When are they going back to school again? Eye-watering cost of six-week holidays revealed (CLUE: You wont get much change from 3,000)

When are they going back to school again Eye-watering cost of six-week holidays revealed (CLUE: You won’t get much change from 3,000)

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UPDATED:

11:37 GMT, 23 July 2012

Parents in the UK will spend a staggering 2,474 on childcare and entertainment this summer, according to a new study.

The overall cost of the school holidays includes an average spend of 351 on childcare, 504 on days out and 665 on additional transport and food.

Researchers also found that the financial and emotional effect of the summer break is giving 73 per cent of parents sleepless nights as they worry over how to keep their children occupied over 42 days.

Rising costs: British parents will spend a staggering 2,474 keeping their children occupied over the summer holidays

Rising costs: British parents will spend a staggering 2,474 keeping their children occupied over the summer holidays

The ‘School’s Out’ study by budget hotel chain Travelodge, which surveyed 5,000 British parents, revealed that the US trend of coupon collecting has become increasingly popular in the UK, with a third of British parents devoting between two to three hours each week voucher-hunting to save on household costs.

The report also found that 17 per cent of parents with children under 18 will not be taking a holiday this year, while 53 per cent of those who are taking a break are planning to stay in the UK.

And the impact of the recession was clear, with less than a third of parents able to afford to take more than one break a year.

Meanwhile reservations data from Travelodge has revealed that a new staycation trend has emerged – the revival of British road trips.

'We’re calling it “hotel hopping”. People are visiting two or three destinations in a week rather than staying at just one,' said Travelodge spokeswoman Shakila Ahmed.

'Families might stop off at Eastbourne, Brighton and Bognor Regis exploring the Sussex coast, for example.

'It’s a great example of the British ability to make the best of making do – one holiday suddenly feels like more.'

TOP TEN ACTIVITIES PARENTS ARE PLANNING TO DO WITH THEIR CHILDREN THIS SUMMER

1. Going to the beach

2. Going to the cinema

3. Going to a museum

4. Going on a picnic

5. Taking a trip into the countryside

6. Baking at home

7. Visiting family

8. Going to a theme park or attraction

9. Going bowling

10. Going fishing

The report also revealed that coastal destinations top the staycation list with 46 per cent of families heading to the sea-side this summer.

Cornwall, Edinburgh, Lake District, Devon and Blackpool were the most popular destinations for families.

However families viewed the unpredictable weather as the most significant disadvantage of staying in the UK, with 81 per cent of parents admitting that their school holiday budgets could be blown if the wet summer continues.

'Parents told us that entertaining children on rainy days is 53 more expensive than on dry days,' Shakila added. 'More rain could really put the Wellington boot into already cash-strapped parent’s budgets.

'Going to the beach and having picnics were two of the top three activities mums and dads have planned for their kids – both low cost but heavily reliant on clear skies.

'Despite aiming to spend an average of 150 less this summer than last, parents are now bracing themselves to spend hundreds of pounds more, if the weather doesn’t improve for the duration.'

NETMUMS founder Siobhan Freegard also states that a washout summer would have a major financial impact on families this season.

'Summer can be tough for families who are already struggling, as the holidays mean increased food and childcare bills, so less to spend on short breaks and days out,' she said.

'When it's sunny there are lots of options for free activities, such as outdoor treasure hunts or picnics in the park. But rainy days are harder to manage as kids are often full of energy but cooped up in the house.

'You can't beat the British weather so why not make a virtue of it Wrap up the children in wellies and waterproofs and go puddle jumping or try a nature walk in the rain spotting snails and slugs

'If you are stuck for indoor inspiration, think back to your youth – a pack of cards, marbles, torches in the bedroom, cardboard box robots – the things you loved as a child can all be re-introduced for the new generation.

'While getting creative takes more time to plan than a trip to a pricey theme park, it makes memories your children will treasure forever. All the research shows children want time with their parent’s more than expensive days out.'

Working parents will be taking an average 12 days off during the summer holidays according to the survey, with fifty two per cent of working parents reporting difficulties getting time off during the school holidays due to competition with colleagues who also have children and co-workers who don’t have children and don’t understand the practicalities of school holidays.

A quarter of parents felt that summer school holidays should be reduced as they found it too expensive to keep children entertained for over six weeks.