Summer Holidays Childcare Challenge: Single mum from Bamber Bridge stung with lone parent package holiday deal
As part of our Summer Holidays Childcare Challenge series, Natalie Walker looks at how some single parents could be paying more for their holidays.
Single mum Sharon Yates was shocked to discover she was being penalised for being on her own.The 37-year-old from Bamber Bridge will fly out to Majorca in October to spend one week all inclusive at The Illusion Markus Hotel and Spa with her 18-month-old son Scott.She will fly with Jet 2 and has booked through Althams Travel.Although she has been given a Â£50 single person discount, she has paid for her hotel room based on the assumption of two people sharing.
She said: “The holiday is costing me just short of Â£660. It is ridiculous.“I know I have paid more as a single person as the travel agent advised me this was the case as I was paying for the hotel based on two people sharing. “I get a Â£50 single person discount but it still works out more than if I was sharing with someone and splitting the cost. I do think hotels should offer single person rooms with children. In this day and age there are a lot of single parents out there.“But it is what it is. If you want to go on holidays and make memories for you and your children you do have to pay. But I do think it’s disgusting you have to pay as though there are two adults and I feel penalised.“All my family members are coupled up and my dad was unable to go.“I am really looking forward to the holiday. I really need it.”
Sharon, who works full time at Campbells Caravans, added she spends Â£176 a week sending Scott to Busy Bees Nursery in Bamber Bridge five days a week. She said: “I earn Â£18,000 a year and get monthly child benefit of Â£82.50 and Â£800 a month in tax credits, which has a monthly allowance for nursery within that.“I am struggling to afford things.”
Tips for a more affordable holiday:
Follow the pound: If you’re not fixed on where you holiday, consider destinations where the pound is strongest which will help you explore more of the world, for less.Plan ahead: Follow your chosen rate so you can buy when the pound moves in your favour.Set up a tracker: FairFX has a free holiday money tracker which alerts you when rates improve and when you might get more holiday money for your pounds.Lock-in your rate: Using a prepaid card means that you can top-up the card when the rates are at their strongest and use it like a credit or debit card overseas – with the difference that your rate is often guaranteed in advance and with a FairFX Card you can spend fee free in shops and restaurants.Don’t leave it too late: Waiting until the last minute means you’ll have no choice about what rate you get. And if you leave it right up until you get to the airport, you’re likely to face the worst exchange rates in the countryIf you have a Euro or Dollar prepaid currency card, be careful about taking cash from airport ATMs. When withdrawing currency from UK airport ATMs with a Euro or Dollar prepaid card, most of them charge in pounds instead of your Euros or Dollars, and hit you with hidden conversion fees