Enjoy a Low-Cost Summer Holiday
Well, this is it, the school summer holiday has finally begun. I don’t know about you, but I am seriously ready for the break of manic morning school runs and soggy 3 pm pickups (why does it always rain at 3 pm?!).
Now if you’re like me as much as the thought of having the kids home for 6 weeks is brilliant for quality family time, but the other side of the equation is “How am I going to afford days out, holidays and the dreaded School Uniform big shop??”. I have some small, simple but yet effective tips for making the most out of the summer holiday period which will hopefully save your bank buckling under the pressure.
Here we go;
Summer Holiday Savings – Top Tips
I plan to take my kids on as many days out as possible over the summer holiday, let them experience new things or even return to some previous places which hold great memories for them. For such days out I am planning on booking in advance, this is a great way to save a percentage of the cost instead of buying the tickets at the gate. For example, Drayton Manor Theme Park has a great saving by buying tickets online. In advance, an adult ticket is £28, compared to £39 on the gate (saving you already £11!) and a child ticket is £24 compared to £29 on the gate (saving £5!).
Another great idea for days out that I actually do myself is visiting National Trust properties, we are a family member of which we pay by Direct Debit for costing us £10.50 per month. There are over 500 places you can visit throughout the United Kingdom and each one is different and unique. National Trust also isn’t boring, each site will have special events happening throughout the summer holidays to entertain little ones, not the mention various outdoor activities such as playgrounds, den making and woodland walks (locations may vary). Not forgetting the on-site cafe’s with wonderful ice creams for the kids, and cream teas for the grown-ups!
If it’s free days out you are after, then you need to check your local area for events happening throughout the summer holidays. Also, plan park visits, meet up with friends or host playdates. There are great savings to be found on all days out.
Eating Whilst Out
Now, this really doesn’t mean, go to restaurants and eat out for the entirety of the school holidays, in fact, I’m actually going to encourage you to use other options.
If you are on one of the days out I’ve mentioned above, or even visiting another local attraction, you do not need to feel obliged to eat at the onsite eateries. There are plenty of places at most attractions where you can sit down on some grass or find a bench and enjoy a homemade picnic. I spend most days throughout the holidays carting a picnic around with me, I put it all in a chill box, grab a picnic blanket and strap them to my collapsable festival trolley and pull it around with us for the day.
If we fancy the change and want to eat out I always keep an eye on restaurants which are providing holiday meal deals, or money off.
Staying In Activities
Frequently through the holidays, you may find the need to stay home for the day. This will be absolutely fine, let the kids enjoy their home surroundings but if things get a little fractious here are some staying home activities.
- Educational Activity Books – Every summer I buy the kids a couple of educational books, mainly Maths & English to stop their brains going stagnant over the 6-week break. On days where we are at home, I usually have the kids work on these for about an hour a day and they do thoroughly enjoy them. Be sure to look out for the book which is working at/above your child’s level to avoid the work being too easy or too difficult.
- Lego Building – My kids just LOVE Lego, granted their not very creative when it comes to the building but once they get started and into a rhythm they can come up with some fab designs.
- Film Sessions – Not at the cinema either, we love nothing more than home film sessions. Close the curtains, close the doors to the living room and have some bags of popcorn in the cupboard for such occasions. You have made your own mini cinema experience.
- Garden Fun – On the days where the weather is nice and hot set up a paddling pool so the kids can enjoy the garden. If not, instead of the kids playing indoors with their favourite toys perhaps set up a play session outdoors.
Back To School Supplies
Sometimes the most expensive part of the holidays is stocking up on the back to school supplies. Whether you are stocking up for one child or ten, it’s going to cost a small fortune. New uniform, socks, shoes, backpacks and stationery will leave you feeling like you need to rob a bank or take out a short term loan to help you through the big expense.
Personally, to help us through this experience we prefer to buy plain polo tops/shirts rather than the logoed varieties that some schools supply. Obviously, this only works if your child’s schools allow for this uniform flexibility.
Most uniforms, jumpers, polo shirts, trousers and skirts can be bought in multipacks which helps the already tight purse strings. Perhaps even try out a cheaper brand of clothing too?
**This is a partnered post.