Published online: Jul 20, 2012 Feature
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Interested in learning how to plan a houseboat vacation? gives all the information you could possibly need from what to pack, to what to eat, to how to save money on your houseboat vacation.

Shelly James publisher of the website, has been houseboating for over a decade and has experienced some great houseboating vacations and some not so great ones. She developed this site to help people who are new to houseboating get all their questions answered and make sure that they have the best time they possibly can.

The number one question Shelly answers the most is how long to go for. Most rental companies offer three, four, five and 7-day trips. "The way I determine how many days to go is to ask myself, How many nights could I be locked in a hotel room with these people before I lose my mind? If I am with immediate family, my pain threshold is about four nights and that's pushing it.  The bigger and more luxurious the boat, the longer I can stand others," says Shelly. Also consider that after four days you will most likely have to return to the marina for fresh water and to pump out the holding tanks.

Remember to pack light. This isn't a cruise where you need outfits for cocktail parties and formal night. Bring your bathing suit, sunglasses, sun tan lotion, a few board games, shorts, and t-shirts. No need to get all fancy you're just going to be on the lake all day and most of the night.

Everyone loves to save money and although houseboating maybe on the more expensive ways there are still ways to get your extra bang to the buck. To save money on fuel you should rent a powerboat or ski boat so you don't have to haul the houseboat out on all the adventures you plan on doing. You should plan out meals ahead of time by either cooking the meals before you go and freezing them or cook easy, simple meals on the boat using the grill. For more information visit

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