Family yacht charters are amazing family holidays, especially in a place like the Whitsundays. From enjoying tons of water-based activities to bonding over sailing to connecting with the rhythms of the ocean and starry nights, your kids are sure to find many things they enjoy.
But the thought of everyone living at sea might make some parents a little nervous. What if the kids get bored or what if everyone starts to drive each other a little bit crazy? Don't worry, many of us at Whitsunday Rent a Yacht are parents and we've been there!
To help you with preparing for your family yacht charter, we wanted to share some handy tips we think help keep the kids entertained when chartering in the Whitsundays.
7 tips for entertaining the kids on a family yacht charter
- Encourage your children to get involved. Teach them how to read the wind, steer the vessel, and navigate using landmarks. Get them involved in pulling the ropes, raising the sail and keeping a lookout. Their new skills will provide them with some serious bragging rights and they’ll be more excited by the prospect of sailing. Plus, an extra pair of hands – small or not – is always helpful!
- Allow them to choose an anchorage or destination. Flick through a copy of 100 Magic Miles, which we supply on every vessel, and show your children some potential destinations. Let them choose whichever one appeals the most.
- Take note of the wildlife. The Whitsundays is a thriving eco-system and it is not uncommon to spot a whale in the winter months or some curious turtles all year 'round. There are also hundreds of different species of fish, birdlife and other marine animals cruising the Whitsunday waters. Who needs a trip to the zoo when you can spot animals in their natural environment?
- Plan for water-based activities to keep the kids moving and having fun. You can hire fishing gear, a stand-up paddleboard or kayak through us. And of course, snorkelling is a great activity for everyone to enjoy with all snorkelling gear included with your vessel. There are plenty of sheltered anchorages to admire the colourful reef and fish that call the Whitsundays home. Butterfly Bay (Hook Island) is a popular snorkelling site and is sheltered from the wind. Blue Pearl Bay is another favourite for families. Recently the Ngaro underwater marine sculpture trail has opened around the Whitsundays Islands which the kids will love!
- Buy a waterproof camera. It's a great investment that will provide children (and adults) with endless entertainment and precious memories to treasure forever.
- Remember that there are many islands and land based adventures to be had when you charter in the Whitsundays. Secluded beaches, waterfalls and rainforests, hiking, seeing the Ngaro artwork from Nara Inlet and spending a day or two soaking up the resort facilities at Hamilton Island are all activities to be enjoyed.
- Take board games so everyone can have a laugh in the evening. There are the old favourites like Uno and Monopoly (Look at Monopoly Deal for a compact size), but did you know that modern boardgames really take entertainment to a new level. Check out these games to make your family evenings loads of fun: Telestrations, Rollick and/or Reverse Charades, Catan and Exploding Kittens (yes, that's the name of a board game!)
Many of our chartering families travel with younger children and they often ask us for safety tips. Like any travel involving younger kids, it is important to set a few safety rules for travelling on a yacht. We recommend you read this post for guidelines on travelling with kids of all ages, particularly crew members in the under 12 age bracket.
Taking your family on a yacht charter is an amazing experience. You will not only give your kids a holiday full of adventure, but you will also be giving your family time together, away from the business of life in a tranquil and breathtaking place. As the old people say, when you get to the end of life you will not be looking at what you have accumulated, you will be looking at how well you lived and loved. Giving your family time and experiences, especially while the kids are young, is the greatest thing you can do for your kids.