Holidaying with young children can sometimes seem like a daunting task, but with some careful planning you can have a perfect trip away in France that’s fun for all the family. Here are our tops tips for taking your little ones to France.
1. Choose the right destination for you
When planning a holiday with young children, the length and practicality of the journey should always be considered. You need to think about factors such as how easy will it be to reach your holiday accommodation and what travel options you have to get there.
For most families the chance to travel in your own car makes a ferry crossing the best way to get to France; choose ferry ports that reduce the time you need to spend in the car and try to do any long car journeys when children are likely to sleep so the journey should hopefully be less stressful for everyone.
Ferries are a great way to travel with children with dedicated play areas and plenty of space for them to run around. If you are travelling with Brittany Ferries you may even bump into Pierre Le Bear!
2. Consider an offseason break
While you may have enjoyed nothing more than lazing in the sun with a good book, with young children on the scene very hot weather often means hot uncomfortable toddlers smothered in sun cream, often trapped inside to keep out of the sun, so try to avoid the South of France in the height of summer.
If you are not constrained to school holidays, consider travelling in June or September as the prices drop significantly and the weather is slightly cooler. You’ll still enjoy plenty of sunshine but the roads and attractions will be quieter which is great for a young family.
3. Find child-friendly accommodation
When holidaying with babies and toddlers, choosing the right accommodation is more important than ever as you need to be sure the whole family will feel comfortable and the facilities on-site meet all of your requirements. Hotels can seem a daunting prospect for a family with everyone sharing a room, and we find that many people prefer the flexibility of self-catering gites, or campsites offering mobile homes.
If you decide on a gite holiday, make sure you find out what’s included in terms of linen, and be prepared to make your own beds up when you arrive as this is the norm at most French owned and managed properties. Ask the property owner if it’s possible to borrow or hire cots, highchairs, stairgates, pushchairs and other essentials to avoid having to bring your own and make sure gardens and swimming pools are secure and adequately fenced off for your peace of mind.
4. Nearby activities that are fun for everyone
When choosing your accommodation, look at the activities available in the area to interest all the members of your family – it doesn’t have to be theme parks and ‘attractions’…
For children, a trip to the local boulangerie to pick up breakfast and fresh bread can be an adventure and they will love choosing their croissants and helping to carry the bread back home. Exploring medieval towns and chateaux will provide unforgettable memories for your little ones and will really bring their favourite fairy tales to life!
5. Bon appétit! Cuisine for all the family
You’ll find that most restaurants offer smaller portions of main menu dishes for children and there is usually a safe pasta, plain grilled chicken or pizza to be found for any fussy eaters.
The cuisine in France is second to none and holidays here with children can be the perfect opportunity to treat their taste buds to something new, whether that’s a crepe, new ice cream flavour or a local delicacy for the more adventurous of eaters.
France is a great place to holiday for families with babies and young children, great food, and wonderful scenery and culture – all just a quick hop over the Channel. Holiday France Direct has a great selection of properties available for your family holiday, and when you book with us you can benefit from up to 20% off car and passenger fares with Brittany Ferries.