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Trying to decide whether to drive or fly to Dordogne with a 3yr old and 6 month old?

(7 Posts)
strawberrycornetto Fri 22-Aug-08 20:55:37

Anyone have any thoughts or experiences?

As a preference, I would drive. Was thinking of catching a late afternoon ferry to Calais and driving from about 6.30pm until 11pm. Then a stay overnight and the rest of the journey the next day. Would do the reverse on the way back although we need to leave our villa by 10am which makes the way back more problematic.

We did similar with DD as a baby but DS doesn't travel quite as well and I'm worried about doing it with two.

Is this a crazy plan? Local airport is Ryanair which DH refuses to fly. May be able to find an alternative or could fly BA but would then have a 2 hour drive anyway.

Tricky, tricky!!

surprise Sat 23-Aug-08 00:06:15

In my experience, babies sleep most of the journey, so it's just a case of keeping your 3 yr old entertained. I'd drive it, as French roads are great and have so many places to pull off and stop for a picnic, play area etc. Good idea travelling in the evening. How long is the journey from Calais? I'd be tempted to do it in (one go, then take charge of the children the next day and let DH sleep for the rest of the day (assuming he's doing the driving as my DP always does!}

quinne Sun 24-Aug-08 22:37:34

We did it a few years ago with DS1 who was 11 months old at the time. Including an unwanted detour into Paris when we took a wrong turn on their circle road (the peripherique?) and another hour in our destination village looking for the villa in the dark (no street lights, so we had to beam the car head lights on the buildings to try to spot our one!), it took 13 hours.

I'd fly now the children are older but if you do drive then i would heavily recommend an in-car DVD player and a good selection of their favourite DVDs. If ours broke, I'd be lost as it is the only thing they will sit quiet for.

You could break the journey. We stayed in a small ETAP style place in the Somme on the way back and explored the area a little the next morning before getting on the road again. That was really interesting and to be honest I can remember it better than the places we saw on the holiday itself..

PortAndLemon Sun 24-Aug-08 22:43:36

I'd drive (am driving to the south of Normandy with children same age without overnight stop, so would happily drive to Dordogne given an overnight stop and plenty of breaks in the journey).

castille Sun 24-Aug-08 22:49:32

I'm with Surpise. The only way to drive long distances with young children is overnight unless you're prepared to do it over several days. No boredom, no puking. Just silence and empty roads!

Have a nap mid-afternoon, fill he thermos with coffee, get an early evening ferry, have some dinner on arriving in France then tuck them into car seats in PJs, and just drive.

puffling Sun 24-Aug-08 22:50:47

Why does your dh refuse to fly with Ryanair?

climbanymountain Sun 24-Aug-08 23:51:30

We did the same journey with our kids at the same ages. Was absolutely fine. Took an overnight ferry to Caen and drove through early morning and afternoon on way down. They got more ratty on the way back up from the Dordogne because basically they were stuck in the car all day (we should have left earlier).

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