David and Victoria Beckham are going to find it very ''hard'' when their son Brooklyn moves away.

The couple's eldest child will be flying the nest in September when he moves to New York for college, and the pair are slowly coming to terms with the fact their life will never be the same again.

A source said: ''They're such a close family and love spending time together, but both Victoria and David know that when Brooklyn goes off to college things won't be the same.

''Obviously, they're very proud of him and what he's doing, but it's going to be hard to say goodbye.

''Victoria really relies on Brooklyn and David likes going on nights out with him now he's turned 18.''

As they prepare to say goodbye to their 18-year-old son, David and Victoria - who also have Romeo, 14, Cruz, 12, and five-year-old Harper - felt it was the right time to go on a luxury safari to South Africa because if they left it any longer to take their dream break, Brooklyn might not want to join them.

The insider said: ''Victoria and David know he will start making more friends and a new life.

''They've always wanted to go on safari, and felt the kids were all at the right ages.

''If they waited another year, Brooklyn might not have wanted to come, and they thought this was the perfect way to send him off.''

The family traditionally take a Christmas vacation and spend summer holidays at their Los Angeles home, but this year have been trying new things.

The source told heat magazine: ''During February half term, they went skiing together for the first time - David has never been allowed to do that before with his football commitments.

''The family all loved it and wanted to try out other holidays, so an African safari seemed perfect.''