Tara Talks: Summer Holiday Preparation

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I know it is only May but this Tara Talks blog post is focusing on this year’s summer holiday and making sure we are all ready. The summer holidays soon come around. I’m not talking about us Mums and Dads realising in May that summer is in two months and that we still haven’t been swimming, gone for those extra walks, toned up or stopped stress eating (every year!). I’m talking about six and a half weeks of school holidays, juggling work, finding places to go that are within budget and all of that good stuff.

The Budget

Regardless of whether you are planning a getaway, a few days out, extra childcare and activities or a combination of all of these during the summer holiday, a budget needs to be put in place. If you love the idea of a stress-free summer decide now if you haven’t already what your plans are going to be and how much extra money you will need. If you can save extra money, brilliant. If not, look at ways to decrease your outgoings, increase your income and perhaps enjoy a Kon Mari style declutter and sell on any items you are finished with.

Maybe it’s just me but I find that when Isla-Mae is off school, especially over the summer, I have to put more money into our food budget. Between growth spurts, friends popping in for snacks, ice lollies and her hollow legs I always seem to get through so much more food than when she’s at school. Please tell me I’m not the only one?

Going Away

Do you fancy a change of scenery during these summer holidays? Camping can be an affordable option if you have the gear already or can borrow it. AirBnB can be surprisingly affordable for short breaks around the UK and abroad. Have you considered a house swap? This isn’t something I’ve done before but I’ve heard of it. Say you’re down South (like we are) and have a friend up North or somewhere else. Instead of paying for accommodation somewhere why not swap house for a week? You get to explore a new area, they get to explore a new area, your home isn’t being left empty while you are away. Affordable and fun! I actually love this idea and will look into it further. Watch out for a Tara Talks blog post on house swapping down the road.

Back to School

Every summer I have to restock with new school uniform, new shoes, have a back to school hair cut and replace items like water bottles, snack boxes and a school bag (I’m sure I-M drags hers across the yard, they never seem to last more than a school year). Make sure that you have any of these costs budgeted for in advance so that they don’t sneak up on you.

Affordable Summer Holiday Activities

The summer doesn’t have to be blisteringly expensive. There are so many activities that you can enjoy at home, whether it’s good weather or not. Spend a little time working out indoor and outdoor activities that you can put on, from walks to free local attractions, baking at home, play dates, swimming, movie days and more. My DreamBear Activities section is crammed with free or affordable ideas.

Juggling Work and Summer Holiday

Whether you work from home or go out to work, childcare can be an absolute pain during the long summer holiday. There are a number of ways around summer holiday childcare, from asking family for help, claiming childcare help via tax credits, using annual leave, helping out other friends or family members in the holidays by taking it in turns to have the children at yours, summer play schemes and more. How this will work will depend entirely on your individual needs and your budget. I’m very grateful to have my Mum to help me out during the summer and usually take some holiday off. Make sure that whatever you need that you sort it out well in advance.

In Conclusion

I’m hoping for some decent weather and some fun time with my young lady this summer. She’s growing up so fast. It won’t be too many more summers before she’s too cool to hang with her boring Mum, wanting to be off and away with her friends. Until then my plan is to make the most of our time hanging out together and hopefully to not blow my budget in the meantime.

Whatever you have planned for the summer holidays, good luck with your planning!

Tara x

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