While some may still be paying off their summer holidays, autumn has now truly arrived – and half term with it. This looks to be bad news for parents' wallets, as research from American Express shows they will be spending an average of £276 per child this holiday break.
Given that the average family has two children, this adds up to £552 as their total expected half term cost. Further analysis of the survey reveals that fathers plan to spend a bit more, at £282 per child, with mothers planning to spend an average of £270 per child this year.
And they're not the only ones who will be spending on the little ones. Grandmothers are planning to spend £126 per grandchild, while grandfathers are planning for a £73 spend on average. Luckily, they don't seem to mind, with 51% of grandmothers and 61% of grandfathers more than happy to spend the money to enjoy quality time with their grandchildren.
Most families are planning to stay at home this half term, at 74% according to American Express' survey. This means that the most costly part of the holiday will be days out to exciting places, each estimated to cost £74 per child. However, 30% of parents have anticipated this cost of keeping their kids busy by unearthing the best offers and deals to help fund the fun.
Stacey Sterbenz, vice president at American Express, commented: "While half term may only last a week, wanting your children and grandchildren to have a fun-filled and active break from school means that costs can soon add up. However, with our research showing that these costs are worth the quality time we get with children, families can make their money work harder and get something back for their spending by paying for trips and treats using a credit card that offers rewards or cashback."
American Express' tips for families include checking with your kids before you make any decisions about expensive days out, as they may want something far more simple (and budget-friendly) than you'd think. A playdate with a friend would save both families a lot of money, while still making the children happy. Another budget-friendly activity you may want to consider is to make the most of the season and carve a Halloween pumpkin together. Hours of fun for just the cost of some vegetables.
Other tips include checking to see if you have any reward points to spend from your credit card, and doing your research to get the best discounts. If you do find you're not able to cover the cost of the holiday without turning to credit, make sure to get a card that gives you a long time to repay the debt before you need to start paying interest (have a look at our top 0% purchase cards). And once you've made it through the half term break without too much damage to your wallet, don't forget that Christmas is just around the corner, and it's never too early – or too late, depending on how you look at it – to start preparing for it.
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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