How to save money during the school holidays

It’s like the school holidays never ended.

The kids were at home essentially from December to June (albeit with some school ground time before the pandemic hit and a large amount of home schooling as well). 

Then, just when you think you moved your children back onto school grounds for at least the necessary amount of time to settle your nerves, they came back home for the school holidays.

How did that happen?

Many Victorians may still have to stay at home, but for the rest of the country, the theme parks, movie theatres and leisure centres are your oyster. 

That means school holiday expenses, which can be expensive.

There are, of course, ways to save money during the school holidays and InfoChoice has the lowdown.

The following five tips, should help you keep money in your pocket or give you more money to spend on other things.

  1. If you go away, go with someone else

It isn’t so expensive if you only have one child, but if you have multiples the costs of entertaining them can be exorbitant. This is especially true if you head overseas, (which you can’t do at the moment) or even go interstate (which you may be able to do depending on which Australian state you want to go to). If you do decide to travel, short of taking out a personal loan for your holiday, you could invite another family to split the costs. If there is another family you get on well with, with whom you could spend a week away, split the costs of a villa, a home or even a motorhome. A big house will cost you much less, food bills will be halved and the cost of activities could be mitigated as the kids are happy playing with each other. You just need to agree on where you are going.

  1. Sign up to the sales

It is highly likely that as venues open up, there will be sales aplenty. Sign up to your favourite venue’s newsletters and Facebook or social media pages and look out for offers. You’ll be surprised how much you can save on food and venues, just by monitoring what sales they have and when they are applicable. 

  1. Seek out local activities

You don’t have to go anywhere exotic to have a good time. While this year may be different from most, many councils will hold free children’s events in your area. There are also discounted activities online to search for from places like Little Melbourne. Libraries, particularly if your children are avid readers are a great option. It may be wise to avoid shopping centres in this COVID-19 environment, but if you do have to go, a donut or milkshake is always a great way to keep kids happy.  

  1. BYOF

Or bring your own food. The best thing you can for yourself is stay away from the restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Not only will this keep your waistline in check, it will save you money. Head to the supermarket and buy yourself a roast chicken and salad (or whatever else takes your fancy); but snacks, drinks and sweets. That’s not to say, you should head out to eat occasionally, but the money you save by bringing your own food, could be put toward your next holiday.

  1. Find cheap Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi can be expensive and if you have teenagers who are connected more to their devices than to any other form of an entertainment, it’s worth going to places that offer free Wi-Fi or cheap Wi-Fi. You can purchase a pocket Wi-Fi device that can handle all of your family’s portable devices and be connected to on the one connection. It seems like a small thing, but it can be a big cost.

One extra tip – teach your kids to budget

If you are working out how much you will spend on your holiday, involve your kids. Help them to understand exactly how much a holiday costs. Get them to do some of the budgeting. You’ll find that once they understand the cost, they may actually spend less.  It’s a great way to teach your kids about budgeting and money management and they may even set their own spending limits.


This update is not financial advice. This article is general news and information.

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