Grandparents Guide to Saving Money During The Kids' Summer Break
Thanks to the cost of childcare in the UK many grandparents offer a “top-up” service for their own adult kids when it comes to the summer holidays. With the internet, email and Skype it’s no longer possible to simply take the phone off the hook and hide behind the sofa; one way or another your own kids will get hold of you and try to persuade you with that age old concept that when it comes to grandkids you get all the fun and then get to hand them back! When it comes to summer holidays that ‘back’ could be in six weeks’ time. So with money tight and the cost of living apparently on a permanent up, how do you save money on days out and about with those returnable (and returning) relatives?
One big advantage of being well into your sixties is the discounts. A range of High Street stores offer senior citizen deals; from B&Q to Boots, there are a range of discounts and the beauty of town centre shopping is that you can make the most of the free bus transport you’re entitled to. When it comes to grandkid duties none of these opportunities are to be sniffed at; add to these discounts the fact that the small people joining you also attract half price, or free entry, and cut price fares, means that between you you’ll make some serious savings. Getting around is going to be essential; ensure that you’ve armed yourself with that bus pass you’ve worked so hard to earn; for free local transport on buses across the country you’ll need a pass from your local authority and the free part usually only applies on off-peak travel. If you’re taking a day out, away from home, with the kids this will make leaving the car behind a lot more feasible and make the day a little less wearing on the legs.
Long Distance Savings
For more long distance travel National Rail offer a range of discount cards. The senior rail card offers one third off rail fares and costs £28 for a year. However, if you regularly have the grandkids in tow, it’s worth considering a family rail card, which can be better value and more flexible. This offers a third off for four adults and sixty per cent off for up to four kids between five and fifteen (if they’re under five then they travel free). You can have two named adults on the card, which allows you to share the burden/spread the joy with your own partner, or the other set of grandparents! You can use these cards on most services at most times; some exceptions to peak travel times are in operation in the South East region, so check times and regulations before planning a day out in or around London. The added extra with the family rail card is a whole range of discounts, offers and vouchers for entry into attractions around the country and offers on food and restaurants, which can really make a difference when it comes to entertaining and feeding a hungry horde!
Stocking up in Advance
If you are planning a trip and need to stock up on essential “kit” don’t forget to visit the online voucher code sites before you buy anything for the trip. From kid’s clothing and outdoor gear to offers and discounts on just about everything you’ll need to travel, along with vouchers for attractions and outings around the UK.
Written by The Spy, 29 June, 2012 - 12:38