Traveling with children always requires a little extra thought and preparation. A sailing vacation is a no brainer when it comes to kids, it is the perfect way to make sure the adults and children enjoy their vacation while also enjoying their time with each other. This is a unique experience for children filled with plenty of opportunities for learning and fun, and there are of course some tips we can offer to make sure the children, and the adults, get the most out of their family charter vacation.
Thinking of bringing children along on your next charter? Catamarans are the best option. They will offer plenty of room to play and stretch out both the inside and outside. They also help to avoid any possible fear and/or seasickness with the kids since they will be more stable in the water. The trampolines in the front of the boat will surely be a big hit too. When planning your sailing route, keep the distances short, 2-3 hours at most if possible. The British Virgin Islands are a perfect destination for kids in this regard. Much like putting children in the backseat of a car for an extended road trip, this could help avoid the inevitable “are we there yet?” complaints. Sailing shorter distances will keep the kids interested and active, allowing them to enjoy their time during those sailing periods that much more.
Like any vacation with children, safety comes first and foremost. There are plenty of ways to make sure your kids are safe and secure while on the boat. Before even leaving the marina, make sure you have the appropriate life jackets for the kids. It is best to have the children wear their life jackets whenever above deck, especially at night. Lay down the rules before setting sail, make sure the children understand basic safety commands and procedures while on the boat (no running, listen to the skipper, do not swim alone etc). Sun protection while on deck and in the water will also be key, especially in the Caribbean. As long as you keep these basic safety guidelines in mind, this will be able to be a stress free and enjoyable trip for the adults and children on board.
There are endless activities to keep the kids entertained during your charter. Take plenty of toys on board, and not the electronic kind – there will be no need for iPhones or video games on this trip. With the scenery constantly changing, and new activities to explore at every stop, the kids will stay plenty entertained. Depending on the age, it is always good to have books, music, and some board games at hand for any long sailing distances. The beach and water toys are what will really keep their attention though. If possible, rent a paddle board or kayak for them so they can explore a bit. Snorkel gear, especially in the Caribbean, will also be a must. Kids will love swimming around and getting to see all the sea creatures, you can even make a game out of it. If they somehow get tired of playing in the water, take the opportunity to teach them something new. There will be plenty of cultural activities and room for learning, especially if in the Mediterranean. Teach them about sailing and give them some tasks! Show them the charts and instruments, and even let them press some buttons or help steer. These will be the things they will go back home and brag to their friends at school about.
A charter vacation may not be the first thing that comes to mind when brainstorming your next family vacation, but it is a great opportunity to expose children to something new and exciting while also giving them plenty of opportunities to learn and explore. Not only will the children enjoy their time on the boat, but it will be a great way for adults to also get to relax and enjoy themselves at the same time. The good thing about being on a boat, versus let’s say Disneyworld, your will have a much easier time keeping the kids under your watch. This gives you more time to spend together and less time running after them.