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Buckets and spades

The true cost of school holidays revealed – is it more than you thought?

This week marks the start of the summer holidays. This also marks the start of the array of attractions, sporting activities and sweet treats parents use to keep their children entertained. But how much is this adding up to?

It's been revealed parents are expected to spend £600 entertaining their children over the summer break – an increase of £108 since last year, and a whopping 50% increase since 2012, according to Post Office Money.

An additional £146 will be spent on fuel, and a further £101 on childcare – taking the total potential cost to almost £900.

But with over half of all parents (55%) worrying about the cost of entertaining their children during the holidays, what can you do to curb the costs while still having a happy holiday?

Enjoy your summer holiday without breaking the bank

With a bit of planning, you don’t have to go without to get the most out of your summer holiday.

Look out for offers online to theme parks or restaurants. Take the time to do some research and you may be able to unearth a deal that could make your holidays more affordable.

Often, eating out can increase the costs of a day out too, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Take advantage of the hot weather and bring a picnic lunch, which can be more pleasant than an overheated restaurant.

If you’re travelling by train, you should always check for cheaper advance tickets – some may still be available up to a day before travel. You could also consider getting a railcard, which can make the cost of travelling up to a third cheaper.

If you’re planning to go abroad, shopping around is often a good idea. Package holidays tend to be cheaper than DIY holidays where you book flights and accommodation separately, but it’s worth checking out both.

It’s not too late if you haven’t planned anything yet either. Last minute deals often mean you could end up with a cheaper holiday, although you may have to be more flexible on your destination.


Starting a savings goal – our top tips

Some families may be looking at the sacrifices they can make to reign in their spending. Giving up buying new clothes (34% of respondents) and staying in more (33%) are ways parents were looking to cut back to pay for their holidays.

More worryingly, 7% of cash strapped parents admit they may have to give up paying household bills to make ends meet.

However, planning in advance can make any sacrifices smaller and hopefully more manageable.

Although no-one wants to be reminded of Christmas too early, it does seem to rear its head earlier and earlier each year, so it could be worth thinking in advance how you are going to save – or even starting a holiday fund for next year.

In fact, it’s been proven those who set a savings goal save faster than those who don’t.




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  • paramjit singh / 23 August 2015

    It is very hard to afford school hoildays especially when i am unemployed.