Why ferries are fab for family travel to France

March 4, 2015

A few of my friends regularly take the ferry to France with their families, usually a couple of times a year. Sometimes they stay in France, heading down to the South or exploring Provence; sometimes they’ll drive across to Italy or Switzerland; sometimes they go camping, sometimes they stay in mobile homes or hotels. What they love about it is the total flexibility; that they can pack everything they like in the boot, everything is right there for them when they arrive, and because they have all their luggage with them there’s no chance of it not arriving and having to spend hours filling in forms at the airport. In fact, if you offered them the choice of flying first class or taking the ferry, I know they’d say ferry is best for family travel to France every time. Plus it’s a brilliantly affordable way of taking a holiday abroad, particularly if you have more than one child and want to be able to treat them to some fabulous experiences while you’re away.

kids playing on Brittany ferryIt’s interesting, I think, how much ferry travel has changed over the years; when I first went on a ferry with my family – probably at about the age of 11 on a holiday to Ireland – I can remember there being absolutely NOTHING to do on board and having to sit there for hours (remember, this was a long time before video games). I-Spy and reading the same book over and over again soon lost its appeal.

How times have changed. Now, there are a whole range of amazing things on offer to keep the kids entertained while you sail and they also have a fantastic range of dining options on board, too, plus important things like changing rooms, very useful if you’re travelling with a baby (and much easier than trying to change them in the loo of a plane). You can also get some sea air, which is always welcome.

And of course you can always sleep your way to France in a proper bedroom. My friends and their families have done this a few times now and they say it’s the best way to travel because you arrive completely refreshed and ready to start your journey. The kids love it too because it’s like their holiday has already started – it’s an adventure; family travel to France becomes something to look forward to rather than endure. It’s basically a mini-cruise, and as someone who can’t get enough of being at sea, I’m very much in favour of everyone experiencing life on the open waves, whether it’s on a ship or a ferry.

Anyway, I wanted to share this fab infographic with you from Brittany Ferries, which shows all the reasons you may want to consider taking the ferry rather than flying there on your next family holiday to France. I think it’s pretty cool. And if you already travel to France by ferry then I’d love to know what you enjoy about it.

Ferry to France vs Plane

Image source: Brittany Ferries – Ferry VS Plane to France


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  • Simon March 7, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    I haven’t been on a ferry for about 15 years and I too remember there being very little to do!

    We used to buy those little iSpy books that you could get and cross off all the things that we had seen from Dover to Calais! I doubt you get them anymore, or I’m sure there is an app that you can down load!