Summer Sums: Using Basic Maths in the Summer Holidays

As we enter July, it’s likely that you’ll be looking forward to holidays in the sun, with family and friends – but before can enjoy your trip, there’s a certain amount of planning that needs to be in place. While many of us may not recognise just how much a basic knowledge of mathematics is used in every day life, we are constantly working with numbers, especially when organising and making plans.

In fact, this basic maths is a great way to encourage your children to keep their minds active and maths brains working throughout the summer holidays. Here are just a few ways you might get them to use maths during the summer break:


Before you even book your vacation, you must set yourself a budget, for travel, accommodation and spending money. Any miscalculations here could impact the quality of your holiday so it’s important to know exactly how much you need to save and how far in advance you need to do so. You could give your child an amount of pocket money or allowance for your vacation, and ask them to calculate a daily budget based on the total amount.

Weights and measures

Maths is also used in packing your suitcase and sticking to weight restrictions. As every airline is different, it’s important to check these for both your hold and hand luggage. Why not test your little one on their understanding of weights and measures, or ask them to work out the area of your case based on dimensions?


As you prepare to travel, you’ll be booking airport transfers, in relation to specific departure and arrival times, while also taking time difference into consideration. Again, there is a requirement for maths in planning the journey to your destination and again, when returning home. Basic maths problems your child could solve here include things like “If our flight takes 3.5 hours and we are currently 2 hours ahead of GMT, what time will it be when we land?”

Exchange rate

Perhaps one of the biggest uses of basic maths during a holiday abroad is calculating the exchange rate in the country you are visiting. Certainly it’s important to know how much you are spending on food, drinks and shopping, to make sure you are budgeting your spend – nothing ruins a holiday like spending the majority of your savings within the first couple of days. A good way to keep your children brushing up on their ratios, is to get them to calculate the cost of things back in pounds, whether it be how much the dinner bill would be at home, or how much that big inflatable shark would cost in pounds.

Service charge

One further use of maths, which you probably already use in everyday life, is the simple process of splitting a bill. Many countries charge for service in different ways, with some adding a surcharge to your bill, while others will list suggested percentages for you to add to your total. Ask your children things like how much each person would pay if the bill was divided equally, or how much a 10% tip would be.

Overall, your holiday will probably run smoothly thanks to a basic understanding of maths helping you with your scheduling, saving and spending. Why not involve your children to ensure their brains remain active whilst they enjoy the summer sunshine?

Leave a Reply