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Summer holiday set to cost the average British family £640

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Parents know school holidays are expensive but now they have the proof in the form of research from American Express, saying the average family with two kids will spend £640 on activities and treats between now and September.

Days out top the list of school holiday spending, with parents splashing out an average of £232 to entertain their two children. This is followed by treats and gifts (£134), general pocket money (£100) and summer camps (£88).

In addition to the day to day costs of keeping their children entertained over the next couple of months, 29% of parents are planning a holiday abroad and 35% a staycation this summer.

The average family has budgeted £462 and £358 respectively to pay for two children on their trip. Over a quarter (29%) admit that summer holiday costs are the most stressful part of the school holiday break.

The majority (63%) of parents will use their monthly salaries to pay for the summer fun, 34% will also dip into their savings, while one in five (20%) plan on using their credit card. In addition, 15% of parents will use reward points or cashback from a credit card, worth an average £117 to make their summer spend go further.

Jenny Cheung, director at American Express, said: “The long summer holiday is a time when parents can spend quality time with their children. However, while the kids look forward to time away from school, the summer break can be a busy and costly affair for parents. By putting holiday expenditure on a credit card that offers rewards or cashback, shrewd parents can make their spending work hard for them, giving them a chance to treat themselves with the points or cash accrued once their children return to school”.

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