Pre-kids, you may have enjoyed the holidays. Remember the days of lazing by the pool, sleeping in and luxurious spa treatments? Working out when you please or just curling up in peace with a book?
While these holidays with your family are still possible, costs add up as you pay for extra space, extra food and for some alone time, childcare.
However, there are some fun and budget-friendly ways to enjoy the holidays when you have a family.
Many parents are moving away from excessive screen time as part of their daily routine. Or, heaven forbid, you turn something off too soon – tantrum city, anyone? However, a great holiday activity can be a trip to the movies or your very own movie marathon.
Check with your local council for cost-effective deals – many offer twilight sessions in open parks at free or affordable prices. As always. BYO snacks for ultimate cost savings and far better choice. As an occasional treat, movies can also be a great incentive to help your children get their chores done. Or perhaps they’re just a way to get the family together for a few hours – without having to run off to school, work or extra-curriculars.
We’re a fan of the post-movie family film critique– it’s a great way to discuss any tricky themes with children and to get a sense of what they enjoyed. At home, all you need is your preferred streaming service and some snacks to tide you over.
Although it’s not the height of glamour, camping is perhaps the ultimate in family-friendly holidaying. Yes, you need to pack a bunch of extra things, prepare to cook and have wet weather plans in place. But the appeal of eating outside (less clean up) and letting kids be kids and play in the outdoors all day is highly appealing.
Goodbye structured activities and the need for classes and workshops, getting into nature is fun and entertaining for children, whether they run all day to burn off steam or are the quieter type that studies the native bug population. Messy play is great for immune systems and pro-tip is to take almost too small or worn-out clothes that you can either toss or turn into rags.
If you’re new to camping consider campervan hire so you get a mix of the outdoors and some indoor shelter without the need for complicated tent set-ups.
Pools and water parks need not eat into your household budget this summer. Head to the nearest beach and paddle, build sandcastles or walk along the shore. Australian beaches are free and generally in pristine condition.
If sand is not your forte, a number of parks offer water play areas. Think fountains, water pumps, mini-rivers and spray jets are all available to keep everyone cool and busy on hot days. We like water play parks as they are free, have facilities and they’re often pretty close to home if you’re heading there on a day trip.