The Houseboat Solution

September 2006 News

When thinking of new ways to enjoy a summer vacation with your family, one of the things that you should consider is a houseboating vacation. Houseboating vacations can be fun and exciting for everyone, and spending time on a boat can bring families together in a way that other vacations may not be able to.

There are several lakes, rivers, and even places along the coast where you can rent houseboats by the day or the week - or even longer. At many lake, river, or ocean resorts, people can usually rent houseboats by the week and spend time on the water, enjoying all the amenities that make life comfortable. The houseboats have kitchens, bedrooms, and dining rooms, and plenty of deck room for some outside fun. They come in different sizes, so there are boats to fit large groups of people or small groups of people comfortably.

Although any type of boat can be rented for a vacation, houseboats are ideal for families. Their name "houseboat" says it all, basically meaning a house that floats on the water. The design of a houseboat is usually rectangular, with a flat bottom, a rail that goes all around the boat, and a square-shaped cabin designed inside like a small house. Think of a nice RV, and you can get an idea of what a houseboat is like.

Taking your family on a houseboat vacation takes some planning, especially when it comes to safety. Even though houseboats almost always have safety rails around the entire boat, it is still not a good idea to take a vacation on one if you have very small children. You will be on a boat, and toddlers and preschoolers simply don't have the maturity to practice good boating safety. Even if children are wearing lifejackets (always recommended and usually required), it is still usually too dangerous for toddlers and preschoolers. Bringing children this young along on a houseboating vacation would probably cause more stress than it would be fun, so it really wouldn't be worth it. Houseboating vacations are usually best when children are at least 7 or 8 years old or older - and they should know how to swim.

Even when you go on a houseboating vacation with your older children, there are safety precautions that should still be taken. Life jackets should be worn at all times, at least by children, and you should have the means to be able to contact authorities if there is a problem with the boat. Even if you can see the shore clearly, it is easier to have a phone or radio to contact someone in case of trouble, rather than trying to flag down a passing boat or someone on the shore.

Vacationing on a houseboat can be a wonderful and relaxing way to enjoy a family vacation together. Houseboat rentals almost always come with anchors, so when you are not cruising around enjoying the sights, you can simply anchor and enjoy lounging in the sun, playing games, or having deck picnics or barbecues. Your houseboating vacation can include occasional trips to shore to go to a restaurant or visit the local sights. All in all, a houseboating vacation can be a memorable experience that the whole family will talk about for a long time.

John Gibb is the owner of boating sources , For more information on boating check out

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