The summer holiday is a greatly anticipated time of year for parents and children alike. Gone is the hassle of waking up early to usher children into uniforms, double checking schoolbags, and making sure everyone has their lunch. It means sleeping in a bit more, if you’re lucky, and if not, then knowing that a fun holiday trip filled with new memories is just around the corner.
However, when you’re a mother, the holiday comes with an additional stress – the prospect of travel. Let’s face it: after you have children, the idea of jet-setting off to another country just isn’t as enticing as it used to be. You have to worry about luggage getting lost, limits for carry-ons, keeping the kids quiet and entertained for the duration of the flight, and any other possible scenario that could arise thousands of feet in the air.
Approximately 17 million British people visit France every year according to Gov.uk. It’s proximity to the UK makes it an ideal holiday destination, and it’s only a short plane ride over. However, a new method of transportation much fitter for families has begun to gain popularity: ferries. A cross-channel ferry from England to France boasts a variety of advantages for travelling families.
For starters, you can pack as much as you want. No more having to worry about divvying up your moisturisers and shampoos into airport approved containers, or having to pick and choose which outfits to bring for the kids. As a parent, you can never have too many extra clothes on a trip.
In addition to pushchairs, nappies, and the like, the airline luggage fees can add up. A ferry saves you the hassle of trying to condense everything into an airline acceptable amount, and you also get to bring your own car, which saves on expenses and adds a huge sense of familiarity right off the bat.
Another huge advantage which cannot be underestimated is not having to wait in long queues to board a flight or at check-in. Nothing can be more frustrating that trying to sooth a crying baby whilst standing in a queue, with your other child tugging on your shirt asking to go to the restroom or saying they’re hungry. With a ferry, you and the family cuts out these lengthy wait time and allows you to attend to the children in a calm, relaxing manner.
Perhaps the most glorious advantage of ferry travel is that you’re able to sit back, eat a good meal from one of the restaurants on board, and gaze out across the sea. And, if you’re travelling overnight, you can get an en-suite cabin and catch up on sleep – one thing no mummy gets enough of.
The only downside at all is the longer travel time of a ferry versus that of a plane, but if you’re travelling with a baby or a group of little ones, the much more open and relaxed atmosphere makes the voyage ultimately a worthy trade-off.
So since our last couple of trip across the channel, I have to say I am most definitely a massive ferry-convert! I found a nice little graphic by ferry to France company Brittany Ferries which I think beautifully illustrates my new found feelings on ferry travel vs flying – Enjoy!
Image source: Brittany Ferries – Ferry VS Plane to France