There are lots of different types of sailing, but essentially you are in a small boat that uses the power of the wind against the boat’s sails to move it in the direction you want. Like driving a car, sailing isn’t easy and it requires a number of lessons and the studying of sea protocols, before you could ever do it on your own. If you are a sailing newbie, and you want to experience what it’s like out on the open waters, booking a sailing holiday, where you are accompanied by professionals and can get approved lessons, is probably the best way to go.
Make sure they are legit
Safety should be your top concern with all activity holidays, and this becomes even more important when you are planning to take children on the trip. You need to really look into the holiday operator that you are planning to use, to make sure that their instructors are properly trained and experienced, and that their boats are regularly inspected. They must also fit you properly with life jackets. You can do some research on the internet to find out if any other families have had a bad experience. If you are going abroad, also ensure that they have instructors who speak good English.
What else is there to do?
Kids get bored easily, and whilst standing at the helm of a boat may be exciting at first, they will soon be looking for other things to do. Try to make sure that the area you are choosing to go to has other activities for children. There may be kid’s clubs, playgrounds or other sports that they can try. Choosing an area that has as much going on as possible, for all the family, will make sure that you are never short of anything to do. Don’t forget that you will need to stop for lunch and dinner too, so make sure there are places that will cater to your children’s tastes and are varied in what they offer menu-wise.
Bring some essentials
You are going to be out on the open water, and even if it’s not particularly warm, you can still get sunburnt; especially at sea. Make sure you have brought enough high factor UVA and UVB sun protection for your whole family and re-apply this throughout the day. It can also get cold and wet when you’re sailing, so pack some waterproofs and clean, dry clothes for your kids. Adults can cope with being damp and uncomfortable, but children can’t. See my previous post on more kid’s travel essentials for ideas on what to bring.
If you are looking to book a family sailing holiday, here are a few resources that could help – the guys over at familytraveller.com have written a guide to their Top 6 Family Sailing Holiday Ideas, and if you are looking to book a holiday, you could check out the likes of www.markwarner.co.uk for abroad, and www.devonsailingexperiences.co.uk for packages in the UK.