I love the summer holidays, absolutely love having the children at home with me. Love to make plans, to make memories, to try and enjoy every moment. Don’t get me wrong, throughout the next six weeks the children will drive me crazy at times, I will no doubt be shouty Mum sometimes. But on the whole it is my absolute favourite time of the year.
But, there is no denying it is expensive. More so now Arthur is over that free child age of 3 or 4, we now have to pay for all three children to go anywhere. I hate having to say no sorry I can’t afford it to friends. But equally some of the more expensive things I like to save to do with James as well.
So here is some of my tips for surviving summer with a family, without needing a small lottery win. A bit of background, both myself and James work, we aren’t on an amazing income so we have to budget well but we get by okay, usually.
I know not everyone can have a holiday in the summer. We are lucky to have one holiday booked at the end of August. It is a week in a caravan in England, and I can’t wait! I would love to be jetting off on a plane but we just can’t afford it this year. I am hoping this lovely weather continues though. The best thing about a UK holiday is you can be prepared and pack lots. We always eat breakfast in the caravan, and usually a couple of other meals, whether it be a light lunch or a little tea after a bigger lunch somewhere. We always stop off at a supermarket on the way to buy some essentials for the week, and pack whatever we can from home.
One of my top tips is to make a 6 week plan. I have used my bullet journal to box off each week. You don’t need a bullet journal you can just use a piece of paper. But by having the entire 6 weeks available in on spread it helps to even things out a little. That way you can book in one or two things per week so that you know what you have to look forward to. I can now see at a glance when I want to try make plans. Remember to leave some days quiet too, if you have constant plans you will be exhausted at the end of the break.
We have got into a habit of writing a summer bucket list. We have it on a big chalk board in the kitchen, and it includes everything from the big day trips to the little silly things. We all get involved in writing it, and its always good fun. It also means on the days you have nothing to do you can look on the bucket list. And when you are making the 6 week plan you can timetable in the bigger things.
Budget and Vouchers
Like most people, I love a bargain, and if I can find a voucher for something I am there! This year we have saved up our Tesco Clubcard vouchers and will be using them for a trip to LegoLand. By using the clubcard vouchers we have free entry, so we can either pack a picnic, or get lunch in the park.
Check you local area
Keep an eye on Facebook or other local sites for summer activities. We have a horse sanctuary nearby which opens up once a week in the summer. You can visit the horses, they have a play park and you can take a picnic along. The kids love it, and it is completely free. There is a small cafe for lunch or ice creams but it can be a cheap as you want it to be.
We will also be hunting for the GoGo Hares in Norwich this summer. I know a few other city’s have a similar thing. Its a nice day out, without having to spend too much.
Keep it low key
The children don’t need big days out to have a good summer holidays. It doesn’t need to be filled with theme parks and expensive day trips. Children really are happy with the park and a picnic. A trip to the beach. You don’t need to spend a fortune to make memories. Think back to your own childhood, some of my best memories were definitely not big and expensive.
I hope you all have a lovely summer holiday.