God its hard.  We have had an extension built (tightest budget ever) and the compromise was no holidays for a year.  This does not stop me from constantly looking at holidays though and even doing a secret last minute dash to the travel agents whom to my surprise do still exist.  Alas £6000 for a week in Ibiza isn’t one even I can cover up in the joint account so we are here and here we will be staying. So here is my top 10 tips for staying home for the summer holidays…

  1.  All diets/exercise/rules are off.  You have my permission.  This is survival mode, you don’t need to be a hero.  Think takeaways, think alcohol, think loose fitting clothing.
  2. Get a planner.  Have options a, b and c running across several days.  We are in Leeds so LeedsInspired.org is our go to.  The Hepworth family days are a winner (most free, drop ins).  Every day 10am £1.80 movies at Cineworld Cinemas (and probably others)  (My 2 year old will only sit through half but for £1.80 who cares).  The Swimming baths have family sessions – Fabulous! Local park = revelation.
  3. Go stay with friends/relatives. This is the biggest winner of them all.  Choose wisely and bear in mind the following – likeliness of having copious amounts of prosecco = passing out in the attic bedroom (with children – who you haven’t managed to bathe or pyjama as they have been running around with friend’s children til 10pm) =  no bedtime routine (Brucy bonus!).  You may even get breakfast cooked for you (if they have chosen their other half well). Bliss.  Beats camping any day.
  4. Go Camping.  It makes being at home so much more appealing.
  5. Get Pokemon Go.  You won’t understand it.  Your child will. It makes all of the above so much easier to do.
  6. Free Tennis.  It is everywhere. Type in to google ‘free tennis’ and add your location.
  7. Share the childcare.  No single human being can survive for 7 weeks alone.  There must be someone out there to help you.  Come on, think…that old lady you see in the Post Office, she seems nice, right?
  8. Stay off Pinterest.
  9. Use public transport.  It makes any short trip out into a full day event.  I have just read an article on ensuring your children are successful in life – the upshot is they need to have broad life experiences, do things for themselves and be socially cohesive.  20 minutes on a X42 and you have the next generation of life’s winners on your hands.
  10.   Stay a team.  United we fall people.