A new report from Barnardo's shows that a simple day out at the seaside is now too expensive for one in five families.

Barnardo’s found that a simple day trip (cheapest train fare to nearest seaside resort, sun-cream, fish & chips and ice cream) could cost a family with two children more than £170, depending on where they live.

Government figures show that one in five families currently bring in less than £423 a week in income. Barnardo’s calculations reveal that - after covering basic living costs - a family of four on this income could not afford a seaside trip in any location surveyed.

Minimum disposable weekly income for the poorest one in five families is £39.

Yet costs for a day out range from £41 to £172 depending on where you are in the country.

Breaks like these are especially rare for families on low incomes with disabled children, who can face an average of £550 per month in extra costs. This is why the Family Fund provided grants for over 20,000 family breaks last year.

These breaks are a vital respite for families of children such as Mohammed, who has spina bifida, cerebral palsy, hydrocephalus and sickle cell anaemia, and whose condition means he finds it difficult to walk long distances and needs extra support when out and about.

The everyday challenges that bringing up a child with a disability can bring are numerous, and doing so on a low income can be especially difficult. Breaks offer a chance for families to get away for a brief while and provide an opportunity to spend quality time together and simply be a family. Mohammed’s mum says “We hadn’t had a break for so long and thanks to the Family Fund we were able to get away together as a family.”

Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan said “Whatever the weather, a day at the seaside with the family is a day to treasure. It is an opportunity for children to spend a healthy, happy time and experience a British cultural tradition; to play on the beach, splash in the sea and build sandcastles. It is an opportunity every child should enjoy.

Read more about the Barnardo’s report.

See more stories of how the Family Fund has helped families in need of a break.