The Easter holidays and spending money go hand-in-hand.
If you have kids, you might be heading abroad, visiting family or planning a few activity-packed days out (fingers crossed for good weather).
In theory, the Easter holidays should bring a fun-filled fortnight with your family, but in reality, you’re facing an expensive few weeks. With or without children you can expect price hikes on holidays, transport and admission costs.
Just how expensive is Easter?
This year the average five day holiday is expected to cost £810 – including the 67% of Brits who are choosing to spend their break here in the UK.
In 2018, holiday comparison website Kayak reported a 30% price increase for top holiday spots, compared to previous years over the Easter holidays. If you’re heading to a popular destination like Dubai or Malaga expect to pay 49% and 40% more on flights respectively. Looking for a last minute flight deal? Beware! You could end up paying over the odds on accommodation when you arrive, so do your research before getting spend happy with your credit card.
Last year, it was estimated we spent upwards of £247 over Easter weekend alone! If you have children that figure is closer to £300 per person. Even those ‘free’ activities like visiting the beach or the park could rack up costs from petrol, parking and a cheeky wee ice cream.
You’re not immune to the spending frenzy if you don’t have kids either. Over Easter weekend you are more likely to head out for a meal, visit a museum, catch a film at the cinema or give your home a fresh lick of paint. Plus, with most of the country enjoying the break you’re more likely to visit friends and family, spending on average £19 on transport costs according to Money Facts (as above).
Money saving hacks for the holidays
Heading abroad? If you’re heading for foreign soil but waiting for the perfect deal before you book, here are a few money-saving hacks to try:
- Be flexible with your flights. Travelling on a weekday, at night time or taking an indirect route could all help you to save some pennies. You could even fly to a nearby city and then catch a train to your destination. You’ll get to see more of the country from the ground this way too!
- Research affordable destinations. Porto, Portugal was recently revealed as the cheapest spot in Western Europe for a short break, where a beer comes in at a neat £1.75. Research from the Post Office suggests a two-night stay in 3-star accommodation, a three-course meal and entrance to an art gallery for 2 people would set you back just £172.60pp.
Already booked your Easter holiday? You’re probably looking forward to a well-deserved break. Having already parted with your hard-earned cash though, you might want to consider a few ways to save on those last-minute holiday costs:
- Buy tickets to attractions in advance. Online prices can be significantly cheaper than on the door costs.
- Don’t leave travel money until the last minute. Airport currency exchange is often significantly less competitive. To get the best possible exchange rate, do your research. Money.co.uk have a great comparison tool.
- Get a travel credit card. If you use your credit card you could be in for a shock when you return from your holidays, often facing fees for using it abroad. Specialist travel cards are a great holiday companion because they don’t charge for cash withdrawals or interest and non-sterling transaction fees. For a guide to the best travel cards, check out Money Saving Expert.
Staying at home? Well why leave? Scotland has everything you need to enjoy the break right on our doorstep. Okay, okay except maybe the weather – but you never know!
Visit Scotland have gathered a list of 38 things to do this Easter, many of which are free. You could blow away the cobwebs with a day along the Fife Coastal Path, unleash your inner Culture Vulture and visit Dippy at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum or take a jaunt through Edinburgh’s Botanic Gardens.
Grab a deal
Always check out deal websites like Itison, Wowcher and 5pm for bargains on days out, restaurants, and hotels before you head out. You’ll find discounts on venues like Edinburgh Dungeon, M&Ds and Landmark Forest Adventure Park. Just make sure you check the terms and conditions to ensure the deals are eligible over the holidays.
Entertaining the kids at home
If you’d rather stay avoid the crowds and stay in the house but have children to keep entertained here are a few ideas:
- Print some Spring activities. If you have access to a printer there are lots of websites that offer free to download quizzes, colouring and puzzles. Jump Start has some seasonal options from an Easter Bunny Maze to a printable Easter Card little ones can colour in.
- Easter baking. Everyone loves a chocolate nest, don’t they? For the cost of just a few cheap ingredients (and a messy kitchen), you can keep your children occupied making some yummy Easter treats you can all enjoy. Head to the BBC Good Food website for some Easter baking inspiration.
- Traditional egg painting. You know the drill, grab some paint or dye and a box of eggs and let everyone get creative. Here are a few ideas. When you’re finished, head for the nearest hill and race your eggs to the bottom!
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