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Family holiday to France – plane or ferry?

Family holiday to France – plane or ferry?

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Travelling as a family can be challenging and rewarding in equal measures. When it’s all going well, it’s the kind of blissful experience that creates memories for a lifetime. When it goes wrong…well, it ends up being the kind of saga you’d probably rather forget! The problem being that even when you’ve picked the perfect destination, the perfect time of year and the perfect itinerary once you arrive, there’s still a particularly pressing issue of how to get there and back.

These days, most families tend to make a beeline for budget airlines without so much as a second thought. However, many families could be denying themselves far more than they realise in not considering the ferry when holidaying in France.

Mont Saint Michel Brittany France - Family holiday to France – plane or ferry?

Ferry travel has advanced a lot in recent years to such an extent that if you haven’t been on a ferry to France in a while, you could be in for a pleasant surprise. Even when compared to the so-called ‘low-cost’ airlines the UK now relies on, there are certain advantages to ferry travel that are worth considering.

Time well spent

For example, the idea of a 90-minute flight to France sounds great. But what about the three hours at the airport? Waiting for your luggage? Waiting for your hire car, train or transfer? Getting to the airport in the first place? A 90-minute flight often turns into a six-hour slog pretty quickly. So while a ferry crossing may not be as quick, at least you get to spend your time enjoying yourselves. Restaurants, cinemas, shopping, even your own private cabin if you like. Surely better than shuffling along in endless queues and hanging around packed airport departure gates.

Fun and games

It’s when kids get bored during any journey that tantrums become inevitable which means that the more entertained they are along the way, the better the chance of a peaceful fun trip. These days, ferries are packed with enough

family-friendly entertainment to keep everyone happy for days on end. Not that you’ll be on-board quite this long, but still – time enough to have a great time on route to France!

Unlimited luggage

Once you’ve booked a spot for your car on the ferry, you can cram it to bursting point with anything and everything you like. With no luggage limitations, you won’t have to worry about packing lightly or paying over the top prices for extra luggage. Bring an abundance of baggage and even the family bikes along for the ride (many parts of France are perfect for family bike rides – especially around the region of Brittany).

Exploration and adventure

Last but not least, there’s a lot to be said for the convenience of getting to France and driving off the ferry in your own family car. Not just for the simplicity of getting to your destination, or the money you’ll save on not having to hire a car (and the car seats) on the other side. Having your own familiar car with you for the duration of your holiday means being able to go anywhere you like ensuring your soak up the best of France. Make your own excursions and enjoy the kind of freedom that can make family holidays even more amazing.

If you’re planning your next family holiday to France then travelling via ferry rather than flying is certainly worth exploring. We found this ferry vs plane infographic on Brittany Ferries website that perfectly sums up the benefits of ferry travel to France as a family:

Ferry to France vs Plane

Image source: Brittany Ferries – Ferry VS Plane to France

Disclosure: this is a collaborative post with Brittany Ferries.

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siobhain archer (fiveonhols)

Monday 23rd of October 2017

Thanks - a great summary. I too am a fan of ferries - short trips or overnight! We've done UK to Spain, UK to France, France to Corsica, Corsica to Elba and Elba to Italy by ferry - some of them overnight in a cabin, and they've all been successful. Def preferable to the stress and lack of control of plane travel!

Claire Hall - Tin Box Traveller

Sunday 8th of October 2017

I'm very jealous about your trip next year! Have a brilliant time :)

Cathy (Mummytravels)

Friday 22nd of September 2017

Totally agree - I remember setting off for holidays in France with my parents with the car crammed full to bursting. And while my daughter hasn't been on a cross channel ferry yet, they have transformed so much since I found them fun thst i know she'd love them too.

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