Kid boat

5 Boat Must-Haves for the Perfect Kid-Friendly Adventure

Written by Boatsetter Team
January 4, 2018

Last Updated on July 12, 2023 by Boatsetter Team

Start Planning Your Family Vacation Boat Rental Today!

If you have children, you know that it can always be a challenge to figure out what a fun-filled day will look like for them. Although the idea of spending a day on a boat rental out on the open water sounds like heaven on earth to you, it may be the height of boredom for your kids. One of the most important things to realize with family boating is that kids get bored really easily. If you just cruise along on the boat rental all day long, they are bound to become unruly. Spend some time planning different activities at different times of the day so that they have lots of things to look forward to. If you intend to bring them along on your family vacation boat rental, we recommend at least five boat must-haves to help your kids enjoy their time out on the water as much as possible. Check out these five top boating items for kids long before you decide to get on board your boat rental, especially if you are traveling with your family and if you need to find things for the kids to do on the trip.

Life Jackets and Other Safety Equipment

Take the time to make sure you have enough more than enough high-quality safety equipment onboard. This type of thing should just be under your normal list of essentials, but it is more important that you make sure you have these when you take a family boating trip. Check to make sure that your family vacation boat rental stocks life jackets that will fit all members of your family correctly. There is no point in having a life jacket that is three sizes too small. Always remember that strong ocean currents can pull you under or away from your boat, no matter how well you or your kids can swim.

Bring Along that Sunscreen

This has become a controversial subject because National Park Service rangers would prefer that your kids cover up with hats, sunglasses, and long-sleeved shirts. However, for most people who are out in the hot sun all day, this might not be enough. For your kids, it can be really important to bring a lot of sunscreen along, and also to apply it frequently. So often you will see boaters rub in a lot of creams and then immediately keep jumping in and out of the water. This defeats the point of sunscreen, and it can also be damaging to the underwater environment, especially if you are in an ecosystem with lots of fragile reefs.

Load up on the Snacks and Drinks

You need to remember to stock your boat rental with lots of snacks for the kids, as well as the adults! Try to include some snacks that you usually don’t give the kids to eat. It is best to choose snacks that won’t get the boat too messy by melting in the heat of the sun. You can easily pick up some granola bars filled with nuts or raisins. Pretzels, chips, and mini marshmallows generally turn out quite well too. A slightly healthier option is some dried fruit or even raw fruit like strawberries. As for drinks, the most important thing to have for family boating is lots of bottled water. You could certainly bring a few other options along, but water is by far the priority.

Snorkeling and Scuba Equipment

There is a wide range of snorkeling and scuba equipment that you can bring on your family vacation boat rental. If you enjoy snorkeling and diving, consider buying or renting things like wetsuits, water shoes, fins, and goggles. For the kids, snorkeling and diving is good exercise and it can be a great way to work up their appetites before a big lunch on the boat. After they are tired out from snorkeling, another excellent thing to have is a remote control boat that the kids can drive around in the water. These days, you can get some models that are fast enough to be exciting but also easy enough for even small children to drive.

Water Skis, Wakeboards, Inflatable Rafts, and Tubes

Water skis and other gear for water sports can be essential onboard items for family boating. Wakeboards are especially useful accessories for the younger ones who may not know how to ski, but still want to be pulled along by your family vacation boat rental. With inflatable rafts and tubes, your kids can be towed along again in the same way or they can simply float around your boat leisurely. Most kids seem more excited about getting out on an inflatable raft or a tube if you can fit more than 4 kids on it. Especially if you allow your kids to invite a few friends, they tend to get more involved on the boat when they have other people they can explain things to.

Remember the Five Boat Must-Haves!

These five must-haves are a good start when you are planning your family vacation boat rental. In addition, try to take into account the specific personalities of each of your kids so that you can bring along a few more things too. Does your child love to read? If so, you may want to consider getting some books laminated to protect them from the water. Another option, of course, is an electronic device of sorts, but again, always make sure that you bring something to protect the device from water damage. A full-sized waterproof camera that is designed to work underwater is a good idea. A lot of those types of cameras can actually float these days so you don’t even have to worry about them sinking!

Getting Your Kids Used to Being in The Water

While all of these are good options, you may want to check out a few more suggestions for a few of the other things you may want to consider while on a family vacation boat rental. It is a good idea to expose children to water as early as possible to help them be aware of the potential dangers of boating. As we discussed earlier, it is vital to plan lots of diverse activities (especially on cold or rainy days) so that the kids don’t become too bored on the boat. Make sure that these activities are safe so that everybody enjoys the trip and there are no emergencies. Always explain the need for things like life jackets very carefully, because there is a real risk of you and your kids getting into serious trouble if you don’t follow some of the basic boating safety rules.

All in all, just try to respond as positively as possible when your kids react strongly to anything they see on the water, like an especially good fish being reeled in or an especially beautiful sunset. This is all part of the process of family boating and instilling in them a lifelong love of the water.

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