Who needs a school holiday rota when you've got the Center Parcs price guide?

A mum's sarcastic post about Center Parcs almost doubling its prices during school holidays has had a massive response from parents. The screengrab of the cost of a four-night break in August, compared with a much cheaper one in September, was shared on the Mum Probs Facebook page. The photo, which shows GBP520 price difference between the two dates, is captioned: "If anyone's unsure when their kids return to school after the holidays Center Parcs have this handy tool."

And the dig at the company - which has holiday parks in Cumbria, Nottinghamshire and further afield, including a new one opening in Ireland at the end of the month - seems to have struck a chord with parents, who say the price hike is 'unfair' and 'bloody disgraceful'.

The post from the Mum Probs Facebook page has been shared more than 13,000 times

More than 13,000 people have shared the post in the last two days alone and it's received more than 1,800 comments.

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Among those to comment was Kay Lunnon, who said: "Why can't they just have it the same price all year round so it is more affordable for someone in the peak season too?

"I get that they have more staff to pay and more activities but surely it's still the same number of accommodation that they rent out so why should it be double the price?

"It's not fair as parents want to be able to take their children away but the prices are too extreme for some families.

If they made it the same price all year round so that the off peak was slightly higher than it is now and peak is slightly less then it's fair for everyone."

Who needs a school holiday rota when you've got the Center Parcs price guide?Center Parcs Whinfell Forest

Sandra Phillips said: "Just an absolute rip off, there is no justification for doing this, just pure greed, this should be tackled, terribly unfair for people who actually can't take their kids out of school."

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Others called for greater regulation of holiday companies to prevent such price hikes, like Jayne Foxwell, who said: "You may complain about the school holiday prices being extortionate but actually, if government had better regulation of the holiday companies we may see a fairer system.

"I've worked for a holiday company and now work in a school so I've seen both sides of this coin. By the way, schools do not fine, the council processes them, so in turn this means the government. The very ones who are not making things fairer for families."

Who needs a school holiday rota when you've got the Center Parcs price guide?The car-free environment is one of the reasons the Center Parcs sites are so popular with families

And some were eager to stress the number of teachers and school staff, who also struggle to afford holidays at peak times. Averil Hudson said: "I think it's so unfair. And also for the teachers and their families, not like they can take time off either.

I wish something could be done about this, like a cap put on it or something."

The M.E.N's Manchester Family did its own search of the Center Parcs website to compare the prices of breaks at the nearest site in Whinfell Forest. It showed a similar price hike - costing GBP1,099 for a four-night midweek break in August, compared with GBP549 for the same accommodation in September.

Who needs a school holiday rota when you've got the Center Parcs price guide?The M.E.N's Manchester Family did its own price comparison for the Cumbria site in August and September

A headteacher reacted to the cost, telling us: "It's bloody disgraceful. You wonder why parents take their kids out of school."

The cost of a Center Parcs holiday includes access to The Subtropical Swimming Paradise and the children's play areas.

There are separate fees for individual activities such as tree trekking, archery and pottery.

A spokesperson for the company said: "In line with many other companies in the travel sector, our prices are set according to demand.

"Short breaks at Center Parcs are extremely popular and the prices reflect the huge demand that we have during peak season.

"We are 100 percent full during these periods and in fact have significant over-demand. Center Parcs is an all-year round destination offering guests a choice of both weekend and midweek short breaks in a range of different lodge sizes and styles."

Do you think the price hike is unfair? Or do you think it's a simple case of supply and demand and companies are entitled to charge extra at busier times?

Let us know in the comments, or share your views on our Manchester Family Facebook page.

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