Family trip from the UK to France: ferry vs plane

We answer the eternal questions that British travellers ask before heading to France with the family: fly or take a ferry?

Holidaying en-famille to France may well pose the odd dilemma for British travellers. After-all it is just short hop and a skip across so should you fly or drive?

There was a time, when most would happily squeeze the kids and the kitchen sink into the car and board the ferry. Then Ryanair and easyJet came along and shattered that simplicity by offering a choice. Suddenly there were flights landing in the most rural areas of France, the fares seemed reasonable and flying times of an hour or so seemed to cut down the time spent on the road. But these days, check-in times are long, security takes ages and prices have risen.

Perhaps the time has come to revisit this question and examine what happens on each leg of the journey.

Lets say you want to go to the Loire Valley. A family of four could catch an easyJet flight to Nantes (capital of Pays de la Loire) from London Gatwick. Either you pay for a taxi to get there or incur car parking fees. Everyone will have luggage restrictions and after check-in they will have to pass security, await boarding and finally board the plane. Eventually you arrive at Nantes airport you pick up your hired car and drive to the Loire Valley. That experience would cost you around £500

The same family could pack as much as they would like into their car, drive onto a Brittany Ferries ferry from Portsmouth, chose to sail during the day or overnight. There’s lots of space, restaurants, free wi-fi and a cabin to rest in. When you arrive in Caen you drive off and head to the Loire Valley. That experience would cost you around £290.

Ferry to France vs Plane