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On the naughty step - Conduct that deserves a ticking off

This week: foreign holidays

This week: foreign holidays

There was a time when a family holiday involved Dad threatening to turn the car around before he'd even left the driveway, followed by hours on the road and, finally, a campsite in Wales. And who doesn't secretly hanker after rain, windswept beaches and a leaky tent?

But today, families are more likely to seek out guaranteed sunshine in far-flung foreign lands than a Caravan Club special offer in Aberystwyth. The problem is that this sort of excursion tends to be quite expensive. And, as teachers are well aware, those prices only go up when the school holiday bell rings.

Parental disgruntlement this week forced a debate in the UK Parliament, with England's education secretary Michael Gove challenging the holiday industry to ask whether it was "doing enough" to keep prices down.

Can we expect the holiday companies to listen to these pleas? Economics lessons will tell you that where demand goes up - and supply is not infinite - prices will surely follow. So there is only one option: stop going abroad.

OK, it may seem drastic. But if nothing else it will alleviate the blood pressure spikes caused by airport security. So, for tempting us with your interesting culture, culinary delights and opportunities to embarrass ourselves while using the local lingo, it is to the naughty step with foreign holidays. And you'll be staying there until a sale offers 20 per cent off.

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