Toddler Travel: France Avec Un Toddler Continued
Part 2: Toddler travel: Why Ferries beat Flying
Travelling with Toddlers: Flights vs Ferry
Toddler travel, who knew there was a science to it. On our recent family holiday to France, we discovered that travelling via ferry was surprisingly easier than flying.
One of the main reasons we avoided flying was because all the flights clashed with nap time. Our wee one is not the kind of toddler to fall asleep anywhere peacefully – and skip a nap? Let’s not go there.
However, we were pleasantly surprised that our voyage across the channel recently felt more like a spot of pleasure-boat cruising as opposed to the sinking battleship I’d envisaged we’d be boarding.
For tips on travelling with toddlers during driving holidays and ferries voyages, make sure you check out Part 1 of this post – Top Ten Tips for Travelling with Toddlers.
12 Reasons Why…
Ferries are better than flying for toddler travel
Less pressure: Make toddler travel simple. If you travel with P&O Ferries there’s no pressure to catch a specific flight. Buy a flexible ferry ticket, you can travel 4 hours before or after your booked ferry.
More freedom: You have the flexibility to stop when you want and you” enjoy more of your surroundings!
One of the brocantes (car boot sales) we visited en-route! Lots of beautiful French kitchen items and antiques to be had
Less to carry and transport: With toddler travel, comes baggage. There’s no added faff of having to unload your car and transport your luggage, buggy, car seat etc to and from the terminal and then AGAIN from the destination airport to your accommodation.
You can take little extras: You don’t have to check-in car seats or buggies and you can take little extras like food from home, toys and books.
More space to move: Travelling by car might sound potentially more cramp than an airplane. However, because you can move about and stop when you want to, it doesn’t feel as restricting. Unlike a flight, there’ll be open spaces during your crossing and you’ll have two hours to stretch your legs fully and P&O Ferries usually have a soft play area.
A service station near La Baie De Somme: One of the many lovely roadside cafes in France. The French know how to do service station food – home cooked food with local wine on tap!
Naptimes are easier: Most babies or toddlers sleep better in the car than on a flight and when they need to nap, they can.
More hygienic: We’ve been riddled with viruses since nursery began so I’m hyper-vigilant about any extra source of germs. On a ferry there’s less confined space and arguably less chance of catching bugs. There’s also fresh air if you need it.
It’s cheaper: It’s cheaper to take the ferry and your own car. With no airport parking costs, flights or car hire. Plus you don’t have to worry about ridiculous car hire insurance costs on arrival. Just check your existing insurance covers you for European travel.
Or a stop-off by the beach to stretch your legs!
Less aggravation: You don’t need to take bus transfers to the terminal with a buggy, car seat and luggage in tow nor will you need to queue at the terminal.
Less waiting time: When flying, you always have to be at the airport 2 hours before you board and if you have a toddler or baby, you’re likely to want to leave even more time to cushion any feeding or changing delays. At the ferry terminal, we waited 15 minutes before we boarded and as soon as our car was on, we left all our belongings in the car and then headed straight to the Family Lounge.
Finding playgrounds, attractions or other spots of interest en-route is a good way to explore other parts of the country.
Bigger sense of adventure: Although we only ventured over the channel, it felt like much more of an adventure with a small child. We enjoyed the scenery and it was exciting to just stop off at random places we liked the look of!
You can bring back goodies: You’ll also have room to bring back wine and cheese!
Make sure you check out Part 1: France Avec Un Toddler – Top 10 Tips for Travelling with Toddlers
Looking for a rustic and quiet place to stay? Somewhere within a reasonable drive from the UK? Check out the pretty gite we stayed at in Brittany in my post: Tales from The Chicken Shed.