How To Survive The School Holidays On A Budget

It’s that time of the year when the school holiday begins, you have more hours to fill and the children’s expenses keep accumulating. It puts you on edge, you start to feel overwhelmed and worked up. No doubt, this could lead to an unenjoyable holiday and more accumulated bills, if no adjustments are made to your holiday activities. Surviving the school holiday on a budget is possible as long as proper steps are taken, even if you plan on staying home or embarking on a trip. The following tips reveals how you can have reasonably affordable fun and give your kids a good time.

Plan on Time 

Planning early is a vital step that you shouldn’t leave out in order to survive the school holiday on a budget. At first, starting to plan can be a bit tasking, from selecting the perfect vacation spot and affordable accommodation to figuring out the right budget that can cover major expenses without draining your bank account. It can get pretty overwhelming, and you might be tempted to include more activities associated with additional costs only as a means to provide more fun activities for your kids and make their school holiday a memorable one. 

To make your planning choices easier, set up a holiday funds account as early as possible. Whatever you get to save should guide you as you narrow down to the activities that will follow suit. For instance, if you’re looking to go on a trip and in need of affordable accommodation in New Zealand, you and your family can stay in Rotorua. It’s not too far and offers great recreational activities and some regions offer cheap accommodation.

Take advantage of free activities

It doesn’t matter if you’ve planned for a vacation or staycation, the school holiday is a perfect opportunity to go out there and enjoy loads of free and affordable activities available. It’s also a way your kids learn to bond and cooperate better. You can search for upcoming free events, art displays, craft sessions or select a number of fun team building activities for kids. Other places filled with fun activities you can visit include: Libraries, museums, children carnivals and national parks. The options are endless and there’s no reason to miss out on them. Lots of retailers have special events to entertain children during the school holidays and as long as you don’t make any major expense then you’re right on track to following the right budget. 


If camping is your style, then a decision on a great location should be taken. Finding free camping sites in New Zealand is never quite as straightforward as you think. Consider camping in Kapiti. The coast of Kapiti offers beautiful beaches and seaside settlements. Adding to that, there are car parks mostly along the water fronts including free access to certified self-contained vehicles to camp on the Kapiti coast. Or if you’re in for an off the grid experience, then visit Clément’s new road in the Kainamawa forest park. The best spot is the rabbit patch and it’s a noise free zone. It’s also free and you’re free to light a fire. Your camping activities should be well planned and organised. You’ll need backpacks, insect repellents, and good walking shoes. Pack toys and games you can enjoy with the kids during car ride or downtime in your room. 

Don’t miss out on group discounts

Plan to take the kids on a tour or a visit to the theme park? Take advantage of various group discount offers available for booking. Group Discounts don’t have to be related to schools or church groups, all you need is enough people. Some places require 10 or more people. Consider inviting one or two families to be able to meet the required number of people. A quick search online is all you need to get the necessary info. Once inside, you all can decide to split up; you might want to go off as separate families or you can decide to pair up the older and younger kids together, so that everyone is given a befitting age day.

Try some homemade activities

If staying back at home is on the schedule, it doesn’t mean you still can’t create fun activities for your kids. Take a look around the house, you’ll find there are lots of free activities to keep your kids engaged. You could organise a cooking show, have the kids gather around to make the family’s favourite meal. Set the kids up with a smartphone video camera, food ingredients and a photo list. Record a clip and upload to YouTube if you want. Create a clip that your kids can always go back to build memories. Or you can also get your kids to explore their creativity by setting up a zine launch. Encourage a love of writing and drawing in your kids. Gather all the necessary tools needed, from pen and papers to staple pins and possibly a photocopier. Have them cut, paste, photocopy and carefully staple the paper until they create their own little publication. 

Wrapping up 

With these few tips you’re all set to start planning. See your planning process as a golden opportunity to get together with the kids and figure out what will work best for your family. As you plan the school holidays with the kids, you will find yourself anticipating it. It’s the time of the year where you and your kids get to do a lot of interesting activities together. Kids grow up so fast, so try as much as possible to be a part of their childhood. Enjoy and support them in the warmth of your presence at the same time, keep them happy and busy. When it’s time to go on a family holiday, you get rid of your daily life anxieties. There’s no school meetings to attend, no errands to run, and no bosses to answer to. It’s the right opportunity to bond as a family.

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