Summer school holidays more expensive than Christmas, survey of parents finds

Parents find the summer holidays more expensive than Christmas for keeping their children fed and entertained, according to research.

A survey among parents of children aged between three and 13 years old found that, on average, parents expect to spend £1,445 per child on activities over the summer holidays - which is around £408 more per child than they would spend during the Christmas break.

Those taking part in the survey were asked to estimate how much they plan to spend on activities such as trips to the cinema, going on play dates with friends, meals out, food shopping and summer clubs.

The survey, carried out for Epson EcoTank printers, found parents in London and Edinburgh plan to spend the most on average, approaching £2,000 per child.

Parents in Southampton expect to spend the least on meals and activities during the summer holidays, the research found, at £742 on average.  

The research among 2,000 parents also found most admitted to running out of ideas for how to entertain their children by the third week of the long summer break.

Annika Fagerstrom, consumer director for Epson UK, said: "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%) admit they find themselves running out of things to do to keep their child entertained, and just under half (48%) feeling the summer holidays are too long." 

Last week, a report from Nationwide Savings found nearly three-quarters (73%) of working parents have to stagger their holidays over the summer with their partner to cover childcare over the period.

Here are the amounts parents in cities across the UK typically expect to spend per child on everyday activities over the summer holidays, according to the survey for Epson EcoTank:

:: Southampton, £742

:: Cardiff, £906 

:: Brighton, £1,010 

:: Sheffield, £1,021 

:: Plymouth, £1,026 

:: Belfast, £1,051 

:: Leeds, £1,134 

:: Newcastle, £1,152 

:: Glasgow, £1,195 

:: Nottingham, £1,240 

:: Birmingham, £1,252 

:: Norwich, £1,287 

:: Bristol, £1,289 

:: Manchester, £1,313 

:: Liverpool, £1,644 

:: Edinburgh, £1,897 

:: London, £1,993 

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