October is a funny old month.
With the exception of Halloween, nothing much happens at this time of year. There will be those misty-eyed souls who will bang on the joys of playing conkers on the school yard, but October consists of 31 days which, for lots of us, can’t be over soon enough.
Much of this has to do with the fact that summer is a rapidly fading memory and Christmas is still too far away for all right-minded folk not to give it more than a second’s thought but it does mean we are in desperate need of a holiday.
For lots of us, the October half term is either spent at work while the children traipse between grandparents and holiday clubs or, if we are lucky, on a beach. The trouble is, grabbing a bit of autumn sun is out of the reach of so many of us, due to the fact that legally getting away from the long, dark nights is an expensive business.
There are strict rules which prohibit parents from removing their children from school unless the headteacher agrees there are exceptional circumstances and the fact there is a cracking deal on a week’s all-inclusive in Benidorm doesn’t fulfill that criteria. I largely understand this rule but I do resent the fact that parents are made to even consider incurring a fine or meeting with the disapproval of their child’s headteacher just so they can enjoy an affordable holiday.
It is a national scandal that families are hit with huge hikes in the cost of flights and hotels, whenever the schools break up, with the latest research showing that some holidays cost more than seven times more during school breaks.
Airlines and tour operators need to take a long hard look at themselves, especially during a month which has seen the sorry demise of Monarch. One thing airlines need to keep their planes in the sky is bums on seats and there is no better way of achieving this than by making it more affordable for families.
Our struggling Prime Minister could do a lot worse than instruct her ministers to find a solution to the problem.
If she can solve the problem that is October, she might well see a change in her fortunes.