The Goldilocks Effect ~ Travelling with Babies & Toddlers
Travelling with babies and toddlers is like the Goldilocks Effect….
You want somewhere not too hot, not too cold
Somewhere not too close to home, nor too far away
Somewhere not too foreign (i.e. you like to know what you’re eating), and not too familiar (i.e. you don’t want to bump into someone you know!)
….and that’s where the Vendee comes in.
Situated about half-way down the French coast, the Vendee is an ideal distance from the major ferry ports of St Malo, Caen, Le Havre and Roscoff, as well as only being a 6hour drive from Calais, and did I mention it has a micro-climate similar to the Riviera (yes the French one!), and if you prefer to fly there are several international airports with many low cost airlines flying directly in to, including Nantes and La Rochelle.
At Votre Vacances we know first-hand how tiresome long a journey can seem when your passengers are under 5 (or over 5 for that matter!), which is why we think the Vendee solves the dilemma of having a lengthy journey putting a dampener to that start and end of the holiday.
The ferries offer a great (although slightly more expensive) way to reach the Vendee with day and night crossings available throughout the season…although once you factor in fuel, tolls and additional time taken to travel from Calais, we think the ferries are a great way to get to the Vendee.
The ferries, serviced by Brittany Ferries, offer shopping, dining and entertainment experiences, including children’s play area, and cinema.
The Brittany Ferries economie service to Le Havre is a much cheaper alternative to the main services that dock in St Malo, Caen, and Roscoff, and offers a no frills service, but still features Duty Free Shopping and self-service dining.
All ferries come with the option of booking a cabin (these do tend to sell out during high season, so snap one up whilst you can!), even on day crossings these en-suite cabins make a huge difference to the journey, and offer a private place to rest up.
The tunnel is a quick, easy and hassle free way to get to France. The no frills 35minute journey is definitely worth it if you’re travelling from the east of England. During the summer, queues to get through Border Control can be long, so ensure you arrive with plenty of time to spare (you may be fortunate enough to catch an earlier crossing).
If you do arrive before your Letter is called to board, there’s a Duty Free Shopping area, with cafes and small indoor play area for young children; although, this can become a tad cattle-market esque during the summer!)
The drive from Calais to the Vendee is slightly longer compared with the ferry crossings and airports, at around 6 hours driving time, but there are plenty of motorway stops. For a longer pause, head to the city of Rouen (a city you will drive through), and explore the Gothic streets, Norman cathedral, head to the merry-go-round in the Vieux Marche Square, or Woupi- Aire de Jeux – an indoor soft-play centre, alternatively, you can take the petite train around the city.
If you prefer to fly, then Nantes or La Rochelle are the closest airports, but don’t forget to hire a car, with so much to see and do in the Vendee we don’t want you to miss anything. Although public transport in France, is good, it can become expensive travelling as a family.
Don’t worry about bringing all the paraphernalia involved with babies and toddlers, at Votre Vacances, we provide a Baby Pack which includes a cot, highchair, potty and baby bath, plastic cutlery, plates, bowls and cups; and for older children (and adults!) we provide a complimentary Games Compendium comprising of Connect 4, Jenga, cards, and Dominoes.