On our way to Brittany, France, for our Half Term adventures we hit the infamous Port of Dover traffic. Sat Nav took us through the town and then down towards the port, but all routes were closed off and so we had to go back out of Dover and back in again (following the route). We got to Dover at 11am, we got on the ferry at 6pm. Here is how we entertained the kids for over 6 hours…

Swapped seats

We played a bit of musical chairs to mix up who was sat with who. Noah and Daddy sat upfront listening to the FA Cup football for a bit, whilst Isla and I watched 2 episodes of Stranger Things (our new thing to do together). I also sat up front keeping Daddy awake chatting, I am quite good at that. Ha.

Netflix Download

Preparing for when we do not get a signal in France we had downloaded episodes in Netflix to our mobile phones. These came in very handy whilst we waited in the Dover car park. We managed to get through quite a lot.

Spot the car

Playing spot the car by choosing colours and everyone looking out for the right coloured car seemed to while a way some time. We have played this game in the car since the kids could say the colours. It is really nostalgic playing it now they are older.

How long will we be?

This game is the most obvious one. How many times did we all shout how long will the queue be? Getting mad at all the cars pushing in, or cutting us up as everyone was getting inpatient and irritated. It is really hard to keep the kids happy, as for most of the 6 hours we didn’t really move at all. About 3 hours in to the queue Isla needed the toilet too, we had to wait until we got to the passport control queue. Thankfully she managed to hold it!

Ferry spotting

We watched all of the ferries leaving the port whilst we queued, the road swoops around the port and you can see the ferries and Dover Castle. We watched a lot of ferries coming and going, guessing how many people might be on them and how many members of staff. Our favourite conversation was how many cars and lorries can fit on a ferry at one time? It is mind blowing how it all works.

If you are travelling to Dover on a bank holiday and a Saturday or Sunday, P&O said this is the busiest time to travel. Our ferry should have been 12:05pm and we missed 3 until we got to the actual port. Be prepared with water, snacks and plenty of things to do. I would also recommend stopping for a toilet pit stop somewhere before and closer to Dover just incase you get stuck, like we did, for 6 hours. Oh and keep an eye on the Port of Dover Twitter account for updates.

Do you have any tips for avoiding the Dover traffic? Do you go on a night or day crossing? I would really love to know! Check out my other Northern France blog posts for more inspiration.

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Last Update: Saturday, 25th May 2024