Tips for Renting a Houseboat With Kids

Date: July 22, 2020
Category: Blog Houseboat Rentals

A houseboat vacation is an amazing experience for people of all ages, and it’s becoming a popular option for families with kids. Children of all ages will find that it’s exciting and exhilarating to spend all of their time on the boat. There are so many memories to be made. However, families who are looking into renting a houseboat also will want to make safety a top priority. 

At Cottonwood Cove Resort and Marina, we recommend these tips for renting a houseboat with kids:

Set Simple Rules at the Beginning of the Trip

Anytime you travel with your children, you will have to make considerations and accommodations for their safety. Traveling onboard a houseboat is no different. There are certain risks that children may face while on a houseboat, but when you put simple rules into place at the beginning of the trip, you will find that it’s easy to stay vigilant. 

Some rules that families often establish include:

  • No running on the boat deck at any time.
  • Children are not to be left alone on the deck at any time.
  • Children must wear a life vest while the boat is in motion. 

Depending on the age of your children, you may want to create a list of family rules prior to your vacation. You can talk about these rules prior to leaving, and then display these rules on a poster board on the houseboat once you arrive.

Pack Your Own Life Vests for the Kids

Children who are spending the week on a houseboat should have their own life jacket on the boat. It is best not to rely on rental jackets or used jackets. Instead, you should have your child sized for a life jacket that is appropriate for their age, height, and weight. Even infants should have a life jacket, and they should wear these devices at any time the boat is in motion.

Parents should remember that there’s a difference between flotation devices that help children stay above water when swimming and life-saving devices. A life jacket is designed to keep a child alive and prevent them from drowning in the water. A flotation device may help them stay afloat, but this device is not designed to save their lives in an emergency situation.

It may be a good idea to have children wear their life jackets frequently before the vacation so that they are used to how these devices feel. You want them to feel comfortable and secure while wearing them.

Ask Marina Staff Members to Give You a Tour of Security Features on the Boat

Houseboats are very secure and are a safe vacation option for children of all ages, including those under age 4. To learn more about the houseboat that you are renting, you can ask a marina staff member to provide you with information about the vessel’s safety features. These features can include:

  • Railings that surround the perimeter of the boat. Most houseboats have guards in place along the edge of the deck to prevent people of all ages from accidentally falling overboard.
  • Sliding doors with automatic lock features. Parents are often pleased to know that most houseboats have sliding exterior doors that lock. These doors prevent children from accessing the deck without the assistance of an adult.
  • Gates that have automatic latches on the exterior of the boat. There are gates off the deck that lead to ladders and slides, but these often latch automatically. They are not easy for children to use on their own. The latch features prevent children from getting into the water unsupervised.

Find Fun Things to Do in the Area Where You Will be Houseboating

Many children simply delight in the ability to eat, sleep, and play on board the houseboat. They love knowing that they are spending their entire vacation on the water and that they get to explore every corner of the boat. However, most families do find that they want to dock at some point during their vacation.This way they can go explore the local area and enjoy activities together. Some of the best family-friendly activities near Lake Mohave include:

  • Hiking near the Lake Mead Recreational Area.
  • Participating in the Junior Ranger program through the National Parks Service.
  • Kayaking in the shallow coves around the lake.

Bring Games and Activities on Board the Boat

Inevitably, your kids will likely utter that dreaded phrase “I’m bored” at some point during your vacation. You can instantly cure their boredom when you have the right supplies on hand. Some of the best activities and toys to bring on board a houseboat include:

  • Board games
  • Decks of cards
  • Drawing supplies, including paper, markers, and crayons.
  • Building blocks
  • Toy boats 
  • Fishing rods
  • Sand toys
  • Books

It’s always a good idea to have your kids pack their favorite stuffed animal or security blanket. Sleeping onboard a houseboat may seem strange and foreign, and these creature comforts can help them feel instantly at home. 

Plan Kid-Friendly Meals and Snacks

Eating onboard a houseboat is relatively simple. Most people compare it to packing for a camping trip. Your luxury houseboat will have state-of-the-art amenities, including a full-service kitchen. With every appliance and tool at your disposal, you will be able to create your family’s favorite meals all while enjoying those panoramic waterfront views. 

Some kid-friendly meals that families enjoy while renting a houseboat include:

  • Hamburgers and hot dogs. This classic camping meal is easy to replicate on board a houseboat and is always a favorite.
  • Spaghetti. This is a favorite pasta dish among children of all ages, and they enjoy eating it while dining al fresco on the deck.
  • Pancakes and bacon. Serve these items first thing in the morning, or have breakfast for dinner one night. Let the kids have fun with their pancake toppings.

Of course, kids can never get enough snacks. Be sure to bring plenty on board so they can stay nourished and energized for their vacation fun. Trail mix, fresh fruit, yogurt, crackers, and cheese are all great snack ideas.

Renting a houseboat is a unique and memorable vacation experience for kids of all ages. Ultimately, your children will be so happy to be spending quality, uninterrupted time with you. You will find that houseboating is a safe and enjoyable way to escape the hectic schedule that you normally manage, and the vacation will lead to memories that will last a lifetime.

For more information on renting a houseboat on Lake Mohave, contact Cottonwood Cove Resort and Marina today.