Although flying is a popular means of travelling, many still enjoy crossing the channel by ferry. Price and the luxury of having your own car abroad make crossing the channel by ferry tempting. In order to get the most from your trip it is worth considering a few things beforehand.
Price is one of the biggest motivators for taking the ferry. Although no-frills airlines may appear cheaper, if you are taking a family and want to avoid hiring a car abroad, the ferry can be a worthwhile alternative.
Many ferry companies now offer excellent deals, especially if booked in advance. Before booking it is worth shopping around, especially in newspapers and by searching online as these are where coupons are usually distributed.
Another consideration when finding the best deal, is taking a look at the different ports you can travel to and from, as well as the companies using these ports. In the UK alone there are six ports which are operated by several companies, providing you with numerous different options for finding the best deal.
It’s worth considering that in France roads are generally less-crowded, as a result driving tends to be quicker. So while it is always nice to choose the port nearest your holiday destination, the quicker travelling time within France could make another port a suitable alternative, especially if it offered a discount.
If you are looking to cut back on the costs of crossing the channel consider the difference in price between fast ferries and the regular services. Many companies offer a more expensive service which takes as little as 35 minutes compared to the regular time which is usually several hours. However, if you’re not rushing to reach your destination and would prefer to cut back on cost rather than time, consider taking a slower service and keep more of your budget for your upcoming holiday.
Like most travel services, Channel ferries and the Eurotunnel raise their prices to coincide with peak holiday times. Although many families who are dependent on the school calendar will have to submit to the raised prices, if you do have the option of avoiding these peak periods it is worth considering the potential savings.
Although it is usually possible to change your money on board the ferry, it is generally worth changing your money beforehand. Like ferry tickets, it is always best to be as frugal as possible and search for the best deal possible.
As a final consideration, it is always worth making sure your car is protected by some form of European car insurance when travelling abroad. Generally this isn’t a consideration most UK car owners take into account initially choosing their plan, so it’s worth checking with your provider before crossing the channel.
Price and convenience make taking the car across the channel a tempting option and by doing a little extra research you can add even more to the holiday budget.