We’re on a boat

March 1, 2015

(Collaborative post) When I was younger, we used to spend most of our summer holidays camping in France. My parents were major Francophiles, and we would have the six weeks of the summer to drive around all over the place. It was brilliant fun. We’d get to explore new places, speak like a Tricolour book and argue over who would fetch the fresh croissants for breakfast every morning. 

This is a good few years pre-Channel Tunnel, so the only option with a car loaded up with camping gear and everything we’d need for six weeks was to take the ferry to get there. We’d often take the overnight one, which was the height of excitement to me and my brothers. Ferries really are exciting when you’re young, aren’t they? We used to get a cabin, which we loved, and it was a great way to start off the trip.

We were thinking about holidays recently – as you do when it’s cold, dark and depressing – and realised that Eliza’s first few non-UK holidays have all involved boats. She’s yet to set foot on a plane. We went on a cruise (read my cruise holiday tips for children and cruise holiday tips for parents) and then went to Aumale in France on the ferry – the photo is of us while we were over there.

I’d love for us to take the type of family holiday I took as a child with my own children. But how to get there?

For us at the moment, taking our own car would make a lot of sense because there’s no baggage limit and with a toddler and a baby we would have so much stuff (car seat, pram, travel cots, a million buckets and spades) and I can’t imagine packing all this into one suitcase. Or fitting into a luggage limit.

I also would worry about a super-active toddler in the confines of a plane – the great thing about being on a ferry with a toddler last time was that she could run around and explore (and one of us could take a bit of a break). And now she’s even older, the lure of entertainment to distract her is great.

If you’re interested in holidaying in France with Brittany Ferries, then Brittany Ferries have created a graphic which compares plane vs ferry travel for a family of four traveling to France from the UK and highlights the advantages of ferry travel for young families:

Ferry to France vs Plane

Image source: Brittany Ferries – Ferry VS Plane to France

Surely the best thing I’ve learned from this is that there is free wifi on ferries (I’m sold).

As a family, would you prefer to travel on a ferry or by plane?

This is a collaborative post.

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