The summer holidays are more or less the highlight of every school year, but they can be difficult for parents who may have to juggle jobs with childcare for six weeks or even just make sure that the kids are occupied instead of running round the house causing chaos. Unfortunately, a lot of companies look to profit from the summer holidays, so it’s easy to spend a stack of cash very quickly. Here are three ideas for saving money during the holidays.
Keep the Credit Card Handy
Good credit cards are a cheap and safe way of paying for some of the bigger activities because you get a measure of protection if the activity is cancelled, rained off or doesn’t happen for some other reason. Credit cards also have the distinct advantage of enabling you to delay payment until the end of the month, hopefully after your (or your partner’s) pay cheque has come in.
You can also get good deals on travelling abroad through the likes of Santander if you choose to take your family away and also enjoy good exchange rates or bonuses if you pay with your credit card in other countries. Perhaps best of all, if you happen to have one of the ‘cashback’ credit cards that are available, you can actually earn money back for the extra cash you’re spending.
Enjoy Free Activities
Most sports centres offer great holiday activities that are cheap (if not free) and will tire your kids out so you can have a well deserved break. Keep an eye out for things like free swimming, which is always available for kids up to age 12 (and sometimes beyond) and kids camps for just about every sport. The Olympics has made this a great summer for encouraging kids to get involved in new sports and activities and with a bit of luck you could find yourself with a budding Olympian on your hands after a few of the free taster sessions that are being offered around the country.
Cheap Travel Activities
Hop on a train or plane and head into London to enjoy some of the cheap (and free) stuff to do in the capital. The most expensive part of your journey (if you live close enough to do it as a day trip) will be the train travel, but with special family fares and cheap deals during the holidays the tickets aren’t actually very expensive. And if you do need to spend the night, there are often fabulous deals on London condo rentals during the holiday season as well. All of London’s museums and galleries are free to enter, and a particularly good one to visit with kids is the Science Museum by the South Kensington tube station. Keep an eye out for all the Olympic “Houses” as well. Each country has a house celebrating their sporting history and many are free and include great activities for children.