One of the best ways to spend your summer is to enjoy some quality time with your family. Finding an activity that every family member will appreciate, however, can prove challenging. Kids often want to spend free time on their phones and playing video games. But nothing gets the whole family on board and excited like a family boating adventure. These family boating tips can help you stay safe and enjoy some fun on the water with your kids.
Whether you’re taking an RV to campgrounds in Myrtle Beach or headed to the Pacific Northwest, boating as a family is an excellent way to engage everyone in an exciting activity. Boating offers a bit of something for everyone such as water sports and the thrill of cutting through the waves. Boating also creates long lasting memories. You probably remember your own childhood boat trips with your family. Being out on the water isn’t all easy and hazard-free though. Let’s take a closer look at some tips to know before boating with your family.
1. Make the boat trip exciting and active
The first step to going on a family boating adventure is getting your entire family aboard. You will need to do a bit of planning to choose a boat and pick activities everyone is excited about. For instance, teenagers may want to relax, work on their tans and do a bit of wakeboarding. Younger kids may want to ride on an inner tube behind the boat, go swimming or try snorkeling. The ages of your kids will determine which boating activities your family can enjoy. Choose a few boating activities ahead of time as a family and try to include everyone’s ideas.
A few boating activities include:
- Fishing for kids and adults
- Floating or tubing
- Water skiing and wakeboarding
- Boat slides into the water
2. Always make safety a top priority while boating
Safety comes first during family water activities, and this especially true on a boat. It’s important for kids to always wear a life vest while on the boat, even if they are strong swimmers. A child could accidentally fall out of the boat and it may take a few minutes to respond or circle around. Also, having multiple kids on board adds to the complexity of keeping an eye on all of them. Adults may choose to wear a life vest, but ultimately it’s important to at least have a life vest on board for every person on the boat. Also consider the U.S. Coast Guard recommendations for boating safety such as having a whistle, bells and fire extinguisher on board.
When choosing life vests, each person will need one that fits them properly. Each of our kids has their own life vest that’s sized for their age and weight. Small children and toddlers require special life vests that fit them properly. Some kids’ life vest designs support the head and neck and buckle at the back, which stops kids from taking them off. Consequently, you likely won’t be able to use the standard life vests that are already on the boat, for smaller children. If you are renting a boat, plan to bring your own kids’ life vests. Also, before you leave the pier, make sure everyone on board has a life vest close at hand.
Making safety the number one priority on a boat is the key to a safe and fun family boating adventure. You can even make a safety checklist and have a pre-boating safety meeting with your family.
3. Use sunscreen lotion and be ready for motion sickness
Almost as important as boating safety, a few summer essentials are necessary to fully enjoy a family boating adventure. The sun can be pretty brutal after hours of boating on a bright day. Our family usually applies sunscreen lotion several times throughout a day to protect against the sun’s UV rays.
Sunscreen is especially important if you are going to be on the water for a few days. It would be unfortunate to have to soothe bad sunburns on the second day of a week-long vacation. Discomfort from a bad sunburn could disrupt a family adventure and not create the memories you intended.
Generously apply sunscreen onto your kids and yourself to ensure everyone is protected from the sun’s harmful rays. You could even consider wearing long sleeved athletic shirts and hats on the boat to give your skin a break from the sun.
Motion sickness is another concern that could come up during a family boating excursion. You can get motion sickness medicine at your local pharmacy to have on hand just in case. You can also consult with your doctor about motion sickness prevention options before you shove off.
In conclusion . . .
Family boating adventures are certainly exciting, and a great way to bring the whole family together. These boating tips can serve your family as a quick safety and preparation guide. Do you have a boating tip for families ready to set sail? We’d love to hear about your ideas or experiences in the comments!
Title image from Pexels, by Tobias Bjørkli.
Hi, I’m Katie! I live with my husband and 3 kids in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. I love Jesus, coffee, creative projects, taking photos and traveling. I’ve previously worked as a web designer, journalist and barista. I hope you enjoy our creative projects and family adventures!