If you are thinking of travelling to France from the UK this year then why not take an early morning ferry from Portsmouth. This is a great way to go. Leave at 8.45 am and arrive in Caen mid afternoon feeling relaxed and fresh for your drive the other side. Pick seats by the kids play area and whilst they are having fun Mum and Dad can relax with a glass of French wine or a bite to eat whilst keeping an eye on them.
Why not stay the night before at the Portsmouth Marriott. I believe it's one of the best in the UK with beds that are so big you could sleep width ways and not have your head and feet overhanging. The food and the staff are first class too and it's just a 5 minute drive to the ferry port.