Ahh remember those days when planning a holiday was about choosing where you could go to relax and you’d book the cheapest flights, even if it meant getting up at 4am (because it meant more money for cocktails, while you were there, right?!)
When we have kids, the way we plan holidays changes forever and we want the easiest and most convenient way to travel. OK, so cost is still a factor, but getting to your destination happy and calm rather than tired and frazzled is important. Especially when you have very little ones!
Today, we’re looking at reasons why travelling by ferry, when you’re planning a trip to France (or beyond!) can be a fantastic idea for parents looking for a nice easy journey.
1. No baggage restrictions!
When you’ve got a baby, there’s just SO MUCH STUFF you need to take on holiday. Steriliser! Travel cot! High chair! Nappies! It can feel endless, and the stress of trying to limit what you take, to fit in with airline baggage restrictions can be enough to tip you over the edge. For parents of older kids, you might want to take bikes and beach games – basically, as long as you can fit it in your car, you can take it.
2. You can take your own car
Hiring a car at your destination is easy, of course, but there’s something so brilliant about taking your own car on holiday. You’ll have your own car seats there already and for older kids, you can pack the back with travel games and snacks to keep them going for the journey. It’ll save you money, with no car hire fee (plus extra for car seats) and time when you get to your destination – you just drive off the ferry and go. If you’ve got a sat nav, remember to check whether it has European maps before you go.
3. Plenty of choice of departure point
We’re so lucky here in the UK that not only do we have lots of local airports that fly to plenty of destinations, but we can jump on a ferry from one of the many ports up and down the coastline. Brittany Ferries has the widest choice of ferry routes to France (click here to view ferry to France routes) – they depart from Portsmouth, Plymouth and Poole and travel to Cherbourg, St Malo, Caen, Le Havre or Roscoff.
4. Shorter journey time
When you’re booking a flight, it’s so easy to forget about the check-in time adding to the total journey time. It can be loads quicker to take the ferry, when you consider that check-in time is 45 minutes rather than the usual 2 hours for flights. Plus you don’t have to park your car and take the bus to the airport which also adds time onto the journey. When you’ve got impatient kids, who just want to get there, every minute counts!
5. Brilliant in-journey entertainment
As well as being able to walk around, rather than being restricted to a small seat (which can be very tricky when you have a baby or toddler), there are kids’ play areas on many ferries. You can go to the cafe or shop to get some snacks for the kids and some ferries even have a cinema on-board. Many now have free wifi, so older kids can use tablets and you can check your onward route and travel plans if you need to.
Which do you prefer – travelling to Europe by ferry or plane? Take a look at this infographic and tell us below in the comments which you find easier!
This post has been written in collaboration with Brittany Ferries. Top image: Shutterstock