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Most of us have memories of the school trips we took while at school. There was always excitement, delight at technically being at school but not having to do anything too educational — they were some of the best days, if we’re honest.
As a parent, the school trips our children go on are less about excitement and novelty; they’re more about a drain on our finances. If you find yourself wincing every time your child comes home with yet another permission slip and request for money, then the tips below could help you ease the financial strain — without damaging your child’s experience at all.
TIP: Ask About School Trips Early
Don’t rely on your kids to tell you about any upcoming school trips, as there’s always a chance they will forget and only announce the schedule when departure is imminent. Instead, at the start of every school year, ask the school to send a list of anticipated trips and when they might be — a rough draft is fine, it doesn’t need to be confirmed. This guide will help you manage your finances so you can afford the trips, using the advance notice you have to help save up.
TIP: See If The School Will Accept Credit
Here’s a reassuring fact: you’re not the only parent worrying about how the need to pay for school trips is going to impact your budget. That’s why many schools will now offer a credit facility for school trips. This could be allowing you to pay with a card found on offers.creditcard or just allowing you to pay towards the trip on a monthly basis — ask, and you might find the financial options are more flexible than you first thought.
TIP: Ascertain How Essential Each Trip Is
If you’re only able to afford a small number of trips, then how do you choose between them? Some excursions will doubtlessly have more of an educational benefit than others, so those should be the ones you target.
While it might feel like your child is being forced to miss out on the fun school trips, just remember: you can make up for that during the summer holidays. If you deal hunt and save up money for the holidays, then you can take a family trip to a theme park or other purely-fun school trips, safe in the knowledge you’re getting the best deal possible. While school trips can be exciting, it’s important to remember that excitement is not necessarily a good enough reason to dip into a limited pot of funds. Save your pennies for the trips that really matter to your child’s education, and you won’t go far wrong.
TIP: Plan Something Fun If You Decide Your Child Needs To Stay Home
On days when your child has to stay home while a trip is taking place, try and plan something fun together. It might not be as exciting as the trip itself, but the time for a little family bonding is always appreciated. If you’re in need of ideas, parents.com have some great ideas for fun that a family can share together. Even a simple and inexpensive day at a beach or park will make the day feel a bit more special.
It’s important to try to remember that school trips are a novelty, not a necessity. Before you sign another check, think through the above, and then proceed as your budget dictates.