The weather’s warming up at last and the UK’s already cautiously peering out from behind its doors. Now it’s time to start thinking about how to grab the hottest deals on offer. Whether you’re stocking up on sun tan lotion or planning a family excursion, make sure you’re not burning through too much cash. Here are a few tips to help keep your wallet from drying up this summer.

Sun tan lotion

It's probably the most important thing to buy in the summer - but it's about the best protection, not the best price.

You might be tempted to stick with name brands you know for summertime essentials like sun tan lotion. The chances are you’re looking at the wrong part of the label, though. Ignore the flashy logo and check the UVA and SPF ratings.

That’s where the important information goes. It’s vital to understand what you’re paying for – and just as important only to pay for what matters. In general, you want an SPF of at least 30 and 4-star UVA blocking to get good protection. Once you’ve found a brand with those stats, paying extra doesn’t make sense.

Secret eBay Pages

Honestly, depending on what you’re shopping for, even big name products don’t always need to come with a painful price tag. One interesting little trick is to check out the “secret” eBay pages of major retailers like Argos and Currys. It sounds odd, but you can actually grab some impressive deals with a little digital legwork here. Retailers often turn to online auction sites to offload overstock or refurbished products. You could even score yourself free delivery this way, too.

If you’re not an eBay user, there are other ways of making your online shopping trips more cost effective. Tools like the Google Chrome extension, Keepa, can track prices of the things you’re buying to help you pick the best time to buy, for example.

Now let’s get into specifics with some of the coolest day-out deals running this summer. The offers change often, so it’s always worth checking around to see what’s available.

Trade in your Tesco Clubcard points

Clubcard points are a lot more versatile than they might seem. Right now, for instance, you can swap them for things like:

  • Sea Life vouchers: £5 worth of Clubcard points nets you £15 of rewards. You’ll need to visit the official page to do the trade-in.
  • Exmoor Zoo tokens : £2.50 in Clubcard points is worth as much as £7.50 in tokens. Check the trade-in page here.
  • Blackpool Zoo tokens: every £1 snags you £3 in tokens. Trade your points in here.

Theme park and attraction discounts

Registering with the Nation Rail Days Out Guide site can land you loads of great deals on family fun. How does a 2 for 1 offer on top attractions like Chessington World of Adventures, Alton Towers and Legoland Windsor grab you? The “catch”, if you can even call it that, is that you need to present your train ticket on entry to get the deal. In fact, depending on where you live, buying a cheap train ticket just to get the discount could actually save you cash even if you’re getting there some other way!

Drayton Manor’s running a deal of an extra 5% off the ticket price. To get this offer, just book online as normal but use the offer code DMP05 when you check out your order. Remember, kids under 2 years old get in for free.

For a more educational family experience, why not check out the National History Museum? After all, it’s free! You can pre-book your tickets online - and it’s worth doing since COVID-19 precautions are keeping the numbers of people admitted at any time down. There’s an option to add a donation to your booking order, but it’s optional and the tickets are absolutely free for all ages.

It really doesn’t take a lot of extra effort to track down the best deals on your day trips and other warm-weather essentials. In fact, is you know where to look, all the hard work’s already been done for you. Keep checking back for more tips and updates from the UK’s leading tax experts. You’re always better off with RIFT.