School summer holidays set to cost the average British family £640

With schools across the UK breaking up for summer, new research from American Express reveals that the average family with two children is expecting to spend £640 on activities and treats to keep their kids amused over the school holidays.

Days out top the list of school holiday spending, with parents splashing out an average of £232 to entertain their two children. This is followed by treats and gifts (£134), general pocket money (£100) and summer camps (£88).

In addition to the day to day costs of keeping their children entertained over the next couple of months, 29% of parents are planning a holiday abroad and 35% a staycation this summer. The average family has budgeted £462 and £358 respectively to pay for two children on their trip. Over a quarter (29%) admit that summer holiday costs are the most stressful part of the school holiday break.

The majority of parents will use their monthly salaries to pay for the summer fun, 34% will also dip into their savings, while one in five plan on using their credit card. In addition, 15% of parents will use reward points or cashback from a credit card, worth an average £117 to make their summer spend go further.

A spokesman for American Express said: “The long summer holiday is a time when parents can spend quality time with their children. However, while the kids look forward to time away from school, the summer break can be a busy and costly affair for parents. By putting holiday expenditure on a credit card that offers rewards or cashback, shrewd parents can make their spending work hard for them, giving them a chance to treat themselves with the points or cash accrued once their children return to school”.

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