I would say I have a pretty good idea of what I'm talking about when it comes to packing, since I go on a couple of vacations every year. Be organized and prepared, and don't start packing a couple of hours before you leave. In other words, do what I do, not what my sister does.
Being organized and prepared allows you to make room for other things and save on costs. It also limits the frustration you might feel when the main ingredient of the meal you planned is missing, thus starting your vacation off the wrong way.
The luxury of a houseboat vacation can be better enjoyed if you start preparing a list of necessities early. To begin, ask the houseboat marina for a list of amenities that come with the particular craft you're renting. This will help you figure out what you should or shouldn't bring. For example, bedding isn't provided by all marinas, so that would be a good thing to double check.
Packing items for the kitchen can be a little tricky, because it's not something we're used to doing when going on vacation. One tip is to prepare meals ahead of time, this way you already have all the ingredients in front of you and you don't have to worry about bringing them onboard. After preparing a few meals ahead of time, thoroughly freeze them and place them in an ice chest the day of your vacation. That should keep the meals cold for a couple of days. Find out what kind of cookware you may need; the houseboat will most likely include pots and pans, plates and utensils, but it might not be exactly what you need. For example, be sure to bring a good knife to cut meat. Your craft probably already has knives, but they could be dull or worn out.
While packing clothes make sure they are appropriate for the weather. One thing to keep in mind is that at night it can get chilly on the lake-even in the summertime-so bringing a long-sleeved shirt or sweater might be a good idea.
A final "must-have" for renting a houseboat is recreational items. Keep in mind a radio, or something that can play music, flashlights for the nights you're out too late, wood for a bonfire on the beach and water toys are just a few suggestions.
The list that's got your back
Sometimes life offers you free things to help make your life just a little bit easier. This is one of those times. You're welcome.
Things to expect on the houseboat:
Dishes & Cutlery
Hot & Cold Water
AM/FM stereo/CD player
Life Jackets (emergency use only)
First Aid Kit
Things to bring:
For the Kitchen:
Life Jackets (for you and the kids)
First aid kit
Fishing gear and fishing license
Cell phone and cell phone charger