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Why DFDS are the only option for an obligation free buying journey to France, and a information that can assist you plan your personal journey…
As a journey blogger, I’m fortunate sufficient to journey lots, which implies I typically get an opportunity to choose up a discount within the airport responsibility free outlets. However I’m all the time very restricted about how a lot I can carry or match into my hand baggage. So once I took a ferry to France this month for an in a single day Christmas journey, I used to be very enthusiastic about loading my automobile up with responsibility free bargains!
In relation to responsibility free buying, DFDS are one of many high selections. They’ve an enormous array of products, a lot of incredible particular affords, and an excellent Reserve and Acquire service that can assist you take advantage of your buying journey.
This December, I took the ferry to Calais with my dad for a festive father-daughter getaway. We had a good time testing the Christmas markets, consuming far an excessive amount of, and looking out across the metropolis. And on the way in which residence, we crammed my boot with Christmas presents and get together drinks courtesy of the onboard responsibility free store.
Under, I’ve shared my experiences of taking an obligation free buying journey to France with DFDS, together with precisely how a lot I saved. I’ve additionally rounded up my ideas for planning your personal buying journey. Bon voyage!
My journey to France was a part of a collaboration with DFDS to be able to showcase their responsibility free buying expertise. All phrases and opinions are my very own and unbiased.
Obligation free buying has all the time been a enjoyable perk of journey. Whether or not it’s on the airport or onboard a ferry, you may decide up some wonderful bargains on tech items, perfumes, magnificence merchandise, designer put on, cigarettes, alcohol, and extra.
However travelling to France by ferry from the UK opens up an entire new responsibility free buying expertise. Particularly for those who’re taking your automobile with you. You’ll be able to refill the boot with all of your purchases and never fear about the way you’re going to hold all of it!
Plus, you usually have lots longer to browse onboard a ferry than you do on the airport. And due to DFDS’s enormous portside outlets and superior Reserve and Acquire service, you get even longer to buy – in addition to entry to a good larger catalogue of products.
And don’t overlook, for those who do any buying within the EU (outdoors of the responsibility free shops on the port and on the ferry), you can too declare the VAT again. Learn my submit about Tax Free Looking for extra particulars.
OK, so responsibility free buying wasn’t my ONLY purpose for travelling with DFDS this winter – nevertheless it was a fairly large perk!
In early December, I hopped on a ferry from Dover to Calais with my dad for an in a single day journey. The plan was to discover the Christmas markets, perform a little Christmas buying, eat as many pastries as potential within the house of 24 hours… and refill on get together drinks for Christmas with some responsibility free bargains! And we managed to tick off all these bins.
We had a incredible expertise with DFDS from begin to end. Examine-in and customs had been such a breeze (particularly in contrast with the same old queues and crowds at airports). We’d upgraded to Precedence Boarding, too, which meant that we had been first on the ferry – and first off on the opposite aspect!
Even with out that, the DFDS workforce appeared to have boarding and offloading right down to an artwork: the entire thing was tremendous environment friendly.
It would simply have been the Christmas spirit within the air, however each member of employees we met was completely beautiful, each within the port and on the ferry. Particularly within the onboard responsibility free store, the place everybody was extremely useful and pleasant. The store was a lot larger than I used to be anticipating and had an enormous vary – I’ve written about it in a bit extra element additional down this submit.
How A lot I Saved with DFDS Obligation Free
Right here’s what we purchased, how a lot we spent, and how a lot it might have value if we purchased it in a UK grocery store. For comparability functions, I’ve used the present worth of every merchandise at Tesco* (not counting any reductions).
|Merchandise||Worth||Grocery store Worth||Saving vs Grocery store|
|Bombay Sapphire Gin 1L (2X)||£14.99 (every)||£27.50||£12.51 (every)|
|Kraken Rum 1L||£12.69||£32||£19.31|
|Bacardi Gold Carta Ora 1L||£10||£22||£12|
|24 Pack Birra Moretti||£16.99||£30||£13.01|
|Lanson Black Label Brut Champagne||£19.99||£36||£16.01|
|Yellow Tail Bubbles Glowing Wine (2X)||£5.99 (every)||£10||£4.01 (every)|
In whole, we spent £101.63 on spirits, beer and glowing wines – and saved £93.37 vs shopping for that entire haul in Tesco… BARGAIN!
Clearly, for those who’re travelling with DFDS solely to do responsibility free buying, then you definitely’d additionally need to take note of the price of the ferry and petrol in opposition to how a lot you’re saving. That mentioned, it could nonetheless work out cheaper if you have to purchase lots – and makes for a reasonably enjoyable day journey!
If you happen to’re travelling to France anyway, the responsibility free buying is simply an added bonus and makes the ferry journey residence that rather more thrilling.
Obligation Free Allowances into the UK from France
If you happen to’re particularly travelling to France to be able to take advantage of the responsibility free buying, you’ll in all probability wish to convey again as a lot as potential. This implies you want to concentrate on precisely how a lot you’re allowed convey into the UK.
The responsibility free allowances for getting into the UK are fairly intensive, however there are limits, so make sure you don’t go over them. The present allowances are outlined under.
Keep in mind – these allowances are per individual. So if there are two of you in a single automobile, you may convey double the quantity again into the UK. Best for those who’re throwing an enormous get together (a few my buddies did this to purchase the wine for his or her marriage ceremony!).
Alcohol Obligation Free Allowances
42 litres of beer
24 75cl bottles of wine (18L)
4 litres of spirits (over 22% ABV)
OR 9 L of glowing wine, fortified wine, or different alcoholic drinks lower than 22% ABV
OR an equal mixture, eg 2L of spirits and 4.5L glowing wine.
Cigarettes Obligation Free Allowances
200 cigarettes OR
100 cigarillos OR
50 cigars OR
250g tobacco OR
200 sticks of tobacco for digital heated tobacco gadgets
OR equal mixture, eg 100 cigarettes and 25 cigars (half of every allowance).
Different Obligation Free Allowances
As much as £390 price of some other items.
If you happen to’re bringing greater than these allowances, you have to declare the products and pay tax or responsibility on them. Discover out extra right here. Thesea llowances had been right as of December 2022, nevertheless it’s all the time price checking the most recent data at gov.uk earlier than you journey.
This was my first journey to France with DFDS and I used to be actually impressed. Not solely with the responsibility free buying, however with the entire journey expertise altogether.
DFDS have a number of ferry crossings a day between Dover and France, serving each Calais and Dunkerque. These are quick, frequent and tremendous handy. I travelled on a snowy weekend in December, when trains and flights had been being cancelled throughout the UK – however the ferry crossing nonetheless ran, and it ran on time!
The drive-through check-in and customs cubicles imply you don’t even need to get out of your automobile until you’re on the ferry – a lot simpler than flying. All of the employees I encountered had been completely beautiful, and the entire course of was impressively environment friendly once I travelled.
Crossings to France begin from simply £68 for a automobile + as much as 4 individuals, so ferry could be a rather more cost-effective solution to journey to northern France than flying – and much more comfy! Day journeys begin from £39 (automobile + 4) – so a brief buying journey may be fairly value efficient!
DFDS Obligation Free Outlets
For responsibility free buying, DFDS actually are among the best choices. The onboard store is big – and rather well stocked with an enormous vary of drinks, cigarettes, electronics, toys, magnificence merchandise, and extra.
Final time I travelled by ferry (with a distinct firm), the onboard store was a tiny little house and solely actually stocked the preferred excessive road manufacturers. The store on DFDS felt extra like those you see at airports: very large and rather well stocked.
However in addition to this fab onboard store, DFDS even have responsibility free outlets on the Calais and Dunkerque ports. These are even larger and have a wider vary of merchandise to select from – the one in Calais is 1,000sqm!
If you happen to’re undecided you’ll have time to go to the store earlier than your return ferry, you can too take advantage of the Reserve and Acquire service. You merely choose all the products you need on-line, then pay and accumulate on the port aspect store earlier than boarding the ferry. The service is very easy to make use of, because it’s primarily on-line buying, and will prevent a whole lot of time.
Extra Causes to Select DFDS
- Limitless baggage allowance
- As much as 50% financial savings vs the UK excessive road
- Park proper outdoors the Obligation Free outlets in Dunkerque and Calais to refill your boot!
- Use the Reserve and Acquire service to save lots of time.
Make it a day journey
If responsibility free buying is your solely purpose for taking the journey to France, then minimize prices by reserving a day journey. Identical-day return crossings are cheaper – and also you gained’t need to pay for lodging!
Reduce journey prices
Guide as far upfront as you may, as it will usually get you the most effective deal. And for those who can, keep away from travelling at peak instances like summer season, British and French public holidays, and weekends.
Save time with Reserve and Acquire
I’ve already talked about this above, however the DFDS Reserve and Acquire service is an effective way to save lots of time along with your responsibility free buying.
Merely go surfing and order every thing you need upfront, then pay and accumulate on the store within the port earlier than boarding the ferry. It’s additionally a very easy
FYI – you have to have a ferry crossing booked to be able to make a reservation. You additionally want to do that no less than someday earlier than you journey. I stupidly left it to the final morning and missed my probability – so ensure you order your reserve and accumulate.
Don’t miss the outlets on the port
I discussed the portside responsibility outlets above. These enormous shops are proper earlier than you board the ferry at Calais and Dunkerque and are tremendous handy. Additionally they have rather more inventory and a wider vary to select from. So if you wish to get the most effective bargains, make sure to schedule time to go to the outlets.
Get to the port early
If you happen to haven’t used the Reserve and Acquire service, I like to recommend arriving on the ferry terminal as early as potential to have a while within the Obligation Free Store earlier than boarding the ferry.
We arrived about an hour earlier than our crossing, and although there was no queue at test in or customs the method took round quarter-hour. By the point we had been by way of, they had been already boarding – so I missed my probability to browse the portside store. Subsequent time!
Plan upfront and make a buying record to ensure you keep inside your allowance, save as a lot cash as potential, and decide up the most effective bargains. Browse on-line to see what affords are at the moment on, to be able to work out easy methods to get probably the most in your cash, then make an inventory prepared for while you go to the store.
Make the Most of your Journey
Even for those who’re planning a fast day journey for some responsibility free buying, you may nonetheless take advantage of your journey to France and make it a extremely enjoyable time out!
Spend a little bit of time exploring Calais. On a reasonably brief strolling tour of town you may go to the attractive Lodge de Ville (City Hill) and neighbouring Beffroi (Belfry), Fort Risban close to the water’s edge, Calais Lighthouse and the spectacular Tour du Guet – a Thirteenth-century watchtower within the Place d’Armes.
If in case you have time, take a stroll on Calais Seashore so far as the historic Fort Lapin battery and the encompassing sand dunes. The lengthy, sweeping expanse of white sand at Calais is a good spot for a stroll at any time of 12 months, even once I visited on a frosty winter morning.
Even for those who’re pressed for time, you may squeeze in lunch or dinner at an area restaurant to take advantage of your buying journey to France. Talking of buying, make sure to swing by a grocery store and a few of the smaller native meals outlets and patisseries to choose up some yummy French meals to take residence!
Lastly, for those who’re travelling across the festive season so as do your Christmas buying or decide up the get together drinks, make sure to try the lights and Christmas markets in Calais whilst you’re on the town.
Finest Locations to Go to in Northern France
A Brit’s Information to Procuring in France
If you happen to take an obligation free buying journey to France with DFDS, let me know the way you get on within the feedback under. I’d love to listen to about it!