It is this time of the year that mine and MadDad's mind turns to booking weekend holidays for next year. We both like that we have something to look forward to after the excitement of advent and christmas and this gets us though the dark days and nights of January and February.
Now is a great time of year to book to ensure that you get great deals too.
Weekend breaks do not always have to mean hotels, take a look at alternative accommodation including self catering apartment, youth hostels and camping.
Visit for free
The UK is full of exciting, educational and family-friendly attractions that you can visit for free. If you enjoy museums, London's Natural History Museum, Science Museum and V&A are all free and within walking distance of each other. In Yorkshire, Bradford's National Media Museum is packed with interactive exhibits as is The National Railway Museum in York.
If you prefer to have your fun outside, it won't cost you a penny to browse local markets, taking in the sights, sounds and smells and Sherwood Forest near Nottingham is steeped in legend.
You can also visit local parks, beaches and beauty spots. Try having treasure hunts or geocaching. Make sure you plan your weekend by finding out as much about the area you are travelling too as possible.
If you have annual membership to the National Trust or English Heritage then check out their information for the area you are visiting and make the most of your time by visiting their attractions. You can always pack a picnic and make it an adventure by pretending to be knights and princesses.
Eat on the Cheap
Often it is the food costs that increase the price of weekend breaks, so my tips are to take a picnic and drinks when you go out, including a flask and milk. Plan for your journey so you do not eat when you stop at the service stations by packing food for the journey.
If you are going to eat out make sure you keep an eye out for voucher deals.
Self catering often brings the cost right down and is the perfect option if you have fussy children.