Tips for travelling with children on a ferry to FranceCategorized | News

Tips for travelling with children on a ferry to France

Posted on 03 August 2018 by

Tips for travelling with children on a ferry to France

You’ve battled motorway traffic jams and spent hours cooped up in the car to reach the ferry port. Now you’re faced with a seven-hour crossing to France and the kids are bored and restless – here are our hacks for travelling on a ferry with children.

Avoid a rush. Standard advice is that you must arrive for your ferry no more than 45 minutes before departure, but we recommend doing some careful research to consider roadworks and peak-time traffic to ensure that you have plenty of time to make your crossing. A stress-free journey will improve everybody’s mood for the day ahead.

Stretch your legs at the ferry port. Going straight from a car journey to the queue at the ferry port can be the final straw for energetic little ones, so it’s a good idea to plan an earlier arrival that gives you time to stretch your legs. The super-organised could build-in a stop at a local park for fresh air and fun, but those of us who are a little less time efficient should settle for an early arrival at the ferry port and a wander through the facilities there.

Plan for travel sickness. This one comes from experience. Take travel tablets before you get on the ferry so they have time to start working. Have sick bags and wipes on you at all times if you think there’s a chance of trouble ahead.

Get your bags packed. You won’t be able to return to your car once the ferry is underway, so prepare everything you need for the crossing in advance. Have separate bags for things you’ll want on deck, such as snacks, drinks, games, wipes, and have another bag ready for your cabin, with things like clothes, pyjamas, tablets, makeup.

Family in ferry cabin

Book a cabin, even on daytime sailings. Paying a little extra to have your own cabin is a great idea, whether you are travelling through the day or overnight. You can leave your bags, get your head down, use the facilities, or simply chill if you need a few minutes downtime.

Agree an emergency meeting point. Ferries are big places with several decks and plenty of people, so agree an emergency meeting place in case anyone gets lost. If your kids have phones, get them to take pictures of your cabin number and the meeting location so they’ve got them to hand.

Make a food and entertainment plan. Ferries on the longer crossings to France have live entertainment that most children, and adults will love, so it’s worth making a note of times so you’re not in the wrong place when your favourite event is on. Spend the first 30 minutes of your trip making a plan for the crossing ahead, to include food times, live shows and entertainment. If there’s a film you fancy at the onboard cinema, buy your tickets in advance as places are limited.

Take a picnic. To save burning through your travel budget before you’ve even landed in France, have snacks prepared and ready to handout.

Bring board games. One of our favourite ways to pass 30 minutes is to play a board game. With plenty of tables and chairs on the ferry there’s no shortage of game-playing space, and the process of unpacking the pieces, agreeing the rules and then playing is guaranteed to eat up some journey time.

Grab a good spot for the entertainment. The live shows usually attract a big audience, so don’t leave it to the last minute if you want a spot by the stage, although children are normally encouraged to sit on the floor at the front.

Have you got anything to add? Share your tips for travelling on a ferry with children in the comments below.

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