Tips for ferry travel

in Car

• Before taking your car abroad, see the AA website for details about equipment you need in your car, European road rules and breakdown cover. Remember that you can’t carry extra cans of petrol on ferries.

• When booking a ferry to France, think about timing your sailing so that your kids can enjoy a daytime crossing and take their naps when you’re actually on the road, when boredom is much more likely to set in.

• Leave as much as you can in your car but take anything essential with you – you can’t access car decks during the sailing. Have ready a small bag with toys, books, snacks and any baby items for daytime sailings, plus a night-bag with pyjamas and toiletries for overnight sailings.

• Don’t stress about food –you’ll find well-priced, family-friendly eating options on board, plus free baby food.

• Take time to explore the ferry itself – a great way to start your holiday. Don’t forget the novelty for kids of walking out on deck, breathing in the sea air, spotting wildlife and seeing if they can glimpse your destination in the distance.

• Seek out the children’s play area for everything from ball-pond mayhem and supervised drawing activities to family-friendly movies. Older kids can head off to the video game arcade or relax with their iPods and computer games in the family lounge.

• Be prepared for seasickness in rougher weather: bring clothes suitable for standing out on deck, as fresh air can help, and tell kids to stare at the horizon for a while. Bring crystallized ginger to suck or ask your chemist for anti-motion sickness tablets or wristbands. Other tips include avoiding heavy or fatty meals and chocolate before sailing, and sitting forward-facing in the middle of the boat. Note that reading or watching movies can exacerbate sickness.

• Find out if you can board your ferry early: on longer routes, you may be able to board in time to have a meal and a play before settling down in your cabin for the night.

 

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Tips for ferry travel

This article was published on 2011/09/09