Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Are single parent families at a disadvantage when it comes to days out?

*Collaborative post

It’s hard to believe that August is upon us and another school year has come to a close. I don’t know about you but I feel like this year is flying by and before we know it, Christmas will be just around the corner. July through to September are some of the busiest and most hectic months of the year, mainly due to the little ones being off enjoying their summer holidays. 

As a parent it’s nice to enjoy some well-deserved time off with the children but we all know school holidays can come at a cost.

More often than not the littles ones enjoy occupying themselves, whether it’s playing with their toys, games or watching films, the summer holidays especially are a long period of time out of their usual routine and it’s inevitable the boredom is going to kick in at some point. Family days out during the school holidays can be as expensive or as cheap as you’d like. Whether it’s a picnic in the park or a trip to the local zoo, days out can range in price and a lot of UK attractions offer discounts for families, mainly consisting of 2 adults and 2 children.

Sometimes family days out can carry a financial burden for parents if money isn’t easy to come by and I was surprised to find out that single parent families are at a significant disadvantage. You’d automatically presume that a single parent taking 2 children on a day out would be cheaper because there are less people, but in fact, this isn’t the case. Being a single parent can be hard enough physically, emotionally and financially to begin with, so it’s upsetting to think the book doesn’t stop there and single parents are in a way being punished for wanting to spend time with their children and enjoy a family day out.

Research carried out by PayPlan looks at the true cost of being a single parent and how some of the UK’s top attractions offer better discounts to a family of 2 adults and 2 children, over a single parent family with the same amount of children. I can’t imagine how difficult it is being a single parent and I can only sympathise with parents who face financial difficulties like the ones I’ve outlined below.

The cost of being a single parent

One of the best family days out is a trip to the cinema and it’s sure to please the little ones. Although a number of cinemas have reduced their ticket prices, if you don’t take your own drinks and snacks it can easily mount up in cost.

 Taking Odeon as an example, the cost per paying head to view a film in one of their cinemas with 2 adults and 2 children will set you back around £9.75 each. You’d presume that the same day out minus 1 adult would be cheaper, but in fact it isn’t. For a single parent with 2 children you’d be looking at paying £10.67 per head, which isn’t a huge difference but it can soon add up.

It’s not just places like the cinema which are more expensive for single parent families; holidays and travel also have an impact. If you’re planning a train journey with Virgin Trains then you’re looking at a cost of around £24.75 per head, if you’re travelling as a family of 2 adults and 2 children. There’s a significant difference when it comes to single parent families though, as the cost per head for a family of 3 will amount to around £33, totalling a difference of around £8.25.

The figures that shocked me the most was the difference in price when it comes to a Mediterranean family cruise. A holiday is a way of escaping the stresses of life back at home and enjoying time with your loved ones, but there’s a noticeable difference in cost when it comes to single parent families. 

For a family of 4 the price per head would come in at around £1,222,25, whereas a single parent would be paying around £1,569 per head. At first glance this doesn’t appear to be a huge difference when in fact; it’s around £346 in cost which is pretty staggering.

This is a topic which hasn’t really crossed my mind before or been relevant to me but after looking at the research carried out by PayPlan, it’s certainly opened my eyes to the matter. Single parents have enough to deal with and knowing you’re at a disadvantage when it comes to family days out mustn’t be easy to understand. 

I’d like to know your thoughts on this matter in the comments below and it would be great to share your thoughts on social, using #CostOfSingleParentLiving.

*This is a collaborative post

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