Rising Costs Make Summer Day Trips An Impossibility For Less Well-To-Do Families

Since the global economic crisis hit in 2008, everyone’s been feeling the pinch and tightening their belts in order to save the pennies wherever they can, with luxuries like family holidays abroad being the first on the chopping block.

Here are the recent finding:

22% of Britons will book a holiday in the UK, 13% will spend their time off at home and 12% will take no time off work due to very worrying financial restraints.

However, it can’t be all work and no play, and for those who can’t afford a holiday abroad surely a family day out can bring a touch of sunshine.

Although the appeal of a family day trip has always been its affordability, as accommodation and high cost air travel aren’t part of the equation, those in search of a family day trip during our all too brief summertime have faced an increasingly harsh price barrier over the last six years.

When one investigates the ticket cost of the UK’s biggest theme parks the sharp rise in prices since 2008 is shameful.

Thorpe Park’s 2008 pricing structure had an adult paying £33 on the door and a child £21. Skip forward to 2013 and an adult pays £43.20 and a child £33.60. That’s a rise of 31% and 60%, respectively.

Over the same period a similar story can be seen at both Chessington World of Adventures and Alton Towers. Chessington’s price for adults rose by 35% and for children by 65%. Alton Towers currently charges £46.20 for adults and £39 for children, rises of 37% and 62.5% on their 2008 figures.

This, however, is not the only worry for parents who wish to get at least one day out with the kids during the summer. Notoriously expensive theme park refreshments have continued to soar in price unabated, having, on average, leapt up by 15% since 2008.

With fuel prices consistently rising year on year (13% between 2008 and 2013), a daytrip for a family of four can realistically look to set the parents back at least £200.

Compare this with prices for other popular child-friendly activities like the zoo, and the disparity is shocking. Drusilla’s Park charges a family of four a reasonable £35.99, whilst London Zoo will set a family of four back £56.84 (with 10% going to charity).

Whilst the wider economy is reportedly showing signs of recovery, the general public’s own budget is still remarkably strained. The larger, most popular theme parks are clearly taking advantage of the fact that larger numbers of Britons are staying in country for their holiday.

Recent research commissioned by JT Hughes found that 54% of the British public stayed at home this year, a staggering rise of 14% over the past three years.