The summer months are a popular time of year for taking holidays. Here are some tips to help ensure yours are enjoyable.
For parents who have to work through the school holiday, there are probably school holiday programmes operating in your area. If cost is a concern, you might be able to find one which is subsidised by the local authorities – or apply to Work and Income for a school holiday programme (OSCAR) subsidy (eligibility criteria apply).
You can contact your local CAB (or search our database) to help you find a holiday programme or to assist you with your OSCAR subsidy application.
The Kiwi Families website has plenty of other information to help parents survive school holidays.
On holiday with the kids
You might be fortunate enough to be able to take time off during the school holiday. But how will you keep your children entertained without spending all your money?
You probably don’t want them sitting in front of the tv all day, so why not check out the Kiwi Families website which has loads of suggestions for interesting and fun activities? You could get them baking yummy treats for you, marvelling at the ephemeral beauty of soap bubbles in sunlight, or building a mini-golf course in your back yard.
If you’re going on a vacation rather than a stay-cation, lucky you! But what if your hotel room turns out to be in the middle of a construction site or you have problems with the rental car?
The Ministry of Consumer Affairs has information on what you can do if you have problems with a rental car.
If you’re flying, be sure to read the airline’s terms and conditions. This information will tell you what (if anything) you’re entitled to if, say, your flight is cancelled by the airline or if you can’t board due to overbooking. It’s a good idea to get travel insurance which covers you for missing connections or cancelled flights which are not the airline’s fault.
It’s best to report any problems you find with your holiday accommodation to the manager as soon as possible, to give them a chance to put it right. It’s bad for their business to get negative feedback from customers, so this might be all you need to do.
If they won’t resolve the problem, you can try making a formal complaint to their professional association (most motels are members of the Motel Association of New Zealand, for example).
You can check which association they are a member of, by looking for an association logo on the provider’s stationery or displayed somewhere within their reception.
Another option is to take a claim to the Disputes Tribunal (you can find more information about problems with services in the consumer section of our website).
Merry Christmas from the Citizens Advice Bureau
We hope that everything goes smoothly – and that you have a fun, relaxing Christmas and New Year.