The top parental worries ahead of summer
One in five parents fear they'll be ‘priced out’ of entertaining their kids over the summer holidays.
A poll of 1,000 mums and dads, with kids aged four to 16, found just over half are having to rethink their plans entirely due to rising costs.
In the past, they've sent their children to playschemes, summer camps and football training schools - but for many kids, such activities are likely to be off the cards.
But this isn't where their problems end - if they can't afford options like these, parents will need to take time off work - something 77 per cent of those affected can't afford to do.
And 61 per cent admit they are limited by how much annual leave they can take.
Carolyn Jameson, chief trust officer at Trustpilot, which commissioned the research, said: "Being a parent is never short of challenges.
"But the long summer holiday can really stretch on for lots of parents, as they can quickly run out of free things to do and start worrying about cost.
“A big problem is things that might seem free or cheap on the surface often come with hidden expenses, like buying ice creams in the park.
“And for those who are able to book experiences for their kids over the break - such as cinema trips or excursions - finding venues and clubs which offer genuinely reliable, good value entertainment and care for children can feel like a minefield.
“That’s why it’s so important, particularly when purse strings are stretched, to make the most of online resources such as review platforms - to see the real feedback of real families, and find experiences you can trust.”
Parents' concern over the cost of summer
The research also found the cost of summer is what is worrying parents most about the upcoming school holiday (32 per cent).
But 30 per cent have concerns about how much screen time their children will be exposed to, and 22 per cent will feel guilty if they haven’t organised enough activities.
Nearly a fifth (18 per cent) can’t bear the thought of giving their child a ‘disappointing’ summer.
And 16 per cent fret about how they’ll work from home with kids running around.
In general, 62 per cent of those polled are finding this year difficult when it comes to monetary costs, with 11 per cent of these calling it ‘very difficult’.
Of those who are planning to pay for activities in summer, they estimate it will cost them £635 each on average.
And compared to summer 2022, 25 per cent expect to be spending more money on camps, childcare or other activities.
However, 21 per cent of all those polled, via OnePoll, will have to reduce spending in other areas to afford all the activities they’ll need for their kids.
While 12 per cent even went as far as to say they’ll have no other choice than to quit their job to care for their child themselves over summer.
Sue Atkins, parenting expert who partnered with Trustpilot for the campaign, said: “It’s going to be a tough six weeks for parents up and down the country.
“And while this may all seem like doom and gloom, there are lots of things parents can do to entertain the kids that are fun but easy on the purse strings.
"Fortunately, there are some great resources you can check online in order to avoid disappointment, where you can see the real experiences of real parents."
The top parental worries ahead of summer:
- The cost of entertaining their children
- Their kids having too much screen time
- What to do their children get bored
- Feeling guilty because they’ve not organised ‘enough’ activities for their kids
- Increase in household bills
- Their children having a disappointing summer
- Being distracted by their kids when they work from home
- Lack of clubs and activities for their children in my area
- Being able to afford food
- Having enough money for the rest of the summer holidays upon returning from family vacations
- The children’s activities they organise not be entertaining enough
- Their kids eating less healthily and doing less exercise
- Having to rely on family members more to help with childcare
- Where their kids will go for childcare
- Poor quality activities, clubs and leisure venues for kids in their local area