One in five parents fear they’ll be “priced out” of entertaining their kids over the summer holidays, research has found. A poll of 1,000 mums and dads, with kids aged four to 16, found just over half are having to rethink their plans entirely due to rising costs.
In the past, they’ve sent their children to playschemes, summer camps, and football training schools – but for many kids, such activities are likely to be off the cards.
But this isn’t where their problems end, as not being able to afford options like these means parents will need to take time off work – something 77 percent of those affected can’t afford to do.
And 61 percent admit they are limited by how much annual leave they can take.
Carolyn Jameson, chief trust officer at Trustpilot, which commissioned the research, said: “Being a parent is never short of challenges.
“But the long summer holiday can really stretch on for lots of parents, as they can quickly run out of free things to do and start worrying about cost.
“A big problem is things that might seem free or cheap on the surface often come with hidden expenses, like buying ice creams in the park.
“And for those who are able to book experiences for their kids over the break – such as cinema trips or excursions – finding venues and clubs which offer genuinely reliable, good-value entertainment and care for children can feel like a minefield.
“That’s why it’s so important, particularly when purse strings are stretched, to make the most of online resources such as review platforms – to see the real feedback of real families, and find experiences you can trust.”
The research also found the cost of summer is what is worrying parents most about the upcoming school holiday (32 percent).
But 30 percent have concerns about how much screen time their children will be exposed to, and 22 percent will feel guilty if they haven’t organised enough activities.
Meanwhile, nearly a fifth (18 percent) can’t bear the thought of giving their child a “disappointing” summer – and 16 percent fret about how they’ll work from home with kids running around.
In general, 62 percent of those polled are finding this year difficult when it comes to monetary costs, with 11 percent of these calling it “very difficult”.
Of those who are planning to pay for activities in summer, they estimate it will cost them £635 each on average.
And compared to summer 2022, 25 percent expect to be spending more money on camps, childcare, or other activities.
However, 21 percent of all those polled, via OnePoll, will have to reduce spending in other areas to afford all the activities they’ll need for their kids.
And 12 percent even went as far as to say they’ll have no other choice than to quit their job to care for their child themselves over summer.
Sue Atkins, parenting expert who partnered with Trustpilot for the campaign, said: “It’s going to be a tough six weeks for parents up and down the country.
“And while this may all seem like doom and gloom, there are lots of things parents can do to entertain the kids that are fun but easy on the purse strings.
“Fortunately, there are some great resources you can check online in order to avoid disappointment, where you can see the real experiences of real parents.”