No one can deny that family holidays are a costly affair, flights for everyone, splashtastic fun hotels, and all the paraphernalia that comes as standard when travelling with tots! But it’s not just the obvious costs that add up, it’s all those hidden extras!
Here’s a list of just some of those things that mean we always come back from holidays penniless – take note and save money on your next trip!
1. Service station spending
You’ve packed enough snacks to sink a battleship, but that doesn’t stop the predictable sweetie tantrum when you stop for fuel! Besides, Haribo and donuts are a much more appealing option over the organic granola bars and grapes you’ve packed! Besides… anything to avoid a meltdown right!?
2. Airport tat
So, you have 2 hours to kill whilst waiting for you flight, meanwhile, your children are running around the departure lounge like mini Tasmanian devils, tripping over people’s feet, knocking over their coffees and generally acting like contenders for an ASBO.
So what does any parent who wants to keep their sanity do… splash out on magazines, sweets, toys which will break in 10 mins, just in a bid to keep them quiet!
3. Children’s meals
Eating out with kids has to be THE biggest waste of money ever. They refuse point blank to share your meal, so you give in and order a child’s portion of sausage, chips and beans, only for them to push it away because the beans don’t taste like they do at home – and then demolish half of your calamari. Next time, you’re bringing them a packed lunch!
4. Ice creams
You don’t begrudge your kids a daily ice cream; hey, you’re on holiday, after all. But what you do resent is being pestered into buying THE most OTT ice cream on the menu, in a novelty animal-shaped plastic cup, complete with wafers, flakes and a sparkler – only for your child to take three spoonfuls and then announce they’re full up or have the whole thing melt down their arm before they’ve even had two licks! What’s wrong with a Mini Milk, eh?
5. Stuff you forgot!
You could have sworn you’d ticked everything off your packing list, but nope – no sooner have you arrived at your holiday destination than you realise that you’ve left the sunscreen, insect repellent and your kids’ Crocs at home. And needless to say, the local shop charges at least four times more for those holiday essentials than you paid back home. Oh dear!
6. Family excursions
In reality, you’ll spend the best part of a week’s salary on a day trip to a zoo, aquarium or theme park, only to end up going home early because you can’t endure another minute of listening to your kids whinging about the queues/heat/insects. Ungrateful little so-and-sos!
7. Souvenir photography
Despite the fact that you’ve already taken 774 photos of your kids on holiday, you still won’t be able to resist shelling out for the pictures taken by the ‘professional photographer’ by the swimming pool, the grainy photo of your children stroking a parrot at the hotel’s animal show and the automated shot of them on the rollercoaster at the local fairground. Why? It’s not like you’re ever going to put them on display!
8. Beach gear
Every single year, you get suckered into buying a whole new selection of buckets, spades, inflatable pool toys and water shooters, only to end up having to leave them all behind at the end of your holiday because they won’t fit into your suitcase. Damn those strict luggage restrictions.
Walking to the beach always seems like a good idea at the time; after all, parking is so expensive, and it’s impossible to find a space. But it’s a different story on the way back, when you’re all hot, tired and sweaty, your kids have sand in their shoes and their legs have apparently stopped working. Taxi, please!
10. Holiday mementos
Because what your child REALLY needs a default ‘I Love Tenerife’ T-shirt that you wouldn’t let them be seen dead in at home, a giant teddy with the name of your holiday resort emblazoned across its pot belly, and a giraffe made out of a selection of irresponsibly-sourced seashells.