How to have THE BEST family days out 18

Family days out can be expensive, but they are also fun too and one thing I have learned is that experiences bring much more fun and many more memories than things.  So I try and make sure that our family days out are as well planned as possible and to make them as inexpensive as possible.

How to have THE BEST family days out


Planning your day out can often bring the biggest savings.  Yes, sometimes you want to be spontaneous, but if you know where and when you want to go then taking 20 minutes to plan can save you a lot of money:

  1. Look for two for one vouchers online
  2. Convert your loyalty points.  At the moment you can double up or more your Nectar points for some great summer picks
  3. Check if there is a discount for booking tickets in advance online
  4. Is it worth buying an annual pass if you are going to be visiting more than one over the period of a year.

Food and Drink

Food and drink can really add up on a day out.  By far the cheapest way of tackling this is to take your own. We  pack a picnic lunch and a flask and also take cold drinks with us too.   We also pop an extra flask in the car and a tin of sweet treats to prevent indulgent afternoon visits to cafes too!


If you are planning on eating on your day out look out for food offers and also many places off refillable drinks.  At around £6, I could certainly spend less taking drinks but someone would have to carry the drinks around all day.

Do not be afraid to ask for tap water.  We do and also we often ask for two plates so we can share cake between the boys.

Exit via the gift shop

Many places now make you exit through the gift shop which can be a nightmare for families with small children.

We have our own strategy to deal with this.  We let the boys buy one postcard each for their scrapbook on the way out.

Other methods could be giving older children a set amount of money to spend or explaining that you have spent so much money on the day out that you do not have any spare.


Be Prepared

Once you have gone to all that trouble and expense to pay and plan for a day out, you really want to make the most of it, so ensuring that you have waterproofs and sun cream is essential (as you never know what the british day might bring).

Also make sure you have everything you could need.  Such as a change of clothes, swim costumes (for water play areas) and towels.

Lots of places have lockers that you can leave things in or you can leave things in the car and go back for them when you need them.

Do you have any tips for saving money on family days out?  I’d love to hear them.


This post is in conjunction with Nectar Summer Picks 

18 thoughts on “How to have THE BEST family days out

  • Ryan Costello

    I like your exit through the giftshop tip. I’m a compulsive planner but try to be a little less so since becoming a parent though. Everytime I plan, it tends to go wrong! lol

  • Pinkoddy

    Great tips – we have put jelly in the picnics and things you wouldn’t normally just to make them a bit different/less boring. We have had a lot of days out/picnics already these holidays.

    I seem to have acquired t-shirts from gift shops this year, but usually the children know that if we don’t *waste* money in gift shops means we have more money to be able to go on more days out.

  • you baby me mummy

    Fab tips, I like your exit strategy. For us it is not too bad as Baby is still free most places. We do always spend too much on food though, need to remember packed lunches x

  • Angela Spicer

    Exiting through the gift shop is often a battle. We often use this time to allow 7yo to spend her own money so she understands if she really wants something or whether she just wants it because it’s there.

  • Aisha from expatlog

    I guess we have no shame. When we eat out we always ask for a jug of tap-water and usually order from the adult menu for the kids and ask for plates to split it. Kids options are usually limited to pizza, chicken nuggets and grilled cheese – booooooriiiiing!

  • Ness (@jibberjabberuk)

    We have National Trust and English Heritage memberhsips and plan trips based on their properties so we don’t pay any extra on entrance fees. I also keep ice packs in the freezer so he can easily take our own food and drink.

  • Frugal queen

    Your Comments
    We always had national trust memberships when the kids were young, we went to all the activities and made sure we went once a week to get our money’s worth. We would use their car parks too and always take food and drink.

  • Laura

    We always collect the Sun vouchers for free tickets to theme parks. It can be a bit hit and miss when it comes to dates, but can save you so much money.

  • Kara

    We look out for discounts on groupon, living social and other local discount websites. Clubcard vouchers are great for saving money too

  • Gina Caro

    I like the postcard idea in the gift shop, I’m just mean normally and don’t get them anything. Thanks for sharing your tips on #ThriftyThursday 🙂

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