Summer is almost here, well it is peeking around the corner being all coy. We know that’ll arrive and then flee in a flash of sun and rain, but more importantly we know that when it does arrive you’ll be wanting to make the most of it. Even though Christmas tends to be a pretty expensive time of year, I find the summer months much more pricey – they go over a longer period of time, and we are much more inclined to want to get out and do things. Lots of things to make the most of the time we have. Whilst I spend all winter hibernating with a blanket and pie, I spend all summer getting out and doing all sorts before we have to return to the glumness of the darker days.
But this all costs money! Days out, summer gear, getting your outdoor space spick and span, holidays abroad, festivals, pub gardens with friends – all these things can add up to a huge bill at the end and you get to September broker than broke. Or something.
If you have a family, or even a large group of friends, summer days out to keep the kids happy and the parents happier can cost an absolute bomb. The price of theme parks literally make my eyes water they are so high and yet we all seem to love them when the summer rolls round. There are lots of ways you can save money on day trips around the UK, and for some of them they don’t even require much forward planning, leaving you more freedom to do what you fancy as the days roll by!
So I’ve tried to put together some awesome ways you can have fun over the summer months without breaking the bank, and breaking a sweat. Easy summer savings – I like this very much!
- Seriously, make use of free museums. They charge you nothing to get in and on a rainy summer day they are the perfect place to keep occupied. This list of free museums allows you to see the nearest to you, so get ticking some off this list!
- Use vouchers – Tesco Clubcard and Nectar allow you to swap points for deals to all the big theme parks and other attractions. Check how far in advance you have to swap them for and plan accordingly! Alternatively with the Days Out Guide from National Rail, you can get 2 for 1 tickets to loads of attractions in London and the South East with a valid train ticket (and this ticket could be just £2 and doesn’t have to be used…make the most of this deal!). Finally keep an eye out on cereals, crisps and other foodstuffs for vouchers to collect for days out.
- Take a packed lunch. The big cost of a day out is often the food. Get savvy by bringing food in with you as opposed to paying through the nose for a crap burger and chips. You don’t need soggy sandwiches, there are plenty of ways for you to get creative!
- Cheaper travel is the next thing to think about – book tickets in advance and use whatever rail tickets you can, including a Gold Card, Young Persons Railcard or Family Card if you have it. When travelling around London always do it through an Oyster card and you’ll save loads. Check out the Trainline, National Rail and TfL websites for more details.
- Festivals are all the rage and as you know I love a good festival. But they do not come cheap. If you didn’t manage to lay your hand on festival tickets this year, what about trying to volunteer instead? Alternatively, there are a huge array of festivals that are put on in the community for free. I love the Notting Hill Carnival, and the Mayor’s Thames Festival in London, but this map allows you to search by location for ones nearest to you.
- Enjoy the outdoors for free or little cost! Once the weather gets cracking, getting out to local parks and gardens with free access is the perfect way to spend a chilled out sunny Sunday – or if you live by the sea, make the most of it! Get outdoors, take a packed lunch and a blanket and maybe treat yourself to an ice cream on the way home. If you have a Lido or local outdoor pool near you, these often are low cost for a full day of entertaining for the kids (or big kids like me).
- Stoke up the BBQ – but don’t spend a packet. If you have a nice outdoor space you can invite friends over for some relaxing. But top tip – ask people to bring something either drink or food related. BBQ food can add up if you buy specialist stuff, but a pack of sausages and normal burgers will do fine – or alternatively make your own! Asking people to bring salads and accompaniments brings down the cost. And don’t worry of you don’t have a BBQ. You can cook under your grill and eat outside…we won’t tell anyone!
How will you be saving money on days out this summer?
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