Monday 11 July 2022

Family Days Out with Stagecoach this Summer

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The sun has finally made an appearance, the waft of BBQ is fresh in the air and paddling pools everywhere are being hauled out of sheds and lofts in a bid to keep the kids cool. All this can only mean one thing... summer is here and that means that in a matter of weeks children will be home for the summer too. That means 6/7 whole weeks to fill and that alone can put a lot of pressure on parents and our bank balances! Which is why we have teamed up with the bus company Stagecoach to save you money on days out this summer. 

I don't know about you but as a family we love trying to fit in lots of adventures and days out in the summer. But with the cost of living crisis looming on everyone's mind, including the increasingly rising costs of fuel and things like parking costs, days out are becoming more and more expensive. However there is another option, Stagecoach bus service. Not only do they offer a huge range of routes around the country BUT majority of the time, purchasing tickets is far cheaper than covering both fuel and parking costs for a day out too! 

So to help prove its possible, Stagecoach challenged us to plan a family day out using their Journey Planner with a £40 budget, want to know how we got on? Keep reading below! 

Planning our journey was pretty simple using the journey planner, you simply enter the date and time you would like to their leave or arrive  as well as choosing which location you want to go from where you want to go. The planner then gives you several journey options including the bus times (leaving and arrival), the bus number and if the journey will require any changes etc. The planner also gives you the option to purchase tickets ahead of time via the app (or you can just purchase your tickets on the bus, on the day like we did). 

The weekend was absolutely boiling so we decided to head over the Cribbs Causeway where they have a whole complex of things to do such as cinema, bowling, ice skating, 100s of shops and restaurants as well as a FREE beach all summer long! We love to visit but petrol alone costs us £10+ currently and that's without having the stress of parking etc once we get there. We therefore figured we would try it on the bus and not only was it no more than the cost of fuel, but the kids loved the bus trip, nobody got stressed about having to drive, or park. Plus is was so nice to be able to all sit back as a family looking out the windows, playing eye spy, chatting etc without one of us having to drive, its little things like that I hadn't really considered before. This journey costs around £12.40 but you can also buy day rider tickets for around £5.20 and adult and £4.20 a child which enable you to hop on and off buses in Bristol and South Glos all day long, great if you want to cram lots into your day! 

Our bus trip took just over an hour which admittingly is a little longer than the journey would take in the car but as I said, the kids loved it and honestly it was so much less stress. Plus the journey planner lets you know how long the trip will take so we were all aware of it beforehand. 

We opted for a trip to Vue cinema to see the new Minions movie since it is a low cost family activity with a family of 4 costing less than £20 (plus did I mention they have air conditioning!). Its also worth looking out during the school holidays for extra offers "Mini Mornings" as each day the cinema show a kids/family friendly film for just £2.49 per person, that's less than £10 for a family of 4!. 

We took our own snacks to keep costs down, which despite the great myth of people smuggling snacks into the cinema, most cinemas actually don't mind. Of course its always worth checking your own cinemas T&C's but our local Vue simply states that you cannot bring in hot food. Taking your own snacks and drinks is a great way to keep costs down and ensures everyone has something they like too. 

After the film we headed a short walk over the The Mall to find their free beach which I have to admit it pretty cool and definitely worth a visit if you are in the area. It's total free to enter and has a large sandy area with two separate water feature/fountain areas where water shoots up keeping the kids cool and having lots of fun. 

There is ample seating and shaded areas in the form of benches, large pergola style seating areas and even a super comfy giant tepee area filled with bean bags where you can relax or keep in the shade if you wish. 

There were plenty of buckets and spades dotted around for all to use and share (so no need to bring your own) as well as an ice cream van that was selling ice-cream, sweets and cold drinks (they took both cash and card which is super handy). It was so nice to be able to just sit back and relax and not have to worry about one us needing to drive back feeling all sandy or wet! 

Traveling back home was super simple too, we purchased a return ticket when we first got on the bus and we made sure to make a note of the return times home so we could make sure we were at the bus stop in time. The bus arrived promptly and was surprisingly cool inside which was very welcome after a few hours in the sun. 

All in all we were thoroughly impressed with Stagecoach and the challenge opened our eyes as to how useful the Stagecoach bus service is. I naively thought that getting the bus with the kids would be lots of hassle and costly but it was in fact cheaper than driving and much less stressful too! No kids fighting in the back of the car, instead we all got to enjoy a relaxing drive, looking out of the windows, playing games, chatting away and all for less than the cost of fuel. We all agreed that next time we want to go for a family day out we will definitely consider using Stagecoach again, especially for things like trips to the seaside where fuel and parking are costly and nobody ever wants to drive home after a day in the sea, sand and sun! 

Have you ever used Stagecoach buses for a day out or is it something you would consider? Why not take the challenge like us and see if you can do a family day out with Stagecoach for under £40, you might be surprised as to where you get too. 


**This post is a collaboration with Stagecoach, but all thoughts and experiences are my own**

1 comment:

  1. Stagecoach sounds great! £40 for a fun-filled day out in this day and age is an amazing bargain to be fair.