What Makes for a Great Family Boating Holiday? 

people on a sail boat

One of the true joys of boating is getting to bring your whole family along for a relaxing, fun-filled family boating holiday. You can take off work, take off school, and go out on the open water together. Whether it’s for a few days or a couple of weeks, this can be an incredible bonding experience – and one that you fondly remember for years to come.

But what makes for a great family boating holiday? How should you plan this adventure?

Choose the Right Location

Your first job is choosing the right location. You can have a boating holiday literally anywhere that there’s water. If you already have a boat and live near a lake, river, or the ocean, you can have a small “staycation” style getaway where you live.

But if you’re looking for something more adventurous, you can pack up the boat and haul it somewhere else, or you could even rent a boat at the new location you’ve chosen.

When choosing a location, consider:

  • Topography. What kind of location is this? Are you interested in venturing out to the open ocean, with more space than you can imagine? Or would you prefer to navigate the twists and turns of a flowing river?
  • Sights. What kind of sights are available here? Is this somewhere you can view nature in action, with lush forests and lots of wildlife? Or is this a place where you can marvel at fine manmade architecture, like impressive bridges and skyscrapers? There are no wrong answers here; it’s all about what you’re hoping to get out of the trip.
  • Mooring options. Do some research in advance to learn about the mooring options in your chosen area. How easy is it to get your boat on the water? Will you be able to travel from point to point easily? Will you have the option to rent a vessel?
  • Water offerings. What kinds of activities does the water offer? Is this an area that offers some of the best fishing in the country? Is this sea known to be one of the top sailing destinations in the world? If you’re hoping to enjoy a specific activity with your family, this should be one of your top considerations.
  • Land offerings. You won’t spend 100 percent of your time on the water. So what kind of offerings are available on land? Are there fun adventures and activities to be had?

Choose the Right Selection of Activities

Speaking of activities, choose the right selection for your family. There are many different ways to enjoy the water, including:

  • Fishing. If you love the idea of reeling in a big one, catching a rare species, or cooking up food you caught for dinner, fishing may be the best activity for you.
  • Sailing. Sailing ranges from a peaceful, relaxing activity to a challenging sport. Depending on your family’s interests, sailing can probably work for you somewhere on that spectrum.
  • Water sports. There are plenty of other water sports to consider trying, such as water skiing and wakeboarding (though the kids may not be old enough for this).
  • Cruising. Of course, you can also just sit back and relax with a peaceful, steady cruise along the water’s surface.

Some boating holiday locations specialize in one type of activity, while others allow you to do a little bit of everything.

Plan Ahead to Avoid Rough Conditions

Evaluate the weather in advance, especially in the days leading up to your actual vacation. Don’t force yourself to go out on the water if things look overly choppy or rough; bad conditions can turn a fun family boating holiday sour fast. Instead, have a backup plan in place. Is there something you can enjoy on land for a day while you wait for the weather to pass?

Prepare the Crew

Spend some time preparing your family for the water. Familiarizing them with the boat and the proper way to traverse the water will make them feel more connected and engaged with your activities. it’s also a great time to train them on safety, so you can have a much safer adventure together.

Bring Some Extra Entertainment

Many adults love the peace, quiet, and slow relaxation associated with boating activities like fishing and cruising. But to a young child, these elements may seem boring. They may also be bored if you have a long way to travel to your chosen destination. Make sure you bring some extra entertainment along for the ride; extra books, video games, or board games can make sure they stay entertained when necessary.

Always Have Safety in Mind

Your fun family holiday can come to a crashing halt if you experience an emergency situation. Make sure you’re prepared to handle it with all the proper onboard safety equipment, including:

  • Lifejackets. You need to have properly sized lifejackets for every member of your family. And your young ones should be wearing them at all times, just in case.
  • Rope. Extra rope can help you solve a number of crises, including recovering a man overboard.
  • Radio. Make sure your radio works and that you know how to use it to call for help. A backup radio and extra batteries are also a good idea.
  • Flares. Just in case all your other communication equipment fails, a flare can help you signal for help if and when you need it.

Your family boating holiday doesn’t have to be perfect – and it isn’t going to be, no matter how much you plan. But with the right planning and the right mental preparedness, you can get the most out of your water-bound vacation.

Of course, it’s hard to have a boating holiday without the right boat. Renting a boat is always an option, but if you’re going to be boating regularly, it’s often better to own. If you’re in the market for a new boat, make sure to browse our selection of new and used boats for sale to find exactly what you’re looking for!

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