – which have been announced as part of the Government's efforts to try to cut down on the number of children who are regularly missing school – every state school in England will share their daily attendance registers with the DfE, councils and academy trusts.

Earlier this month, Education Secretary Gillian Keegan criticised parents who allow their children to skip school on Fridays, calling the behaviour 'unacceptable'.

She told The Times that parents working from home have contributed to a rise in students missing school days.

May 27 - May 31 £1,449 £597 £777 £707 £661 
July 29 - August 2£1,429  £1,472£1,355 £1,210 £1,175 
August 19 - August 23 £1,439 £1,419 £1,281 £995 £949 
August 26 - August 30£1,409£1,143 £1,070 £872 £803 
October 28 - November 1£1,449 £857 N/A £645 £699 
AVERAGES £1,435 £1,098 £1,121 £886 £857 

Ms Keegan said that 50,000 more pupils were absent at the end of the week compared with the start, leaving schools facing 'major challenges' with absenteeism as parents pull their children out of class for weekends away or holidays.

According to analysis of recent government figures by the Times, student absenteeism jumps by 20 per cent on the last day of the working week.

According to the report, overall absence rates equate to 6.6 per cent on Wednesdays and rise to 7.8 per cent by the end of the week, with primary pupils 21 per cent more likely to be absent on Friday and 24 per cent more likely to be absent without a reason.

Unauthorised holidays are also said to be up 25 per cent on pre-Covid levels.

According to March figures released by the Department of Education, 150,000 children at state schools were classed as severely absent for the 2022-23 school year. That is 30,000 more than the year prior.

It is also 150 per cent higher than the 60,000 who were severely absent in 2018-19, before the pandemic, according to government statistics.

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2024-05-20T11:36:02Z dg43tfdfdgfd