But all is not lost – with some simple planning, you can entertain the kids and have a great time yourself, without splashing the cash.
- For short breaks and days out, you could check voucher websites for useful ‘percentage off’ code campaigns or cashback deals – there are often short-term promotional offers for specific places, dates and times. There are plenty of railcards that could save you money if you use the train a few times, like Family & Friends (up to 4 adults and 4 children) and Two Together (over 16s), or if you get advance ‘exact train’ tickets (just as you would with a plane).
- Looking to go abroad? School holidays are always likely to be more expensive. Costs vary from country to country, and the pound doesn’t go as far as it did a year ago. Popular western Mediterranean islands like Mallorca and Ibiza are also becoming premium destinations now, with good hotel rooms hard to come by, as security fears make many holidaymakers avoid certain hotspots that are now considered to be danger zones.
- Exploring the countryside or the local area can be fun – a good old family walk could follow old, disused railway lines, mountain paths, or find animals in the local wood. If the weather holds, the British countryside and coastline can be beautiful – and if you’re familiar with how to get around, you’re arguably less likely to spend too much.
- Many local movie theatres will have special discounted times of day dedicated to films that will appeal specifically to children, especially in the school holidays. And many areas will have free museums with exciting interactive activities, plus galleries and workshops – why not make use of them!
- Talk to other parents: There are bound to be others at the same school, or in the local streets, in exactly the same boat – why not pool your ideas and do things together?
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