Parents set to spend £2,474 on childcare and entertainment during school holidays (From Bromsgrove Advertiser)
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Parents set to spend £2,474 on childcare and entertainment during school holidays
7:10am Wednesday 25th July 2012 in Business Daily
BRITISH parents are expected to spend £2,474 on childcare and entertainment this summer, according to new Travelodge research.
The School’s Out study, which surveyed 5,000 British parents, reveals the financial and emotional effect of the summer break is giving 73% of parents sleepless nights over finding ways to keep their children entertained over 42 days.
The overall cost of the school holidays includes an average spend of £351 on childcare, £504 on days out and £665 on additional transport and food.
The research also revealed the American craze of coupon hunting is a growing trend in the UK now with a third of British parents devoting between two to three hours each week voucher- hunting in a bid to help run their household budget.
So addictive is the thrill to find discount vouchers, a quarter of parents have got their children searching for money-off coupons for fun.
The report also found that 17% of parents with children under 18 will not be taking a holiday this year. Of those who are, 53% are planning to stay in the UK.
The days of taking more than one break a year has become a distant memory for most, with less than a third of parents able to afford it.
Reservations data from budget hotel chain Travelodge reveals the emergence of a new staycation trend as a result - the revival of British road trips.
Travelodge spokeswoman Shakila Ahmed said: “We’re calling it hotel hopping. We have seen a significant rise this year of people visiting two or three destinations in a week, rather than staying at just one.
“Families might stop off at Eastbourne, Brighton and Bognor Regis exploring the Sussex coast, for example.
“Resourceful Britons are making one holiday feel like more, which is a great way of keeping the children entertained during the holidays.”
The report also revealed coastal destinations top the staycation list, with 46% of families heading to the seaside this summer. City breaks and rural escapes are neck and neck (17% and 16% respectively), followed by family visits (12%) and theme park getaways (9%).
Most popular destinations for families are Cornwall, Edinburgh, Lake District, Devon and Blackpool.
Staying in Blighty does have one major drawback - the unpredictable weather. The Travelodge study highlighted the widespread concern about the effect the weather might have, with 81% of parents stating their school holiday budgets could be blown if there are not enough dry days.
Ms Ahmed continued: “Parents told us that entertaining children on rainy days is £53 more expensive than on dry days. More rain could really put the Wellington boot into already cash-strapped parent’s budgets.
“Going to the beach and having picnics were two of the top three activities mums and dads have planned for their kids - both low cost but heavily reliant on clear skies.
“Despite aiming to spend an average of £150 less this summer than last, parents are now bracing themselves to spend hundreds of pounds more, if the weather doesn’t improve for the duration.”
NETMUMS founder Siobhan Freegard said: "Summer can be tough for families who are already struggling, as the holidays mean increased food and childcare bills, so less to spend on short breaks and days out.
"When it's sunny there are lots of options for free activities, such as outdoor treasure hunts or picnics in the park but rainy days are harder to manage, as kids are often full of energy but cooped up in the house.
"You can't beat the British weather so why not make a virtue of it? Wrap up the children in wellies and waterproofs and go puddle jumping or try a nature walk in the rain spotting snails and slugs?”
“If you are stuck for indoor inspiration, think back to your youth – a pack of cards, marbles, torches in the bedroom, cardboard box robots - the things you loved as a child can all be re-introduced for the new generation.
“While getting creative takes more time to plan than a trip to a pricey theme park, it makes memories your children will treasure forever. All the research shows, children want time with their parents more than expensive days out.”
Despite concern over rainy days at home, when it comes to family breaks, Travelodge research shows British parents to be stalwart. The vast majority (89%) of staycationers agreed that they would be pulling on their wellies and raincoats to hit the UK’s tourist spots, whatever the weather.
Further research findings revealed that working parents will be taking an average 12 days off during the summer holidays. Fifty-two per cent of working parents reported difficulties getting time off during the school holidays due to competition with colleagues who also have children and co-workers who did not have children not understanding the practicalities of school holidays.
A quarter of parents reported that summer school holidays should be reduced, as it is too expensive to keep children entertained for over six weeks.
Top 10 activities parents are planning to do with their children this summer:
- Going to the beach
- Going to the cinema
- Going to a museum
- Going on a picnic
- Taking a trip into the countryside
- Baking at home
- Visiting family
- Going to a theme park or attraction
- Going bowling
- Going fishing