So it's little wonder that so many families rely on grandparents to help out.
But a new survey by Halfords suggests that, this summer, one in four grandparents are doing more than supplying an few hours of babysitting. Instead, they are taking their grandchildren away on holiday with them, often on camping or caravanning holidays known as 'gramping'.
The survey of 1,000 families revealed that a third of families rely on grandparents to help out during the summer holidays. And this year, many of them are paying for the day trips or holidays that cash-strapped parents can no longer afford.
The research showed that a trip to the seaside is the most popular holiday with grandparents and grandchildren, followed by a few days in a caravan at a campsite or holiday camp.
Separate research by the Camping and Caravanning Club reported an eight per cent rise in bookings made by over 55s this year - many of whom were travelling with their grandchildren.
In addition, figures from the annual UK Tourism survey revealed that spending by older people on camping had risen by 20 per cent.
Paul McClenaghan, Halfords commercial director, said: "We know that many people have nostalgic memories of camping trips when they were growing up so it's natural that grandparents want to pass on the enjoyment of a holiday under canvas to their grandchildren.
"Camping is also great value and an ideal way to occupy children and give them an active break."