Summer is officially here, and the sun is finally starting to catch on to that fact and coming out to play. Many of us will no doubt want to take advantage of the warm weather for days out or outdoor activities, especially if we have kids who are enjoying time off school. The cost of days out, however, can be quite hefty if you have a whole family paying entry fees.
However, there are a few tactics you can use to enjoy days out for much less than the standard ticket price. Some methods you might want to consider include:
National Trust: Go Scottish
Many of the country’s best parks, gardens and historic homes are in the ownership of the National Trust. However, membership of the National Trust can be expensive, and ticket prices for individual properties can get even more costly if you want to go to a few places.
A cheaper way to gain membership is to join the National Trust for Scotland. Members of Scotland’s national trust don’t need to live there and aren’t confined to Scottish properties. You get full access to National Trust properties throughout the UK, but is noticeably cheaper than standard National Trust membership. Family membership cost £104 with the National Trust but can be as little as £69.40 for its Scottish counterpart (including a first year discount if you set up a direct debit).
The Tesco Clubcard is one of the most popular and well-known loyalty cards in the UK, and it also happens to be one of the most flexible. Clubcard points can be spent and redeemed in exchange for a wide range of different things, and this includes entry to a wide range of attractions throughout the UK.
The best bit, however, is the “exchange rate.” Clubcard points convert very favourably into money off vouchers in this category, and quite often the value is 4:1. In other words, for very £2.50s worth of Clubcard points you convert into vouchers (in terms of their standard value as money off of shopping), you will get £10 towards entry to many of the attractions on offer.
Beaches are the very archetype of summer days out, and they remain one of the most popular options. In July, August and, if you’re lucky, even September a lot of British beaches do a very passable impression of a sunny holiday destination. Sunbathing, swimming and – for younger family members – building sandcastles and exploring rock pools are all excellent summer activities, made all the better by the fact that beaches are entirely free.
Of course, in practice this isn’t going to translate into a completely free day out. If you don’t happen to have the seaside on your doorstep you will have the cost of getting there. Taking a picnic can keep food costs down, but it’s almost inevitable you’ll end up buying an ice cream or two. Even so, unless you have a very long way to travel on public transport, beaches still represent a much cheaper summer day out than most pay-to-enter attractions.