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Euro Tunnel hints and tips please..

Melanie Day

Melanie Day

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Leeds
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T6 Beach 102
Hello

We are planning to travel with a 4yr old to France this summer from 21st June and heading back 7th July.

Questions:
1. From a Eurotunnel perspective - is this off peak or would there be any benefit in investing in a flexi plus ticket?
2. Any best times to travel / cross logistically, we are in Leeds so got 5 hours to Folkstone, should we travel from home and get as far as we can into France in one slog or pace ourselves with travel to Folkstone and stay there one night???
3. How flexible is the standard ticket - can we turn up earlier than the time and try for an earlier crossing - or alternatively if we end up being late can we get on another crossing.

Thanks
 
CALI FATE

CALI FATE

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853
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Cheltenham
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T6 Beach 150
If you are sure about your times book the fixed ticket - if you are not sure go flexi ........ in practice if you arrive late just blame the queues / delays that will inevitably be on the French side and stand your ground - we normally get away with it
 
Barbara

Barbara

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T5 Beach
I have used different options and it just comes down to how I feel at the time. Take a look at the different prices for the time of day and the different hotel costs.

I have taken a evening crossing on the tunnel and stayed in the Ibis at the French side of the tunnel.

I have stayed at Travelodge Ashford it was OK for one night and then I took a early Morning crossing. I live north of the Dartford crossing so always allow extra time.

I have driven direct to the tunnel and allowed extra time and as a result arrived early. More often than not I have been put on a earlier crossing but it is not always the case.

Do not forget that if you have a gas bottle you will have to be checked which may take longer, I have only crossed with a car so can not help with more info on that.

Last time I crossed to France I used the ferry from Portsmouth to St Malo that way you get to sleep on the ship and saves on a hotel bill but it will depend on where in France you plan to go.
 
mrcheesbrough

mrcheesbrough

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783
Location
Wiltshire
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T4 PopTop
Hello

We are planning to travel with a 4yr old to France this summer from 21st June and heading back 7th July.

Questions:
1. From a Eurotunnel perspective - is this off peak or would there be any benefit in investing in a flexi plus ticket?
2. Any best times to travel / cross logistically, we are in Leeds so got 5 hours to Folkstone, should we travel from home and get as far as we can into France in one slog or pace ourselves with travel to Folkstone and stay there one night???
3. How flexible is the standard ticket - can we turn up earlier than the time and try for an earlier crossing - or alternatively if we end up being late can we get on another crossing.

Thanks
We always use the Eurotunnel to cross to France, it's nicer for our dog as she gets to stay with us (the kids don't mind too). I would imagine the dates you plan to travel aren't peak as the UK summer holidays don't start til the end of July - you'll be home long before then. However prices vary across each day with more expensive fares at the more popular times of day. We've never bought a FlexiPlus ticket - we're driving our own 'exclusive lounge' so never really felt the need for that benefit, and ultimately we all end up in the same queue for the train.

Generally they advise not to arrive more than 2 hours before your booked departure time. If there's room on a train as you arrive, they will generally offer you the chance to board the earlier one. If there isn't space you'll be ushered to the facilities car park to wait to be called to the train. Usually arriving late isn't an issue. One year we were over 2 hours after our intended departure time but they were aware of the heavy traffic/accidents/etc so were pushing folks through the system as quickly as possible.

The driving is much nicer on the French side and that's when the holiday really starts so the idea of 'slogging it' as far as you can into France doesn't much appeal to me but there you go. It depends really on how far you've got to travel once you're over there. Our favoured approach is a late night crossing, then make use of one of the free Aires nearby (no more than 35 mins away) to spend the night, wake up, have breakfast and enjoy the fact we've got the full day to make our destination. I can recommend a couple of Aires, but you'd need your own toilet facilities, or ensuite as we like to call it.
 
Amarillo

Amarillo

Tom
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We live just an hour from the Folkestone Terminal so our experiences may be somewhat different.

We plan to drive to the Costa Brava, departing Wednesday 22 May.

We shall leave home at 15:30 for the 17:20 shuttle knowing they will put us on the 16:50 shuttle if there is space. On the shuttle we will have a packed dinner and change the boys (ages 4 and 5) into their pyjamas.

With the time difference, we should arrive in Calais at ~7pm, pass Paris at ~9.30pm and drive as far south as we can, swapping drivers as necessary, stopping for the night at about 1am somewhere in the vicinity of Claremont-Ferrand.
 
Melanie Day

Melanie Day

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Messages
209
Location
Leeds
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T6 Beach 102
We always use the Eurotunnel to cross to France, it's nicer for our dog as she gets to stay with us (the kids don't mind too). I would imagine the dates you plan to travel aren't peak as the UK summer holidays don't start til the end of July - you'll be home long before then. However prices vary across each day with more expensive fares at the more popular times of day. We've never bought a FlexiPlus ticket - we're driving our own 'exclusive lounge' so never really felt the need for that benefit, and ultimately we all end up in the same queue for the train.

Generally they advise not to arrive more than 2 hours before your booked departure time. If there's room on a train as you arrive, they will generally offer you the chance to board the earlier one. If there isn't space you'll be ushered to the facilities car park to wait to be called to the train. Usually arriving late isn't an issue. One year we were over 2 hours after our intended departure time but they were aware of the heavy traffic/accidents/etc so were pushing folks through the system as quickly as possible.

The driving is much nicer on the French side and that's when the holiday really starts so the idea of 'slogging it' as far as you can into France doesn't much appeal to me but there you go. It depends really on how far you've got to travel once you're over there. Our favoured approach is a late night crossing, then make use of one of the free Aires nearby (no more than 35 mins away) to spend the night, wake up, have breakfast and enjoy the fact we've got the full day to make our destination. I can recommend a couple of Aires, but you'd need your own toilet facilities, or ensuite as we like to call it.
I think we might try get the UK section out of the way so we have night one of our holiday actually in France, than start from there.

We are planning to go stop in several places including I'll de Rae and back via the Nowvac (spelling) champagne house that I have seen on here.

Might book first night somewhere as we don't have ensuite facilities.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
 
Melanie Day

Melanie Day

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Messages
209
Location
Leeds
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T6 Beach 102
We live just an hour from the Folkestone Terminal so our experiences may be somewhat different.

We plan to drive to the Costa Brava, departing Wednesday 22 May.

We shall leave home at 15:30 for the 17:20 shuttle knowing they will put us on the 16:50 shuttle if there is space. On the shuttle we will have a packed dinner and change the boys (ages 4 and 5) into their pyjamas.

With the time difference, we should arrive in Calais at ~7pm, pass Paris at ~9.30pm and drive as far south as we can, swapping drivers as necessary, stopping for the night at about 1am somewhere in the vicinity of Claremont-Ferrand.
Thanks,
I like the idea of a picnic and pj change on the tunnel. We will be heading west along coast road after Calais.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
 
mrcheesbrough

mrcheesbrough

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783
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Wiltshire
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T4 PopTop
I think we might try get the UK section out of the way so we have night one of our holiday actually in France, than start from there.

We are planning to go stop in several places including I'll de Rae and back via the Nowvac (spelling) champagne house that I have seen on here.

Might book first night somewhere as we don't have ensuite facilities.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
Sounds like a good plan. There are a few campsites nearby to where you'll disembark in Calais. I'd probably head to the Cap Blanc Nez, near Escalles. You might get to see the White Cliffs the next morning if the weather treats you nicely. Bear in mind you'll probably want to arrive at your chosen campsite by around 7-8pm at the latest otherwise checking in may be more an issue. Good luck. Have fun and enjoy.
 
soulstyledevon

soulstyledevon

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The most important question.
Do you have kids...???

No kids drive a solid 14 hours and get as far as you possibly dare. Stopping quickly for coffee, toilets, snacks and driver swop.

If you have kids, then have a complete rethink.

We are off this year to Switzerland and Italy. I will leave a day early and drive and wild camp. My wife and son will follow and I plan on picking them up from Geneva to cut out a lot of travelling on a car seat for our little one.
 
Melanie Day

Melanie Day

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209
Location
Leeds
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T6 Beach 102
The most important question.
Do you have kids...???

No kids drive a solid 14 hours and get as far as you possibly dare. Stopping quickly for coffee, toilets, snacks and driver swop.

If you have kids, then have a complete rethink.

We are off this year to Switzerland and Italy. I will leave a day early and drive and wild camp. My wife and son will follow and I plan on picking them up from Geneva to cut out a lot of travelling on a car seat for our little one.
We have one child age 4, so I am thinking drive, cross to France and then camp - should be able to do it in 8hrs.

I am thinking once we are in France we will stay 3 days then move on, I was looking at single night stays and shorter drives but I think we will get better quality holiday time staying longer in one place. I would like 5 nights in I'll de Rae if possible.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
 
mrcheesbrough

mrcheesbrough

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783
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We have one child age 4, so I am thinking drive, cross to France and then camp - should be able to do it in 8hrs.

I am thinking once we are in France we will stay 3 days then move on, I was looking at single night stays and shorter drives but I think we will get better quality holiday time staying longer in one place. I would like 5 nights in I'll de Rae if possible.

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If you didn’t want to go quite so far I can recommend Noirmoutier-en-l'Île. Lovely town, campsite (Huttopia) right on the beach, level cycling and walking and very similar to Ille de Re.


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soulstyledevon

soulstyledevon

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I find after 4 hours kids become too restless. We try not to drive any further than that per day. It depends where in France you want to go.
 
Melanie Day

Melanie Day

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If you didn’t want to go quite so far I can recommend Noirmoutier-en-l'Île. Lovely town, campsite (Huttopia) right on the beach, level cycling and walking and very similar to Ille de Re.


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Thanks I have loads of dots on Google maps at the moment so need to work out a plan of travel!

Any other recommendations are welcome.

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Amarillo

Amarillo

Tom
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We have one child age 4, so I am thinking drive, cross to France and then camp - should be able to do it in 8hrs.

I am thinking once we are in France we will stay 3 days then move on, I was looking at single night stays and shorter drives but I think we will get better quality holiday time staying longer in one place. I would like 5 nights in I'll de Rae if possible.
When we spent a year travelling when the boys were 2 & 3 later 3 & 4 we usually spent at least three nights in one place before moving on. If we had a longer drive between two places we camped late - three in the roof and one across the bench seat - then set off again early next morning without unpacking/packing.

I'm sure you could manage an overnight with three of you in the roof if necessary.

We skipped past Île de Ré when we drove down the Atlantic coast and went to Île d'Oléron where we stayed at Camping Club Les Pins for 17 Euros per night with our ASCI card. It has a superb naturally filtered swimming lake.

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2haw

2haw

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Essex
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Hello

We are planning to travel with a 4yr old to France this summer from 21st June and heading back 7th July.

Questions:
1. From a Eurotunnel perspective - is this off peak or would there be any benefit in investing in a flexi plus ticket?
2. Any best times to travel / cross logistically, we are in Leeds so got 5 hours to Folkstone, should we travel from home and get as far as we can into France in one slog or pace ourselves with travel to Folkstone and stay there one night???
3. How flexible is the standard ticket - can we turn up earlier than the time and try for an earlier crossing - or alternatively if we end up being late can we get on another crossing.

Thanks
Melanie,
Depending on the cost difference, I would consider Flexi Plus on the way back as it will remove a lot of stress out of when to leave and head home. We bought a Flexi Plus ticket on the return leg last year and I thought it was well worth the extra money. We did travel home on the last weekend of the school holidays though which is meant to be one of the busiest weekends to cross. It is worth considering that you get free sandwiches, drinks and snacks with Flexi Plus and as we are a family of 5, saved about 50 quid in Burger King so the actual extra cost was only around 20 quid!

Are you planning on using the toll roads? If so, definitely get a tag (very easy to get) as this makes life so much easier and quicker. (I think the approx toll cost will be around £60 each way to Ile de Re) with a tag, you would get charged a few weeks after you return. They notify you before taking payment.

As you are down that way, I would seriously recommend going to Puy du Fou, my kids absolutley loved it and it really is a great day out. You can also stay overnight in the campervan car park which is only about 8 euros per night. Facilities are extremely basic though with toilets only.

It all depends on how your child travels and as you are 5 hours from folkestone, I would cross about 12pm, and travel down as far as possible into France in the afternoon.
 
Melanie Day

Melanie Day

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Leeds
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T6 Beach 102
Melanie,
Depending on the cost difference, I would consider Flexi Plus on the way back as it will remove a lot of stress out of when to leave and head home. We bought a Flexi Plus ticket on the return leg last year and I thought it was well worth the extra money. We did travel home on the last weekend of the school holidays though which is meant to be one of the busiest weekends to cross. It is worth considering that you get free sandwiches, drinks and snacks with Flexi Plus and as we are a family of 5, saved about 50 quid in Burger King so the actual extra cost was only around 20 quid!

Are you planning on using the toll roads? If so, definitely get a tag (very easy to get) as this makes life so much easier and quicker. (I think the approx toll cost will be around £60 each way to Ile de Re) with a tag, you would get charged a few weeks after you return. They notify you before taking payment.

As you are down that way, I would seriously recommend going to Puy du Fou, my kids absolutley loved it and it really is a great day out. You can also stay overnight in the campervan car park which is only about 8 euros per night. Facilities are extremely basic though with toilets only.

It all depends on how your child travels and as you are 5 hours from folkestone, I would cross about 12pm, and travel down as far as possible into France in the afternoon.

Where did you buy your tag from???
I quickly searched and saw www.emovis-tag.co.uk is this the best offering for UK people or is there a better method to buy them? (I think Eurotunnel are offering the same company but without one of the fees of you enter booking reference.

Thanks
 
2haw

2haw

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Essex
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Where did you buy your tag from???
I quickly searched and saw www.emovis-tag.co.uk is this the best offering for UK people or is there a better method to buy them? (I think Eurotunnel are offering the same company but without one of the fees of you enter booking reference.

Thanks
Sorry but I dont recall, it was a few years back but I'm fairly sure the name changed to Emovis a little while ago.

I'll check some emails when I'm at my PC.
 
SailSki

SailSki

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Yes, it is now called Emovis.
Seem to be able to get a discount on the fee via Eurotunnel

I have a tag and it works well. The only issue is that there seems to be delay in recognising the tag which means that the “rolling 30kmh” lane on the left of the French toll plazas can get blocked by a Cali-sized object.
This may be because I just hold it up in the blacked out area by the rear view mirror but even when it was fixed there it seemed to delay sometimes, but it allows me to use it in different cars without an issue.
I just use the normal lanes with an orange T for Telepeage.
I have not gone through with a roofrack or roof box on so have not had to have a discussion with them yet about which charging class the automatic sensor is applying, but I understand you can challenge and get it retrospectively applied as less than 2m for the base vehicle.
 
Alied

Alied

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Bristol
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Where did you buy your tag from???
I quickly searched and saw www.emovis-tag.co.uk is this the best offering for UK people or is there a better method to buy them? (I think Eurotunnel are offering the same company but without one of the fees of you enter booking reference.

Thanks
I have a tag from http://www.aprr.fr Read this thread from post 15.

 
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