Travelling by ferry with kids for us is a great option for family travel. We have travelled by ferry on several occasions with and without kids. We will be travelling by ferry two occasions this year which we are very much looking forward too. We find it less stressful than flying (no need to get to the airport two hours before for check in!) and we can take as much luggage as we want in our car and not have to bother about restrictions. This is great with kids as it means we can take their favourite toys, bikes and as much food as we want along with us. We have put together our top tips to help guide you on your next adventure
Top Tips For Travelling By Ferry With Kids
Book a Cabin
Depending on where in the UK you are travelling from will depend if a cabin comes as standard or not. Nearly all ferries that go overnight you need to book a cabin as standard, if not then we would advise to book one especially with young kids. However if going from the South of England then ferry crossings cant be anything from an hour plus. If your crossing time is over 3 hours then you may find it easier booking a cabin so you can retreat back to the cabin and let the kids play or take a nap.
We normally travel from Hull and we normally book the Club 5 Berth cabin. This means we have some extra space (cabins don’t tend to be large) so booking a Club cabin means there is extra space for a travel cot and our over night bag (see below).
Check to see if the ferry provider has travel cots available. P&O had them on our Hull to Zeebrugge crossing. They were a little on the small side but saves you bringing your own.
Have overnight bag at hand
When you pack your car up before you leave make sure you have an overnight bag in a handy place inside the car or boot. This a lot easier to grab and get up from the car deck to your cabin instead of grabbing a suitcase. A backpack makes life easier, make sure you have all your essentials like PJs, change of clothes, nappies, teddies, toiletries. If you have a little one remember bottles, steriliser and any other feeding items you may need. Remember the more you take in with you the less space you have in your cabin. If you can live without a pram then leave it in the car (we used a carrier and it was very useful)
Make your way up to your cabin key collection point and then get to your cabin. Get yourself settled and if you haven’t pre-booked your meals make sure one of you heads off to do that. Queue early for dinner as the queue can get long very fast. There are a number of things on-board for your kids to do so they shouldn’t get bored.
- Have a walk around and explore
- Head outside to view the sunset (if time is appropriate!)
- Play areas – our eldest spent an hour playing with some other kids
- If there is a cinema on board see if you can get tickets etc
- There are sometimes shows on in the evening or music which is good. Let your kids dance about and have some fun.
We have also been on the Hull to Rotterdam crossing, so go have a read about this crossing to if you are planning your holiday!
Have you travelled by ferry before? Did you enjoy it better than flying?