Family vacations are a chance to enjoy a change in scenery. They’re opportunities to go places and do things you don’t normally do, and being on the water is one of them. Knowing how to prepare your family for vacations on the water in 2022 is crucial to the success of your trip.
Balance Your Scheduling
Depending on where on the water you want to go, you might have to make reservations for various things. Overnight accommodations might be necessary, and you might even need to reserve a spot on the water. Some lakes might even have limits about how many boats can be on the water at once. Scheduling far in advance makes it more likely you can actually get on the water.
Having said all that, you need to keep the school calendar in mind if you have kids in public education. Educational system disruptions are more prevalent than ever, and the last thing you want to do is promise your kids a day on the lake on a potential make-up day they wind up spending in class or stuck at home doing remote learning.
If by chance, you can schedule a day on the water when some school systems are in session, then demand for docks or the lakefront property might not be as high. You can possibly enjoy some serious savings and even more room out on the waves.
Choose Somewhere to Go
Deciding to be out on the water is a starting point, and picking a date is the next great step. However, you also need to choose where you are going to go. There are lakes across the country, but you might even consider rivers or waterways along the coastlines.
You need to consider your budget and watercraft. If you own one, can you tow it somewhere or is it forever bound to the water it is currently docked in? If you don’t own one, can you rent one right on the water you want to be on?
Things You Should Know About Boat Insurance
Boat insurance rules and regulations vary from one state to the next, so you need to look them up for where you are going to be on the water. For instance, here are a few things you should know about boat insurance in Arizona:
- Don’t Rely on Your Home Insurance: You might have had people tell you that your homeowner’s insurance will cover your boat. That might be partially true if you’re talking about a kayak or canoe. However, anything motorized isn’t going to be covered, especially when it’s out on the water.
- Look Past Average Costs: When shopping for boat insurance, don’t pick or avoid anyone based on their quoted average costs. Boat insurance might average $400 annually across the nation, for instance, but the size of the boat might matter quite a bit. The yacht owners are driving up that average, whereas your own recreational boat might only be $200. Get specific quotes based on your personal information.
- Get Discounts: As with other kinds of insurance, bundling policies can bring your costs down. You can also shop around to find the best rates every time you need to renew.
- Get It Seasonally: Some kinds of insurance you need all year long. However, boat insurance is different. If your boat use is seasonal, then you might get discounts for the parts of the year where you don’t use your boat.
- Year/Model/Make: Just like with passenger vehicles, the size, age, and condition of your boat may matter. Sailboats are a distinct category of insurance, and so forth.
- Keep a Clean Driving Record: Your record of handling the boat can impact your rates just like many car accidents drive up the cost of that insurance.
Know the Rules of the Water
Being out on any body of water carries with it all the normal rules of boating safety and sharing the waves with others. However, most lakes or other bodies of water will have their own rules. Find out in advance about speed limits and local regulations.
See if you need a permit to be out on the water or if there is a curfew in effect where you can’t boat at night or certain hours. Failing to comply with these rules can mean tickets, fines, or even jail time in some places. Those are all surefire ways to ruin your family vacation.
Arrange for Swimming Lessons
Everyone you go out on the water with needs to know how to swim. Kids should wear floatation vests the entire time out just to be safe anyway, but everyone should be able to practice basic floating and swimming techniques just in case things get out of hand. If you didn’t have your kids learn how to swim already, now is the time to get them lessons back home with a certified instructor.
Have a List of “Plan Bs”
Spending time out on the water means spending time in nature. She doesn’t always cooperate. You won’t know until close to the actual date of your vacation on the water what the weather might look like. Disruptive events can be anything from rain to a forest fire. Have a list of potential replacement activities your family can pick from if you need to suddenly change plans.
That might be anything from hitting a local movie theater to going to hike someplace within driving distance that isn’t impacted. Just try to make it something the kids usually love so their disappointment doesn’t bring everyone down.
Get Wet Without the Sweat
A vacation on the water can be very relaxing, fun, adventurous, or even all of the above. If you take these steps to prepare your family for their next trip out on the waves, then you should be able to truly enjoy whatever vacation you choose knowing you made all the right preparations in advance.