Its May, which can only mean one thing; the summer holidays are nearly upon us! I’m not quite sure where this year is going to? While it’s enough to strike fear in any parent, it’s the time of year that our kids most look forward to. With six weeks to think about, it can be hard to know what exactly to do with all that time and how to budget. But if you start to plan for the summer holidays in advance, now! It will save you a lot of stress come the second week of the holidays when you have already run out of patience, money and ideas!
So sit down with a coffee and your planner or even a sheet of paper and start to plan for the summer holidays.
Creating some sort of plan for the summer holidays has really helped me in recent years. Of course when it comes to kids no matter how much we try, something unexpected will always come up. However, having a rough idea of what the kids can do every week will avoid you scrambling about at the last minute to find some form of entertainment.
Start off with big events like holidays, birthdays, family visits and so on. Make a note of these in your calendar and then work out the smaller stuff in between. This also enables you to spread the cost out over the 6 weeks. Maybe one week you’ll go on a day out and the next week you’ll go for a picnic in the park.
A fun idea is to create a family wish jar which you can then use as ideas to form your summer holiday plan. This not only allows you to better plan your own life but gives the kids something to look forward too as well.
What kid doesn’t love a challenge?
Maybe task your kids with a project to work on over the summer. Whether that’s to read two or three books or learn a new talent, either way, they’ll have something to occupy themselves with.
Check out your local library which will usually have a free summer reading challenge running. And download The National Trust 50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4 for fun free, outdoor ideas.
You won’t be able to do something with them all day every day, so giving them their own independent challenge should incentivise them and give them something to do on their own.
Let’s face it, we all need a break every now and then (or more). While the kids may be off, you certainly aren’t. Working full-time while the kids are off school is a logistical nightmare for most of us!
Where needed, make sure you’ve got appropriate childcare in place so that you aren’t left high and dry when work calls you in last minute or you have a tight deadline.
Without a doubt, the summer holidays are one of the most expensive times of the year as a parent (let’s not even get into Christmas). With all of these activities and holidays, the pennies soon stack up.
It’s best to be financially prepared for this time of year and create a budget on how much you’re realistically going to spend. There’s plenty of ways of cutting costs, of course. For example, making use of coupons and online bookings to save with on the door prices at attractions.
If you don’t drive, or plan on travelling around, investing in things like season train tickets for the family can save you a noticeable amount over the whole year – not just the summer.
There are lots of things you can do for free in many different areas if the UK. For example there are all of these family things to do in London on a budget.
Whatever you get up to, I hope that by starting to plan for the summer holidays now, you all have a more enjoyable time.