Summer holiday saving tips.

The summer holidays will be here in a matter of weeks. Long, sunny (hopefully) days, no early morning school run and lots of adventures to be had.

I love the holidays and getting to slow down and spend some time with my babies but I also know that some of those adventures don’t come cheap! It’s easy to watch money slip through your fingers with days out, lunches and little faces full of expectation.

So here are a few tips to save some cash – and your sanity!

1.Make a bucket list of things to do. Create it together and make sure you include lots of low cost options like, visiting ten new parks over the holiday. Having a picnic by the river. Climbing the highest tree in the forest.

2. Have a rainy day plan. We usually have a baking day where we choose two things to make and spend the day baking flapjacks, buns and other treats. Not only does it keep everyone happy but also means you get some cost effective snacks at the end of it!

3. Plan ahead and get some play dates in the diary. When children have a special friend round to play you really don’t need to spend anything! Maybe the odd ice cream or a make your own pizza lunch.

4. Think about joining the National Trust. A family pass is less than £10 a month and gives you free entries to parks and castles and other amazing historic treasures across the country. We’ve explored so many places and just packed up a picnic to save even more money.

5. Keep your eyes open for vouchers. You can often find two-for-ones, or money off through Groupon or Woucher. And a top tip from me is to check your parking tickets and receipts as they often have offers on the back.

6. At the beginning of the holiday sit down and choose maybe two special days out. Those days that will cost money. Plan them in, choose them together so the children really look forward to them and they will feel special.

7. Finally, don’t sweat it! Kids have been climbing trees, making paper aeroplanes and riding bikes quite happily for years. They may well moan they are bored and want to go out. But you know what? Being bored is good for them! It encourages imagination and self reliance, so you’re saving money and doing thema favour in the long run!

So start planning now. Save some money and fill those six weeks with some amazing adventures. See you the other side!

Glorious day in the Norfolk Broads

This half term we were lucky enough to take out a boat on our wonderful Norfolk Broads. It’s such a joy to just kick back and see parts of our beautiful county that you just don’t see on foot or by car. We picked up our Herbert Woods picnic boat at Potter Heigham, where the lovely  Mark, the happiest chap on the Broads, gave us the safety talk and a few good pointers on where to go.

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Despite it the being half term, it felt relaxed and never busy. We were zigzagged by wonderful yaghts; followed by a very determined duck and her tiny brood, and the children loved spotting the waterside houses, including the imaginatively named (by them!) mushroom house.

The picnic boat was perfect for us, three adults and four children. It had a toilet, gas ring, hot water, a fridge and a sink too. Herbert Woods also supply sponges and washing up liquid as well as plates cups and cutlery. The roof pulled back both sides so could enjoy the sunshine and quickly hauled back if a black cloud appeared angrily overhead. You also get a handy map with timings so you can make the most of your day and know you’ll get back in time.

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We trundled up to the Benet Abby ruins where we stopped off for a run through the fields and a chat with a local chap cutting pathways into the ancient meadows for tourists. He told the children there were hidden pathways and without further encouragement they were off to find them.

We also had a slightly hairy moment when we went to walk through a field, only to realise not only were there cows in there but a great big bull! Luckily we were assured he wasn’t bothered at all, still we decided to take a detour!

 

IMG_2257A boat on the Broads is an adventure our children just loved. Whether it’s sitting outside and watching the world from the boat, spotting birds and houses and hidden gems where crocodiles may lurk! Or inside where they played captain and simply enjoyed this little house on the water and all the ways it fed their imaginations.

We went up to Salhouse, through Horning and stopped in one of the many free mooring areas. Salhouse is beautiful and the children explored  what they called the ‘enchanted woods’, while we sat on the grassy hill and chatted.

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That’s what I found on the boat, it takes you away and lets you breathe. No traffic, no crazy tv, no mad rides, just a great day out.

No one wanted to get back, we just wanted to turn around and do it all again. Thank you Herbert Woods and I can’t recommend it enough for a family day out. Just the best fun.