Thursday, 1 August 2013

Summer holidays on a budget!

Summer holidays are now well under way and as is my challenge of keeping 3 children entertained on what feels like zilch. Unlike what feels like the whole world, we have no holiday booked so it's down to  strategic planning to pass their time and mine, while I daydream of the Balerics.

I've mentioned before that we are National Trust members so that's being taken advantage of and I know that when there isn't time to sort everyone lunch before leaving, these offer great children's meals cheap.
We have had one already but we're going to throw in another beach day trip, it will fool us into a holiday feeling. In fact it fooled us so much the last time we went that the next day we had the holiday blues.

I have family living in St Albans the splash park is also becoming a fave water day. There are a few of these dotted around and they are a good change from a normal park day.

With the budget pretty much covering fuel alone these days, picnics I am sure will be the last thing we will want come September!  Sandwiches are as about as fancy as the picnic gets right now but on the longer day trips :ie beach, fish and chips at home time are not breaking the bank too much. At the moment with the children still being young I'm able to get around most 'treats' by stocking up on some fruit cereal bars (yes really-they love them!) on the food shop and then the odd --rip off-- ice creams whilst out.

Beach wise I love West Wittering, the beaches are endless and it was a childhood holiday resort for myself so seeing my children recreate making sand cakes in the sun and sea is special.

National Trust wise we are returning to.....

*Waddesdon Manor soon as on our last trip we didn't get to explore the park and land.

*Cliveden is on the list too as the kids loved it.

*Ashridge is free and the kids always love running around and exploring. Pitstone Windmill is just around the corner of Ashridge so I'll probably use that to kill some time too!

*Ham House and Gardens is somewhere I've not yet ventured, supposedly one of the most haunted building's in Britain, it should be interesting!

*Wimpole Estate is also on the list as this even boasts a farm.

Failing all the above local parks, meeting with friends, attempting cake pops for the first time, planting a massive mountain of seeds (don't ask) and a paddling pool at home will do.

Legoland is high on my eldest daughter's wish list but with a car to tax and mot next month sadly that looks unlikely. I'll just console myself that perhaps next year we will be poolside and the kids are getting some great memories this year. Most of the above are my own favourite memories as a little girl so I can't be going far wrong.

Perhaps I'll self educate myself on mixing up cocktails and dip my feet in the pool (paddling variety) when the sun is going down. Of course this is weather permitting! Now please excuse me whilst I research summer holidays 2014!


  1. Beautiful children! They look like they are having fun, that's the main thing. I've just swapped my Tesco vouchers over for a free trip to Whipsnade, I think Legoland was on their too? May be worth a look. x

    1. Thankyou! I don't use Tesco's for food so barely any points at all! X

  2. It sounds like you're having a great time. My best childhood memories involve beaches, picnics, ice cream (and none of these happened abroad I can assure you) Really, for the under 10s, it is all about the ice cream!!

  3. Just to let you know that I've put your blog forward for a Liebster blog award. Details on my post here xxx Love Liz xxx

  4. Oh it looks like you have plenty to do to keep the kids busy. I'm one of 3 too and I loved days at the beach and random days out.

    1. Hi Winnie! Yes they are keeping me on my toes, I think I am more worn out than they are! Lovely to recreate my own childhood memories though!

  5. I love National Trust days out, Cliveden is so beautiful...and there's a lovely one in Surrey called Clandon Park, which is near a lovely pub too - good for lunch, think it's 'Clandon Arms'