When the summer holidays arrive, you can practically hear the groan from the lips of parents everywhere. Six whole weeks with the kids can be an exciting prospect but it is also likely to be an expensive one. With families thought to be spending an average of £1,232 on summer holiday entertainment, school holidays don’t come cheap. Is family spending out of control when it comes to the summer holidays.
The issue of ensuring your kids are cared for is a thorn in the side for many parents. If you are holding down a full-time job, it can be very difficult to manage looking after your children during the holidays. You cannot simply give up work for six weeks, so chances are you’ll have to pay for some kind of carer. Many parents opt for holiday camps that run during the week in office hours or they arrange for flexible working with their managers.
If you plan on taking your children away on holiday somewhere, you will have to factor in the cost of all the extras that come with it. Ice creams, sun cream and family travel insurance all need to be considered, as well as activities to keep the little ones entertained once you arrive. Buckets and spades at the ready!
You need to keep a close eye on your spending to ensure you don’t go overboard and bear in mind that there are various things you can do to cut costs. If you are planning to go on holiday abroad over the summer, it might be worth paying attention to the exchange rates some time before you go. If you can get your holiday money sorted in advance, you may be able to get a better exchange rate. Airport rates are often not as good as the ones you can get from places like the Post Office so bear this in mind.
Go last minute
If you can leave your holiday booking until the very last minute, you may be able to get a much cheaper deal. Alternatively, book as far in advance as possible and you may find that travel operators offer extra deals for booking early. Children can often go free for their accommodation or the hotel may throw in their meals for nothing. All of these little savings can soon add up to a considerable amount, leaving you with more cash to spend when you arrive.
Keep it free
If you do have time off to spend with your children, try to think of things you can do together that won’t cost you any money. Simple things like building a fort with old boxes and sheets give you chance to have fun with your family but don’t necessarily cost a penny. Alternatively, lots of museums don’t have entry fees but ask for a donation instead. Pack a picnic and enjoy a free day out with the whole family. If you are looking after someone else’s children or dropping yours off with a friend, get out the board games and jigsaw puzzles. These can keep them entertained for hours and won’t cost you any extra.
Been on holiday recently? Would you be interested in taking part in our Family Travel Survey Summer 2013
About the Author: This Holidaysafe insurance article was written by Lauren Sutton, a UK-based brand journalist who regularly blogs on travel topics and personally loves a bit of a bargain getaway. Connect with her or the Holidaysafe team on Twitter @laurens430 @holidaysafe.