Taxing the childless as an incentive to increase Britain’s birth rate is reprehensible, if not absurd. But giving young families a tax break in the form of more affordable and less crowded vacations, and discouraging childless people from traveling during the hallowed school holidays, could help smooth out the rising costs of having children, which it doesn’t. child benefit. t start to cover.
A couple of retirees I recently visited (well, yes, it was my parents) told me the pros and cons of their latest all-inclusive vacation in Crete. It was wonderful, they said. The hotel was fabulous, right on the beach, the sun shone every day, the sea was warm enough to swim except they swam in the pool (adults only, very quiet, lovely).
The only drawback, as explained to me, my partner and our young son over lunch, was the hordes of noisy toddlers in the hotel restaurant, rattling and yelling and generally ruining every meal for the entire week. How strange, they reflected, how careless of the hotel not having thought of this and forbidding children from the restaurant, at least at certain times of the day, if not entirely, or creating a separate dining room for adults only.
I managed to press my lips together on a mouthful of poached salmon to keep from screaming SO WHY THE HELL DID I GO TO A FAMILY HOTEL DURING THE MAY HALF-TERM SCHOOL HOLIDAYS? (A more skeptical person might even wonder if they’re doing it on purpose to avoid meddling with childcare.)
Turns out they’re not the only ones. Chris Wright, MD of Greek holiday specialist Sunvil (sunvil.co.uk), surprisingly reveals that in high season their clients are made up as follows: 30 per cent families, 62 per cent couples and 8 per cent singles.
What? And more pertinently, why?
Who in their right mind chooses to go on vacation during the busiest and most expensive weeks of the year when they can leave at any time? Travelers without kids have their adults-only hotels, their adult-only cruise ships, and pools with swim-up bars for adults-only cocktails. What do families get, particularly those with children in public schools whose vacations are shorter? Prohibitive prices, limited availability, chaotic airports, and overbooked flights at absurd times of day seemingly designed to push kids and parents over the edge.
Perhaps, I got mad as we moved on to the summer pudding, they – the free child – should be prohibited from going on vacation during the summer school holidays (except teachers, shame on them).
It’s bad enough being in the supermarket on the weekends, dodging back and forth behind rowdy octogenarians who could peruse the canned fruit aisle on literally any other day of the week, but seem to prefer Saturday mornings to do their shopping. shopping. But during the pandemic, when supermarkets gave retirees the first hour of the day, things worked a lot better. Could a similar concept work for rail and air travel as well? We all have our own allotted space: retirees only on Wednesday mornings, families only during school holidays, and the rest of the childless, light-footed population gets everything in between.
Just as we have hotels for adults only, why not hotels for families only? Hell, family-only planes, where no one raises an eyebrow when little Olivia dumps a yogurt across three rows of seats.
Eminent demographers might have other ideas. Instead of a telegram from the Queen on the birth of her third child, for example, mothers can receive a Tui coupon, to ensure that future generations do not lose their right to a fortnight at Daios Cove.
Perhaps a premium fare airport tax for children without children, to incentivize couples to avoid traveling during peak season and prevent them from clogging up check-in lines, jacking up prices and judging our child-led approach to parenting that allows empowering our children to make their own decisions, whether it’s standing up in seats, banging tray tables up and down, or eating eighth notes at 6am.
In this way, we could all be surrounded by people who are all in the same boat. On the other hand, imagine the real reality of being surrounded by people who are all in the same boat. Hordes of rambunctious children and indulgent parents, all convinced that we are the most tired. we can not everybody They have priority boarding. The planes would become mile-high Centerparcs. Hell in a handcart.
Most parents I know believe the solution to overcrowded and expensive summer vacations is simple: let the government allow parents to take their children out of school for a week or two of vacation during term time and outside of school. peak hours, as in Japan and Sweden, for example. – something that the new Schools Act has made even more difficult to do.
This would help families, particularly low-income families struggling to find affordable vacations in peak season, get the break they need. Vacations are a luxury, not a right, it is true, but traveling is an education and a source of valuable experiences that will enrich the lives of generations to come.