Seaside Travel seeks to help parents avoid term-time breaks

Seaside Travel has tasked staff with finding family deals which avoid the need for parents to take children out of school after a meeting with a headteacher highlighted the problem.

The agency’s ‘Fine-Free Holidays’ campaign goes live this weekend at the start of the main half-term week.

It follows the government’s decision to increase fines for parents taking term-time breaks without permission from a minimum of £60 to £80 in September.

The campaign was conceived after the agency’s new branch in Prudhoe, Northumberland, visited a local school and heard the headteacher cite term-time holidays as a key challenge to children’s education.

Seaside Travel brand manager Richard Lowrey-Heywood said the nine-branch agency planned to identify good-value prices to reduce the number of families going away in term-time and being fined.

He said: “Our Prudhoe shop did some community networking and had a chat with a headmaster who said the big issue was about parents taking kids out of school to go on holiday.

“We had a think about what we could do and how we could promote ‘fine-free holidays’ to take the pressure off parents.”

After trialling the promotion in Prudhoe, the agency is now rolling out campaign messages across its stores.

It has put together videos using its own staff who are parents to run on its Facebook and Instagram pages from this weekend.

The videos incorporate personal experiences of staff, with messages on the importance of taking breaks in school holidays, and how they understand the difficulties parents face.

The agency has tasked a staff member in each shop to know local school holiday dates and details of the campaign, which will encourage parents to contact the agency to find the right deal. Agents are primed to talk to parents about ways to bring down prices, such as by switching airport or duration.

Lowrey-Heywood said: “We will be having really honest conversations with families about what they can do to stick to their budget. Some customers could switch to Scottish airports, for example, where holidays are at different times, or we can tweak the durations and find free kids’ places.”

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