Spenny summer: School holidays cost parents £1,500 per child

With six weeks to fill, parents fork out thousands to keep kids entertained and occupied during the summer holidays

Spenny summer: School holidays cost parents £1,500 per child

  • Parents spend £1,445 per child, keeping their children entertained during the school summer holidays

  • On top of everyday expenses, parents spend £1,530 per child on trips away from home

  • Majority of parents admit to running out of ideas by the third week of the summer holidays

  • Just a third of parents spend time doing crafts or making things with their children, and a quarter (24 per cent) wish they had more time to do so

With summer holidays fast approaching, new research for Epson’s range of EcoTank printers today reveals the true cost of the school summer holidays, with British parents spending £1,445 per child to keep them entertained with daily activities.  

The research for Epson EcoTank, Epson’s revolutionary home printer with refillable ink tank technology, analysed the money spent by 2,000 parents of 3-13 year olds on everyday activities during an average six-week school holiday. Some of the biggest ticket expenses include meals out (£164.70), visiting friends on playdates (£121.16), and visiting outdoor spaces (£115.54).

On top of the increased everyday expenses in summer holidays, parents also spend £1,530 per child on trips away from home, including £600 on a holiday abroad, £318 on a weekend away, £310 on visiting family away from home and £301 on a night away from home. 

Regionally, Londoners spend most across the board, forking out £1,994 on everyday activities, and £2,119 on getaways - per child. This is closely followed by parents from Edinburgh (£1,897 on daily activities and £1469 on breaks) and Liverpool (£1,645 on daily activities and £1,623 on breaks). Parents from Southampton spend the least across the board - just £742 per child during the school holidays, and £682 on trips away from home.

The research also found that it is at the halfway point when parents fall short, with the majority of parents confessing they run out of ideas of how to entertain their kids by the third week of the summer holidays (around 9th August for many schools). In an average week parents spend 17 hours of quality time with their children, with most activities centring around the home – perhaps in a bid to save money on expensive day trips. Top bonding activities include playing in the garden (59 per cent), watching TV (54 per cent), and playing in the playground (54 per cent). Just a third (33 per cent) of parents spend time doing crafts or making things with their children, and a quarter (24 per cent) said they wish they had more time to do so. 

In the battle of mum and dad, it’s clear who wears the trousers, with four in ten (40 per cent) admitting it’s mum who plans the school holiday activities (compared to just nine per cent of dads). Six per cent of parents also admit that their child takes the lead on summer holiday plans. For the average British child, a typical week in the summer holidays will include 7.5 hours of TV watching, 6.5 hours playing in the garden, 6.2 hours playing with toys, and 5.4 hours playing computer games.

Annika Fagerstrom, consumer director for Epson UK, said: “We all could have guessed that school holidays would be more expensive for parents, but what is surprising is just how much more they spend. Our research found that summer school holidays are far more expensive than Christmas, when parents say they spend an average of £1,037. And it’s not just the cost that troubles parents - over half (58 per cent) admit they find themselves running out of things to do to keep their child entertained, and just under half (48 per cent) feeling the summer holidays are too long.”

To help parents make the most of quality craft time during the summer holidays, Epson is teaming up with Disney Inspired to create a range of downloadable Finding Dory crafts, which can be printed using the EcoTank.

Annika continues: “While days out can be expensive, there are things you can do around the home with your children, even when the weather’s bad, to keep costs down. The internet is full of great crafting tips and tutorials, many of which you can do with your home printer. In addition to things like printing colouring in templates and making birthday cards, you can also enjoy our Disney Inspired Finding Dory craft projects. Epson’s EcoTank offers you the ability to print two years’ worth of ink, producing low cost ways of bonding and having fun with your children at home on demand.” 

You can find more information about the Epson EcoTank here and visit the Disney Inspired site here.

Average school summer holiday costs for the UK’s top cities (ordered by spend per child on daily activities):

CitySpend per child on daily activitiesCost of getaways per child (including nights away and holiday abroad)

About the research

Opinium Research polled 2,000 UK parents of 3-13 year olds between 6th – 10th June 2016.

About Epson EcoTank

Epson's new EcoTank range of printers features revolutionary refillable ink tank technology that offers an unbeatable combination of convenience and value for homes, home offices and small offices.

With up to two years' worth of ink included in the box and no hidden costs, these new EcoTank printers break new ground with their ultra-low-cost per page and ease of use. These all-in-one printers can provide thousands of pages, the equivalent of 72 ink cartridges on average.

EcoTank printers are bundled with high volume ink bottles offering an ultra-low cost per page at a fraction of a penny, helping to reduce printing costs by 70% on average. After printing up to 11,000 of pages, additional ink bottles can be bought at an affordable price.

About Disney’s Finding Dory

Finding Dory is released in the UK on 29th July. The film made a whopping $54.95 million on its first day of release in the US, and now holds the top spot for biggest animation opening, biggest opening day and biggest Thursday previews of all time. These results see Finding Dory surpass Toy Story 3’s $110.3M to become the biggest Disney/Pixar opening film ever.

About Epson

Epson is a global technology leader dedicated to driving innovations and exceeding customer expectations in printing, visual communications, quality of life and manufacturing. Epson’s lineup ranges from inkjet printers, printing systems and 3LCD projectors to industrial robots, smart glasses and sensing systems and is based on original compact, energy-saving, and high-precision technologies.

Led by the Japan-based Seiko Epson Corporation, the Epson Group comprises nearly 72,000 employees in 93 companies around the world, and is proud of its contributions to the communities in which it operates and its ongoing efforts to reduce environmental burdens.


About Epson Europe

Epson Europe B.V., based in Amsterdam, is the Group’s regional headquarters for Europe, Middle-East, Russia, and Africa. With a workforce of 1,700 employees, Epson Europe’s sales for fiscal year 2014 were 1,551 million Euros. http://www.epson.eu