The kids can’t wait for the holidays, but school breaks can mean more work for some parents. Do you really know how to best manage your kids when you’re out at the theme park, on a camping trip or on holiday? Here are a few pocket-money related tips, to help you out.

🏛️ Managing the gift shop

Never mind the roller coasters or the ghost trains, often scariest part of a trip to an amusement park is when you exit through the gift shop. This can also be true when you take a family outing to a wide range of zoos, aquariums and museums. 

Nevertheless, the gift shop doesn’t have to be the place to argue over the merits of a novelty key ring or commemorative fridge magnet. Some of the problem lies in leaving decision making to the last minute, and letting impulse purchases creep in. 

Before you arrive, you might want to talk to your children about wants and needs; you could even talk it over on the car ride there. Then perhaps you can decide with your kids whether or not you’re going to buy a memento, who will pay for it, and choose a budget. If you’re going to a few of these places over half term, maybe set an overall gift shop budget, and remember you really don’t have to buy anything at all; the trip itself is a treat. However, if you are spending in the gift shop, you could use NatWest Rooster Money’s custom pots feature to allocate this cash. Once this is done, the painful overspending that come at the end of a fun day out may well become a lot easier to manage.

⛱️ Dealing with holiday money

It can be hard enough for adults to manage money on holiday, so it’s likely your son or daughter could use a little help. Holiday expenses can take up quite a bit of the family spending, and, once you’re away, it’s hard sometimes to not think about overspending. This might be a false economy. Having already paid for travel and accommodation, there’s little point in adding a few dark clouds to an otherwise sunny afternoon, by denying the kids a few ice creams, an extra dessert, a boat ride or a silly necklace. Again, decide on a budget, and if you’re overseas, maybe even let them work out the exchange rate. They might be surprised how prices vary from country to country.

Kids can use Rooster Cards overseas without any fuss. Foreign-currency spending is free for up to £50 per calendar month (which should cover pocket money spending) and purchases above this spending above that limit will have a fee charged at 3% of the transaction amount. You can find out more here.

If kids want to manage their holiday money, they can set up a holiday pot in the Rooster Money app. Find out more about adding custom pots here.


A few nights in a tent with children can be fun during the warmer months. It’s often a price-friendly way to take a holiday, with a night’s pitch costing far less than other types of accommodation. The only problem is, camping  requires quite a bit of discipline. Tents can get pretty messy, and bedtime routines can go haywire, if you don’t set some rules in place pretty quickly. A special reward chart might help here. Give kids a star for taking their shoes off before getting into the tent, for going to the wash block to brush their teeth, and turning off the torches before they go to sleep. You can beat back the chaos, and they can earn those holiday rewards.

🎒Camps and holidays without parents

School holidays are also a time when children enjoy trips away from home with friends, at summer camps, via cubs, brownies, guides and scout groups, or with sports teams. It can be difficult to enforce family rules, when they’re away from home. You’re probably going to have to face up to your son or daughter eating a few more chocolate bars, staying up a bit later, not changing their clothes are regularly as you’d like, and maybe not brushing their teeth every morning and evening. After all, that’s all part of the fun of being away from home.

If your kids are fortunate enough to have a Rooster Card, you can keep a closer eye on their spending without being an ever-present, helicopter parent. With the Rooster Card you can get a parental update every time your child makes a purchase, with details of where they were shopping and how much they spent. You can also set spending limits, and top it up if they run low on funds. It’s safe too, and the card can’t be used in places with an over 18s merchant code, such as off-licences and betting shops.

Things to remember with Rooster Money

We really hope Rooster Money can help you over the holidays. The app lets kids check their balances wherever they are; they know how much money they have left before they buy something, which should lead to better financial choices in the future. Children can also  manage their holiday money, by setting up special pot for it in the app; find out more about that here.

Also, the reward chart feature will help parents with young children set good behaviour, while the ‘spend’, ‘save’,’goals’ and ‘give’ pots should help adults and parents manage money. You can even make your own pot for anything you like. Find out more about that here.

Things to remember with the Rooster Card

The Rooster Card is a great way to give kids a bit of freedom when they’re away from school. This prepaid debit card gives the chance to learn about non-cash spending, and gives you freedom, flexibility and safety. You can set spending limits, decide whether it’s used in shops, via ATMs or online, and get updates every time it’s used. As we’ve mentioned, it works overseas too, with free foreign currency spending online, in shops and at ATMs, up to a limit of £50 per month (after that initial £50 is used up, overseas transactions incur small fees). Find out more about the Rooster Card, and get a free one-month trial, here.