How to do Center parcs on a budget….

Does anyone else hear the words Centre Park and think bank loan?! It is renowned for being expensive and I have heard many time “oh yes we would love to go but it’s so much money to stay in the UK, we could go abroad for that price”.

This is true it is a lot but there is ways around it to cut the costs and I’m going to share them with you.

1.) Go in term time, I know I know we’re not allowed, but seriously our children aren’t little for long and these memories are so important. I won’t be doing this anymore due to my son going to secondary school but I’ve been told taking a day before terms break up can even make a difference. We’ve Kinda thrown caution to the wind with him off to big school this year and gone “let’s just do it”

2.) If you like anyone enough to stay with them sharing a lodge is great as you split the cost! We book with my sister, her husband and there 2 children and we get a great big lodge with 4 bedrooms, a games room and a sauna! Which I might add has been impeccably clean every time and house keepers also come in the day and clean too! I could not fault the accommodation at all.

We also pay a refundable deposit on an Xbox so we can play just dance and have a bit of fun in the evening, it gets everyone involved and we all have a bit of a giggle!

Split the lodge cost between 2 families and Bobs your uncle, you will be surprised!

3.) pre book your holiday well in advance and spread the cost. Also you can pre-book your activities over the year, maybe one a month so you don’t have to spend a big chunk of money, the activities range from £1 for Story-time, £12 ish for animal fun, £30 ish for 2 hour activities where you can leave the children and have a bit of time out (I recommend these). So the prices vary and there is so much for all ages. I will also say that the staff are fantastic! I advise booking them early as when you are there they will be mostly fully booked.

4.) Make full use of the pool, it is free and the one at Longleat is new and it is insane! There is a toddler splash area with mini slides, sprinklers and water play activities, a huge pirate ship splash area with more slides. There is a new ride with giant rubber rings which is so much fun and for roughly age 7 upward (there is a height restriction) these are so much fun for adults and kids, we screamed our heads off!! There is also an outdoor pool, more water slides, rapids and jacuzzi I mean you could spend hours, get out have a drink in the cafe and get back in again. There are even little beach huts you can hire.

5.) Take a food shop with you! The first time we went my sister organised us as I tend to plan the day before and she is a super list writer! She planned meals, told me what to buy and do you know what? She’s a bloody genius! For a 4 night stay we each bring a dinner for one night, we go out for one dinner (to the pancake house which is amazing! The funniest show!) and we do a little BBQ one night, job done! We also make a pack lunch everyday using part baked rolls and take cereal and toast. As much as I thought my sister was slightly crazy this saved us so much money and also saved me putting on a stone in weight!

6.) If you fancy Longleat safari park it is next door and it’s cheaper to buy your tickets through center parcs. I love Longleat, we went on the Friday and it was so quiet!

So there you have it there are ways to cut costs and for a fun family break I would totally recommend it, this is not an ad it’s just a little holiday memoir as I always thought center parks was a no way for us and it isn’t at all, if you really look into you can definitely cut costs.

All this being said would I rather go abroad?? No it’s a totally different holiday which I enjoyed just as much! Going abroad is great but this is great too, it’s really good family time and a great place to learn new skills and work together depending on what you choose to do. Going out on family bike rides and spending evenings together interacting rather than going to entertainment every evening. For what we spent we couldn’t go abroad like people think, and it really is so beautiful!

I’m also so thankful for my children to be able to make memories with their cousins, they have so much fun and just hearing them giggling makes it so worth it! Except the slime incident i mean if center Parcs had of seen that we wouldn’t be allowed back!

We all got so much exercise cycling around everywhere and it really boosted the kids confidence on their bikes, My husband and oldest son did a highropes course and zip-wired across the lake! It looked terrifying but I was so proud!!!

If you ever go you must go and see the show at the pancake house!! It is hilarious and the kids love it.

One last thing…

If you can, spend a morning at the spa!! It’s about £35 and sooooo lovely one of the best!!! My sister and I went for a morning and the guys had the kids, they then went quad biking and we had the kids, works out perfectly. It’s not all about the kids right?

Thanks for reading and enjoy any trips you have planned this year!

Tash

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