Even though summer is behind us, by no means are activities like yachting off-limits. Going on a family cruise in the winter can be an exciting and unique experience. However, bringing kids anywhere can be a handful, let alone on a safety hazards-ridden trip, such as winter yachting. Not only do you need to worry about keeping your children safe and entertained but the weather conditions can further complicate things. If you wish to find out how to handle this kind of family trip, check out these tips to ensure you have a carefree adventure.
Be mindful about safety
When taking your kids on a boating trip, it’s imperative that safety comes first. Some yachts provide kids’ size life jackets but it would be best to buy life jackets for your children and have them try them on. Then, you can make sure that the lifejacket fits them comfortably, making them less likely to want to take it off. Another vital safety measure is having a safety net installed on the yacht. Even though this will help ease your mind, parental supervision is still necessary. Apart from these essential safety precautions, the key to ensuring safety on the boat is to teach your children about all the possible dangers, such as falling hatch covers. Despite having your safety plan in place, accidents can still happen, so don’t forget to pack a first-aid kit. You will need medicines as well, in case someone gets seasick or starts coming down with a fever.
Choose an appropriate yacht
Given that your whole trip will be taking place on a yacht, it is essential to pay special care to choosing an appropriate one. The array of options can sometimes be overwhelming, so knowing what to look for when searching through yachts for charter is crucial. After selecting the location, the first thing you should decide on is your price range, so you can narrow down your search to the yachts that match your budget. The next step is to decide between a motor yacht and a sailing yacht. While both options have their pros and cons, a sailing yacht might be a safer choice for family winter yachting, due to slower speeds, and the fact that you don’t need to fear a yacht engine failure. Furthermore, this is a great option if you’re on a limited budget as sailing yachts are cheaper. Lastly, you need to take into account how many cabins you need and whether you desire that the charter includes a crew. This decision depends on the length of your journey and the age of your kids.
Prepare for the cold
Undoubtedly, the biggest challenge when it comes to cruising in the winter is staying warm. It’s recommended to wear multiple layers instead of a single thick one, because the air gets trapped between the layers, thus generating warmth. Outer layers, such as jackets and pants, should be windproof and waterproof. Bring a change of clothes, especially for the little ones, so they don’t freeze if they get their clothes wet. Furthermore, being exposed to cold temperatures brings a risk of getting frostbite. Thus, the entire family should be covered as much as possible, wearing a beanie, scarf, and ski gloves. Protect your feet with winter socks and waterproof boots. Apart from clothing, you can ensure everyone stays warm by bringing warm drinks, such as tea and hot chocolate, in a thermos. Regarding food, the most practical choice would be meals that can be reheated.
Ensure fun for all
A family adventure is a success if everyone ends up having fun. The last thing you want is for your kids to be bored, making them more prone to causing trouble. Since there will be no swimming on your charter, you need to find other ways to occupy your children’s attention. This would be a perfect opportunity to teach your kids about boat-related topics. Instead of boring them with theory, make those lessons as interactive as possible. There are various tasks you can assign to them, depending on their age and interests. Younger kids can pretend to be stewards, bringing snacks and drinks. The older ones can learn how to operate a boaters’ GPS, and use the radio to call upon the Coast Guard. If your kids have an affinity for biology, you can observe and talk about water animals. Also, due to the cold, spending some of the time inside the cabin is inevitable, so be prepared to play various games. You can always opt for the widely-adored board games, like Uno cards or Pictionary. If you’re looking for something to fit the boat trip theme, games like Shark Bite could be a better fitting choice. If these don’t manage to keep your kids’ attention, you can always get creative and come up with a game on the spot.
All in all, yachting in the winter can be a fun, unusual adventure for the whole family. Keeping in mind the obstacles that can arise and preparing accordingly can assure that the whole family stays safe while enjoying this exciting new experience.
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