For mums, the summer holidays are a blessing and a curse. A blessing in that you get to spend time with your little ones and your family, and a curse when one of yours comes home from school talking about their classmate who is spending 3 weeks in Walt Disney World.
What do you mean we can’t go too? I always feel a pang of guilt when I can’t take the family on an all-expenses first-class holiday, but it just isn’t realistic for us. I always try to make sure my kids have the best summer possible, but I do have to work on a budget!
Here are just a few hints and tips to help out over the summer holidays and make sure you and your little ones forget your holiday envy and have a fun, exciting summer.
Most summers, instead of jetting off, we have opted for “staycations” and have travelled around Britain. From the North East of Scotland to the South West of England, there are some beautiful beaches and coastlines in the UK. With a little bit of forwarding planning, you can get a seaside weekend retreat that the kids will remember forever, and won’t break the bank.
We always look to Airbnb for cool, quirky places to lay our heads that the kids will love. Holidaying in the UK can also be a nice opportunity to spend time with friends, especially if they have children of similar ages- and splitting the cost of travel and lodgings never hurt anyone!
If you can’t resist a trip abroad and want to really give the kids a treat (We went to Bulgaria a couple of years ago and absolutely loved it!), then why not try reverse planning a trip? Instead of choosing a destination and then checking for the cheapest accommodation and flights, look instead at when is best for you to travel and search for a flight to “anywhere”.
The Skyscanner app is amazing for this and can throw up some really interesting kid-friendly holiday options that I wouldn’t have even thought of originally. Using this method instead of getting the cheapest flight to Mallorca by organising your time around the holiday, let the holiday organise around you, and get the cheapest flights in the world.
Reward Me Now
Speaking of apps that can save you megabucks over the summer holidays, the Reward Me Now app is absolutely brilliant for saving when you shop online and in-store. It’s almost like having a student card again and offers discounts of up to 10% on brands across the board, from Argos to Waterstones.
All you have to do is simply buy an e-Gift Code through the app and enjoy savings instantly, and most of the gift codes stack on top of the summer sales, making for even better savings! I use the Reward Me Now app every time I shop, and can’t wait to see the savings rack up over the summer and in the run-up to Christmas!
Museums, Libraries and Parks
Free entry to museums, libraries, and parks are an absolute godsend throughout the holidays. Museums are a great way to sneak a little bit of education into the holiday period and can help inspire a feeling of wonderment in your little ones, and a walk around a quiet, calm, dimly lit air-conditioned building is sometimes just what you need!
Libraries are another great resource that can be used and reused over and over. Although screens are (unfortunately) king in my house, a trip to the library gets my young ones reading and talking with excitement about their favourites, and the screens are—momentarily— forgotten. A run around the local park is my go-to activity with the kids as it keeps them fit and active, lets them explore the natural world, and always tires them out. A picnic or packed lunches always goes down a treat, and mine always get a good nights sleep after exhausting themselves playing in the sunshine. Best of all, these options are usually totally free!
I hope these little tips and tricks help, and that you and your family have a stress free, fun-filled, budget-friendly summer.
Author Bio: Kate Pattinson is a money expert at ashleighmoneysaver.co.uk she lives in Seaham in the North East of England