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Children 'stuck at home' this summer

Jul 16 2012 Posted by Laura Canning

Many children from lower and middle-income families will be ‘stuck at home’ this summer due to families having to cut back on days out and holidays, says a charity.

Family Action says that with rising costs and income cutbacks, even standard trips are now out of reach for many. A day out can cost up to £80 for a family even with only one adult going, and a poll of over 2000 mothers showed that over half (54 per cent) are planning to cut back on trips and holidays because of money worries.

Three-quarters of those polled by the charity said that the biggest cost factor of a day out was entry fees, with concerns also expressed about the cost of transport and of eating out.

The charity says companies and tourist attractions should keep their prices fair and improve offers for families all year round. Chief executive Helen Dent said: ‘Families are facing summer on a shoestring with parents and children cooped up at home as a result of falling incomes and rising prices.

‘We know that children get a boost from days out - including to their educational development.

‘However, this year many parents are so worried that summer day trips will break the bank that they're cutting back.’

Those cutting back included both low income families as well as the ‘squeezed middle’, she added. Most families polled said they were planning at least one day out, apart from the ones on the lowest incomes who said they would be unable to do so.

‘Whilst those in upper-income groups can still expect that a week's holiday in the UK forms part of a minimum standard of living, the vast majority of the families we support will be lucky to get out of their community for the day,’ Ms Dent said.

If you’re on a limited budget and looking for a lower cost break this summer, there are several options on to help you save some cash. Our offers page has all the latest deals, including half price stays, and you can also search directly for budget and backpacker sites as well as search by price – add your dates into the search box on the left then use the ‘sort by price’ filter on the right.

Also check out our blogs for thrifty tips and ideas – we’ve covered camping on a shoestring, cycling and camping, budget sites and keeping the kids entertained on a budget for starters. And once you find a site, click on the ‘local attractions’ tab for details on what to see and do nearby. All our sites have local things to do listed, including budget-friendly options such as beaches, walking and biking trails within reach.