Holiday hits hip pocket 

HAVING just spent a couple of weeks with my family on holiday in NSW, I can attest to how expensive it is for a family to travel and stay at places around this state.

Even as a “normal” (whatever that is?) family of two adults and three children, we felt like we were bleeding money out of every pore after about five days on the road. We were very glad to get back to Goulburn where the admission costs for the cinema and the pool are relatively economical to the rest of the world.

Apart from rising petrol costs, we discovered that for a family of five to stay in a hotel or motel (even a motel which is the height of 1980s fashion and which maybe hasn’t had a decent clean since then) can cost a family between $150 and $200 a night to stay.

Outrageous! Even just to go out for a family meal you are looking at forking out $60 to $100. This adds up after a few days of constantly eating out twice a day.

Then there is paying for the activities. We went to Jamberoo Recreation Park for the day and were simply amazed at the admission cost – about $180 a day for all of us – with adult admission costing $41 each and for the children (aged four- 12) it was $33 each. We also made the mistake of not bringing our own food into the park and this meant paying another whopping $60 just for a communal lunch of fish and chips. So all up it cost us about $300 for a day out there! Does anyone else out there think these prices are just insane? They would certainly be prohibitive to many families.

Some will say “get over it” – this is what it would cost you in to visit the theme parks in Queensland – and they would be right – with prices up there being even more expensive – but that is the Gold Coast – an international holiday destination.

Also, packages are available up there to make it cheaper to visiting various parks on the one voucher. Wet ‘n Wild on the Gold Coast costs adults $60 and children $35 for day tickets.

To have a day at Seaworld costs adults $79 and children $49. But there are some vouchers that allow you to visit three theme parks for $99.

I am sure there are thrifty people out there who would be reading this and saying “what an idiot – we know how to save money while having family holidays” - but those who take all their own food and tents and go camping are in for a shock as well.

The Daily Telegraph ran a story recently (January 6) saying that it is cheaper for a family to have a holiday in Bali than to pitch a tent at a campsite in NSW. The story listed prices such as Booderee National Park at Jervis Bay for $81 a night for an unpowered site as well as Big 4 Batemans Bay at $86 (powered) a night. It then listed some Bali hotels with rates as low as $57 a night.

It makes me think whether it would be better to stay at home and pitch a tent for the kids in the backyard next year or maybe even cheaper to just go to Bali. Who would want to holiday in NSW with such outrageous expenses?

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