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Share your tips for family holidays by ferry - £200 voucher to be won

106 replies

CeriMumsnet · 08/06/2023 11:22

For parents there are lots of benefits of going on holiday by ferry - the ease of driving straight from your door to your destination, the lack of luggage restrictions, the space and facilities onboard, not to mention the excitement of the crossing! Any travel with children takes preparation though, so we’d like you to share your top tips and recommendations for making ferry travel with children a breeze.
●      Post your tips in the thread below to be entered into a prize draw
●      One lucky MNer will win a £200 voucher for a store of their choice.
Here’s what Brittany Ferries has to say:
“Brittany Ferries is an award winning Ferry Travel and holiday company who are experts in Western Europe, and winners of the Best Travel Company for Family Holidays at the 2022 British Travel Awards, voted by consumers. We offer a choice of routes from UK and Ireland to France and Spain that save you miles of driving, avoids airport queues and delays, and offers award winning on board service with space and comfort, ensuring you are on holiday from the moment you drive aboard. ”
Thanks and good luck with the prize draw!
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Share your tips for family holidays by ferry - £200 voucher to be won
OP posts:
BristolMum96 · 08/06/2023 11:27

Sick bags are a must for first timers

cheeseandwine2019 · 08/06/2023 12:09

Absolutely bring sticker books, colouring pencils, arts and crafts!

Or, make pretend binoculars (toilet rolls) to spot things on your journey!

TheHighQueenOfTheFarRealm · 08/06/2023 12:15

Ferries are fab. We've driven acrOss a few European countries and always choose ferries.
It's nice to get up and walk around and look out to sea.
I love getting books connected to what I'm doing so some books based on travelling, sailing and the country we're going to are always good.
Card games and some 'would you rather' questions have helped too.
A rucksack containing those along with some drinks and snacks is useful.

BunnyBerries · 08/06/2023 17:44

My tip - book early to get a cabin with a window, or one of the more spacious ones... it's a lifesaver/more relaxing to have extra space for kids to play or let them spend some time looking out of the window!

Dizzywizz · 08/06/2023 21:12

Sick bags 😂. Also - an iPad or similar with lots of stories and videos downloaded

Dinopawus · 08/06/2023 21:20

If you can, book a day time cabin. They are a lot cheaper than on overnight crossings and you have space & peace if you want it or a TV & minibar if that's more your thing.

Last crossing we managed to get a corner suite with a sofa, double bed, beverages, drinks fridge & snacks. Really got the trip off to a good start.

hopezibah1 · 08/06/2023 22:07

I'd just say to think of the ferry as part of the holiday and not just a way of getting there. For kids, it is an adventure and one of my happiest holiday memories from childhood was a ferry crossing on a gorgeous sunny day. I absolutely loved it!

DuranNotSpandeau · 08/06/2023 22:14

The first time we did an overnighter (pre-children) we stupidly didn't book a cabin and tried to sleep on the floor. Never again. Book a cabin, bring loads of healthy snacks and try to book overnight so it gives you a longer holiday.

MumC2141 · 09/06/2023 18:58

Generally just short crossings for us, but bring books and/or tablets to occupy kids.

SweetSakura · 09/06/2023 19:14

Definitely book a cabin,. even for a day crossing, it's so good to have a base.

Mammajay · 09/06/2023 19:36

A treasure hunt of things to see for young children

sharond101 · 09/06/2023 20:33

headphones, tablets and sweets!

ButterOllocks · 11/06/2023 08:23

Magnetic games - no lost pieces

pushchairprincess · 11/06/2023 08:27

Book a day time cabin so you have have a fun family day together, make it an adventure - and take their minds (and your's ) off the swaying of the ship.

Montydoo · 12/06/2023 17:10

Watch a youtube videos of the boat, helps see what's it's like on board, take a lots of things to do, crayons paper, card games and magnetic snakes and ladders.

HobNobAddict · 12/06/2023 17:13

I second booking a cabin - make it part of your holiday, gives you a quiet base to be, and a tablet with their favourite programmes

chickenpotnoodle · 12/06/2023 17:23

A backpack each filled with things to do, crayoning, little figures, snacks, drinks, and puzzles - they would love unpacking their goodies - and yes a cabin - essential - your base for the day.

AliceMcK · 12/06/2023 17:38

Always try and get a cabin, even for day journeys, it’s always good to get a quiet space especially with children who may need to chill out. It’s always nice having your own bathroom too, especially for rough journeys.

Pack an overnight/day bag with everything you need for the ferry that can be grabbed straight away without having to hunt around and dig for things.

Take easy to make food, 2 min noodles, pot noodles mini cereal boxs & tuppaware with a carton of long life milk. There is usually a good selection of food but if you have tired or fussy kids it’s easy to feed them in a cabin especially if there is a kettle.

Bring activities your children will engage in, we bring playing cards and travel board games as this keeps the our kids engaged, they get over colouring and stickers pretty quickly.

Travel sickness bracelets or tablets. We have only needed them once but it was a very rough crossing and we’re definitely needed.

Download movies or tv shows on kids tablets or your phones before going so they have something to watch if need be without needing the internet.

ilovegoatscheese · 12/06/2023 17:41

Love a ferry holiday. Very relaxing way to travel. When the kids were younger they used to love exploring the ferry.

Beabeautiful · 13/06/2023 08:46

I agree with (if it's in your budget) to book a cabin for the day, having your own space for these few hours is just well worth the expense - the children are not overwhelmed by the new situation, you can have a calmer (not the sea - you 😀) they can take a nap, you can have a picnic and watch your tablet - make it part of your holiday.

buckley1983 · 13/06/2023 22:52

If kids are older - Travel Scrabble is really fun & with the travel version, the tiles stay put if the crossing is a little bumpy! :) If kids are smaller, particularly if it's a first trip on a ferry - get them excited about it! Talk about the crossing, the sea you're sailing on, what creatures might be in there, etc. If they get bored - sticker books are always a winner! I love going on a ferry - only been on shorter journeys (grew up on the Isle of Wight!) but always loved it & remember one longer ferry trip on a school trip to France & I really enjoyed it - geek? Perhaps, but if you can make an adventure of something - why not?! :)

FearTheWankingDead · 13/06/2023 23:55

Brittany Ferries are brilliant!
Our holiday starts when we get on the ferry.
We plan it all, we see the show/magician, have snacks, have some chips, walk around the boat etc.
My husband always has a beer and a solo stroll around the ferry in peace 😀
I always download a couple movies on our iPads to kill some time if needed.
A tip would be to avoid the floor that’s got the duty free and restaurants if you are feeling queasy.

WestOfWestminster · 14/06/2023 00:02

Remember where you parked your car 😬 Makes getting off the ferry a little less stressful

MrsLangOnionsMcWeetabix · 14/06/2023 07:40

We live somewhere which requires a long ferry journey. For kids kwells chewable tablets and for adults a couple of Stugeron and a couple of wines. If you feel sick lie down. Always book a cabin. Take a picnic for the cabin if you want to avoid overpriced food on board.

ohdannyboy · 14/06/2023 11:43

For our Portsmouth Santander crossing, booking a cabin for sleep and privacy was a must, also if you want to take your four legged friend with a pet passport book a kennel well in front and they are less of them. Take games, snacks, paper and crayons and make it part of your holiday.

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