School fines and work commitments force parents to take solo vacations with kids

Nearly three-quarters of working parents plan to take a separate summer break from their partner in order to juggle looking after their children during the school holidays, a survey of 2,000 parents has found.

According to research by Nationwide Savings, 73% of parents have to stagger their leave from work with their partner to cover childcare over the holiday period, forcing many parents to forego the traditional family holiday.

Meanwhile, one quarter of parents surveyed admitted having lied to a school that their child was ill or making another excuse so they could take them on holiday during term time, when cheaper deals are available and there is less competition to book leave from work.

Parents in the Midlands, London, the North East, Northern Ireland, Wales and East Anglia were most likely to pretend their child was ill, while those in Scotland and South-West England were the least likely, the research found.



One in three parents said they have had to holiday without their partner in the past, due to work pressures.

The survey also found that nearly two-thirds (61%) of parents with school-age children have to book holidays at least three months in advance.

More than four-fifths (81%) of working parents said they find it difficult booking off the time they need for holidays, with one in five (21%) usually booking their holidays as soon as the work calendar starts so that childcare can be covered at difficult times such as Christmas and summer holidays.

Andrew Baddeley-Chappell, Nationwide Building Society’s head of savings policy, said: “As our research shows, planning a family holiday can be a tricky process, with parents revealing not just the financial pressures but also the impact on family and working relationships.”