Just a couple of weeks ago we experienced our first real February half term. Of course, we have been through half terms before but Erin went to the holiday club at her previous nursery but we don’t have that option any more. This time it was just me and Erin from Monday to Saturday and I had to figure out how to fill our week.
It’s very rare that we have much (or any) spare money unless I really plan out finances down to the last penny and months in advance. We didn’t actually do too much this half term but we did go on one big day out which was luckily for a blog review. However, it really got me thinking about school holidays and how much they could cost because of days out.
Before deciding on a day out I put in quite a lot of planning. I figure out how much it will cost us to get there as we don’t drive and have to use public transport. I figure out how long it will take us to get there; some places aren’t actually that far away but a PITA to get to without a car. I also figure out any costs involved from transport to entrance prices to a meal out or picnic ingredients.
I researched a few of the most popular attractions and days out in North Norfolk just to see what an average day out would cost for our family of 3 (2 adults and a 3 year old). These prices do not include any discounts and are the prices for entrance on the day at the attraction. Prices do not include food, travel or any extras.
Pettits Animal Adventure Park – £44.35
Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure Park – £48.85
Wroxham Barns Junior Farm – £23.85
Africa Alive – £53.85
Sea Life Great Yarmouth – £48.85
As you can see, with the exception of Wroxham Barns, which is a much smaller attraction than the others, we would be looking at close to £50 for entrance fees. This obviously doesn’t include any travel costs, food or additional spending during the day out. It’s not that these prices aren’t worth what you get, because they are, it just seems a lot to a family on a low-ish income.
I know to some families £50 day a day out might not seem like a lot of money but it’s just not something we are able to do on a regular basis. At the moment we would only probably have a day out like this during a half term or the summer holidays. I think it would probably take us a couple of months to save up enough for 1 day out at the moment. We are lucky that we get days out now and again in exchange for blog reviews so I am very thankful for these opportunities. We probably wouldn’t have nearly as many days out otherwise.
Generally, when it comes to a day out we try to do things on a much smaller budget to make sure we at least get to do something. A trip to the cafe for some cake and chips costs less than £5 for just me and Erin and a train journey to Cromer and the beach can be done for us all for less than £15 which would include a chippy lunch as well.
Right now we are saving up for the Easter holidays and May half term (which I forgot about) and then it will be time to tackle some savings for days out over summer. I see some families having days out every few days over the summer holidays and I have no idea how they manage it!
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