You’ve battled motorway traffic jams and spent hours cooped up in the car to reach the ferry port. Now you’re faced with a seven-hour crossing to northern France and the kids are bored and restless – here are our hacks for travelling on a ferry with children.

  • Avoid a rush: Standard advice is that you must arrive for your ferry no more than 45 minutes before departure, but we recommend doing some careful research to consider roadworks and peak-time traffic to ensure that you have plenty of time to make your crossing. A stress-free journey will improve everybody’s mood for the day ahead.


  • Stretch your legs at the ferry port. Going straight from a car journey to the queue at the ferry port can be the final straw for energetic little ones, so it’s a good idea to plan an earlier arrival that gives you time to stretch your legs. The super-organised could build-in a stop at a local park for fresh air and fun, but those of us who are a little less time efficient should settle for an early arrival at the ferry port and a wander through the facilities there.


  • Plan for travel sickness. This one comes from experience. Take travel tablets before you get on the ferry so they have time to start working. Have sick bags and wipes on you at all times if you think there’s a chance of trouble ahead.


  • Get your bags packed. You won’t be able to return to your car once the ferry is underway, so prepare everything you need for the crossing in advance. Have separate bags for things you’ll want on deck, such as snacks, drinks, games, wipes, and have another bag ready for your cabin, with things like clothes, pyjamas, tablets, makeup.


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