The cost of keeping kids entertained

Parents are spending £2,510 to keep their children entertained during 2017 summer school holidays.

  • This spend will boost the UK economy by £21 billion
  • British seaside resorts are top holiday destinations for families this summer
  • New growing trend in more families taking UK multi-location short trips – combing a coastal and city or rural break

Children may be counting down to the start of their annual summer holiday this week but for millions of British parents the longest break of the year fills them with dread – as they will be forking out on average £2,510 to keep their family entertained. Holidays, short breaks, attraction tickets, days out, toys, computer games, sports activities, sweets and treats are just of the costs parents will be splashing out on, over the next six weeks. For many parents this expense is their monthly salary and collectively this spend will boost the UK economy by £21 billion.

The research conducted by Travelodge, surveyed 2,000 parents across the UK to find out how they are planning to keep their children occupied over the six week summer break. Key findings revealed that 69% of parents find it very stressful thinking of ways to keep their children entertained during the summer school holidays. This year, 63% of parents have booked a summer UK holiday for ten days to help keep their children entertained during the holidays. Over half of British families (53%) are flocking to the seaside for their annual break.

Top destinations include: Cornwall, Devon, Blackpool and Skegness.

The second most popular holiday for families this summer is a rural retreat with 28% families heading to: The Lake District, North Wales and the Scottish Highlands. In third place, families are opting for a cultural city break and heading to London, Birmingham and Glasgow. In addition to their main holiday, households are also taking short breaks and on average six family days out during the school break this summer. The average day out will cost parents £87. The most popular days out include a jaunt to the seaside, visiting family and friends in a different city, trip to the countryside, visiting a museum and going to a theme park.

The research also revealed that over a quarter of parents (28%) are taking several short breaks instead of one main holiday this summer as it is more cost effective and makes the children think they are going on lots of holidays rather than the one break. A fifth of parents also reported that they prefer to take their children on a short break rather than a day trip as it’s more cost effective. Interestingly a quarter of parents also stated that they are taking more multiple destination short breaks with their children this summer as it provides more value and ideal option to keep their children occupied. The research also revealed that 55% of parents are finding it more cost effective to holiday in Great Britain during the school holidays than going abroad.

Detailed below is the average bill for keeping the kids entertained during the summer school holidays
Annual holidays/Several short breaks £1,575.32
Childcare £167.68
Days out (on average 6 days out) £522.00
Toys/Games/Sweets etc £245.00
Total £2,510.00

Further research findings revealed that families living in Cardiff are the nation’s big summer holiday spenders allocating an average of spend of £3,528.36. Families living in Chelmsford were second, spending an average of £3,123.74 followed by families in Liverpool who spent an average of £2,874.04. Households living in Glasgow are spending the least amount on keeping the children entertained during the summer school holidays.

The table below details where you can find the families who will be spending the most money on keeping their children entertained this summer break.
Ranking Location Total spend Where they are taking their main holiday
1 Cardiff £3,528.36 Devon
2 Chelmsford £3,123.74 Isle of Wight
3 Liverpool £2,874.04 North Wales
4 Newcastle £2,807.86 Whitby
5 Chester £2,702.35 Blackpool
6 Coventry £2,624.19 Somerset
7 Sheffield £2,612.09 Skegness
8 Aberdeen £2,595.68 Lake District
9 Southampton £2,581.78 Cornwall
10 Glasgow £2,470.60 Somerset

Shakila Ahmed, Travelodge Spokeswoman said:

Keeping your children entertained during the six week summer school holidays is no easy task and can be expensive. Parents nowadays are looking for added value in how to keep their children occupied in the holidays. A growing trend that we are experiencing is that more parents are booking a multi-location short break and combining a coastal and city or rural break as one trip. This type of holiday is cost effective and within one trip you get to see more of Great Britain and the children get two holidays for the price of one.”

The research also revealed that 45% of parents want to holiday at home this year so that their children can learn more about their country and appreciate it.

Detailed below are the top ten UK locations where British families will be holidaying this year.
  1. Devon
  2. Cornwall
  3. London
  4. The Lake District
  5. Birmingham
  6. North Wales
  7. Scottish Highlands
  8. Bournemouth
  9. Skegness
  10. York
Book your city, beach or family break now.