Healthy holidays: Brits splash out on active breaks to keep children entertained

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Sarah Fischer
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As the summer’s biggest sporting events kick off, families heading away on holiday are also getting ready to shake off the cobwebs. Research from American Express[i] reveals nearly a quarter (23%) of Brits have chosen to take an activity holiday this year, with a further one in ten (10%) already warming up for an active trip in 2019.

The most popular activity holidays include sports camps, walking and cycling. Those Brits choosing a sports camp will spend on average £413, including travel, accommodation, activities, food and drink. Walking holidays are a small step behind, costing £391 and cycling trips come a close third (£388)[ii].

The main reasons families pick energetic breaks over beach trips and cruises are: to encourage their children to be fit and healthy (47%); to keep their children well occupied (45%) and finally over a third (35%) state it’s a fun way to spend time together as a family.

Type of HolidayAverage cost per family

  • Sports camps (football camp, tennis camp etc.) £413
  • Walking (trekking, hiking etc.) £391
  • Cycling £388
  • Activity park holidays £386
  • Water based activities (sailing, water skiing, surfing etc.) £355
  • Climbing £306

Maggie Boyle, Director at American Express, says: “Summer holidays are a time parents and children really look forward to. It’s great to see our love for sport feeding into our holiday habits, but it’s wise to also make sure your finances are in good shape in advance of the summer months. Using a credit card that gives cashback or rewards is a great way to ensure there are some perks waiting for you when you return home.”

American Express offers the following tips for fitness-loving families:

  1. Make costs count.

Summer holiday costs can soon begin to add up. The American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday Credit Card gives you up to 5% cashback on your spending in the first three months (up to £100 cashback)[iii]. So whether you are filling up with petrol, or stocking up on snacks for the journey, it’s a great way to earn cashback on your spending.

  1. Pack all your kit in the suitcase.

Hiring or buying last minute equipment and clothing while you’re away can be expensive so from swimsuits to hiking boots, and extra layers for unexpected weather, be sure to pack carefully for your sporty break. If you do need to hire equipment, remember to book well in advance to get the best deal.

  1. See what’s on offer.

It’s smart to shop around before a holiday and keep an eye out for bargains and offers such as advance tickets for your destination, or sales on holiday gear. If you’re an American Express Cardmember[iv] don’t forget to check for the latest offers, these can range from cashback on clothes to discounts on hotels.


[i] Research was conducted by Opinium, 2,002 adults were surveyed online 25 – 29 May 2018.

[ii] Research was conducted by Opinium, 522 parents of children aged 0-16 were surveyed online 6 – 9 February 2018.

[iii] American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday Credit Cardmembers can get 5% cashback on purchases up to £100 in their first three months of Cardmembership. For more information or to apply for an American Express Credit Card visit:

[iv] American Express Cardmembers can access exclusive offers. For more information visit

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