Even though it has been the coldest summer for twenty years, I feel a bit sorry that the school holidays are coming to an end and that we will soon be back in the school term routines.
As the summer draws to a close, I’m not thinking about Christmas yet although I know that we will soon be seeing the first Christmas displays in the supermarkets.
I’m also not thinking about the costs of school uniforms, particularly as you can get some great deals on many items that are needed for school.
I’m actually thinking about how expensive it is to entertain children during the school holidays.
It looks like I’m not the only one as research by American Express has shown a decline in the number of family days out being taken as a result of escalating costs.
Apparently, according to Amex, it now costs around £73 per child per day to take them on trips. That sounds a bit excessive to me, however it is alarming how costs do add up.
Theme parks seem the most popular destination so I had a look at how much it costs to take the children to the local theme park in Devon, where the family is currently staying.
Woodland Theme Park is situated a few miles from Dartmouth and claims to be the biggest theme park in the South West. It costs £57.80 for a family of four for a day.
And then you have to buy drinks and lunch which are likely to cost another £20. So you are looking at an outlay of at least £80 just for one day!
Of course the 20% VAT accounts for £16 of this so you can feel happy that you are contributing significantly to the governments debt reduction efforts as well as providing lots of fun for your kids.
Have we been to Woodlands? Actually no. The beaches in Devon are fabulous. It costs £3.50 per day for car parking. We take a packed lunch bought from local suppliers and all have a great time, though it can be a bit cold at times!
So the occasional trip out to an attraction, even though it is expensive, is a good idea and will be a hit with the kids, but do you need to do that most days of the summer holidays – definitely not.