ONE in five families in East Staffordshire can't afford to enjoy a bank holiday seaside break because of low incomes.
The depressing figures come from research collated by children's charity Barnardo's.
The survey found that an average trip to the beach, including travel, sun cream and ice cream, would cost most families more than £170 for a single day.
Based on the average wage, minus weekly living costs, Barnardo's said that as many as 20 per cent of families would miss out on such a getaway.
Barnardo's blamed the situation on rising living costs, along with cuts to working and non-working benefits.
Chief executive for the charity Javed Khan said: "Family holidays have a special place in the childhood memory box and every child deserves to have a day out once in a while, no matter what the circumstances.
"Whatever the weather, a day at the seaside with the family is a day to treasure.
"It is an opportunity for children to spend a healthy, happy time and experience a British cultural tradition – to play on the beach, splash in the sea and build sandcastles."
"It is something every child should enjoy, yet for hundreds of thousands of families struggling to make ends meet a trip to the pier is nothing but a pipe dream."