Parents rely on credit to treat their kids to a 'dream' holiday

20 April 2018

Families are getting themselves into debt to take their kids on once-in-a-lifetime summer holidays, paying up to 28% more for trips taken during school holidays, according to new research by Admiral Loans.

Researchers found that families jetting off for a two-week stay in Disneyland Florida during the school holidays pay, on average, £8,772 – that is 20% higher than the same trip in July before schools break up for summer. More than two-thirds (68%) of the 1,000 adults polled are concerned about financing their trip and 40% rely on credit to pay for their ‘dream’ holiday including personal loans (6%) and credit cards (33%). It takes more than a year for 15% of those polled to pay off their holiday debt.

But this doesn’t seem to deter people from making this type of trip, with 75% of Brits planning to take a special holiday in the next year. Trips to a Disney resort (26%), longer breaks overseas (20%) and more luxurious (18%) holidays topped the list of favourite holidays.

However, just over half (51%) of Brits admit to feeling pressured into going away on a big holiday either by their kids (36%) or their partners (25%) and even by friends and society in general (13%).

But it takes longer for families to pay off once-in-a-lifetime breaks, with three times more people (15%) taking over a year to repay debts from this type of holiday than from a regular holiday. One in five (19%) of people aged 16 to 19, take more than a year to repay the cost of their special holiday, compared with just 8% of over-60s.

Scott Cargill, UK chief executive of Admiral Loans, says: “Families with school aged children at the mercy of taking trips in the school holidays are being hit extra hard with prices to Disney World Resort in Florida up to 28% higher in the school holidays adding additional financial pressure.

“If holidaymakers won’t be able to realistically pay for their trip in cash, we’d urge them to think carefully about how to best finance their trip and consider the APRs. With holiday costs comparing in price to some small and second-hand cars it’s a financial decision that needs the same level of planning and consideration as any other large purchase.”


Term time v school holidays: how prices compare
ProviderAugust (school hols)July (term time)Extra ££8,127£7,073£1,054
Virgin Holidays£9,313£8,005£1,308
Thomas Cook£9,425£7,847£1,578
 Based on 14-night stay at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, Florida including flights for two adults and two children, room only with 14-day pass


Financing fun: how Brits pay for holidays
 Tye of loanGeneral holiday 
Cash/debit card66%42%
Credit card31%33%
Borrow money from friends or family1%2%


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