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Sailing with children? An unforgettable adventure

Guide to sailing vacations with children

Have you ever wondered if there is a vacation that is both the best for children and parents? The answer is yes, and it is indeed on a sailboat!

The growing popularity of sailing vacations has brought more and more families aboard sailboats and catamarans for their vacations in recent years.

Today many children can experience what so many parents have probably only dreamed of: feeling like real pirates conquering treasure or princesses to be rescued on a remote island aboard a real boat! On board there is never a dull moment; there are so many things to do that getting bored for a child is virtually impossible. Depending on his or her ability and age, he or she will be able to contribute to maritime activitieshelp the skipper with various maneuvers, learn how to drop anchor, the art of knots, and course study. The sailboat is thus a great floating toy for all ages that will test the imagination and creativity of young children. 

Being on the boat is also the most exciting and safe way to live in close contact with nature and discover an extraordinary world, where the wind and the waves of the sea decide and everything must be experienced with respect for the elements.

The greatest satisfaction for a parent is seeing their children happy and having fun with them on board a sailboat, where every day is a discovery, will be a unique thrill.

Whale watching sailing cruises with WWF

Why take children sailing?

  • Sailing for children will be an adventure with a capital A, they will feel like real pirates!

  • A sailing vacation is the perfect opportunity for children to discover and learn something new 

  • Your children will be able to make new friends with the other children in the crew

  • The sailing trip stimulates their imagination and creativity

  • Children will be able to approach topics related to sustainability and respect for nature

  • Children will be able to discover a new passion: sailing and want to practice it even after the vacation is over

  • It is scientifically proven that the sea has benefits on children in particular. Click here to find out why the sea is good for children

An unforgettable thrill that you won't soon forget

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Tips for family boating vacations

The choice of boat: sailboat or catamaran?

The choice of boat: sailboat or catamaran?

The crucial step in organizing your vacation is definitely the choice of boat. Whether you opt for an exclusive charter or cabin boarding, deciding whether to embark on a sailboat or a catamaran is the biggest dilemma. There is no one suggestion that applies equally to everyone because the choice of boat greatly affects the type of trip and each family has its own needs. 

Starting with the sailboat is definitely the most common, often the cheapest, but also the most exciting choice. Rolling, pitching, and tilting are all part of sailing and are the most exciting moments. Sailing with the boat leaning can be a little anxiety-particularly if you are a first-time sailor-but you will get used to it quickly (especially children) and have a great time! On a sailboat you will experience the vacation as a real adventure!

The catamaran, on the other hand, is undoubtedly more spacious, larger cabins often with private bathrooms, larger dinette and cockpit, and more space for playing and sunbathing. The presence of more space is an asset and synonymous with greater comfort, more so for adults than for children. They, in fact, are not affected by the limited space of the boat as they are used to playing in small spaces, such as playhouses, tents and secret hiding places. When sailing, the catamaran certainly has a more balanced motion than the boat; thanks to the presence of the two hulls, it does not tilt, has no roll and provides more stability

The choice of boat is a personal choice, based on travel preferences, type of sailing and budget.

Choosing the itinerary and duration of the experience

Choosing the itinerary and duration of the experience

When you decide to spend a vacation with your children on a sailing boat, the most important thing besides the choice of boat is the choice of itinerary. When sailing with children, it is best to opt for an itinerary that includes many landings and the possibility of stopping easily in port. It is also important to choose destinations that are not too windy, where you can face calm sailing; for example, you can avoid the Cyclades during the Meltemi period and prefer Croatia where the sea is calmer. Finally, it is advisable to opt for itineraries with short sailings, thus avoiding long crossings.

The length of the vacation is also important. If you are on your first experience, you can opt for a day trip or a long weekend, so that children can become familiar with the environment, which is completely new, and adapt to the spaces and movements of the boat. Children settle in quickly and will be ready for a longer adventure right away. 

In any case, the skipper's advice is most important: he will be able to give you the right directions on how to organize the itinerary day by day with the goal of making sure you have a fun and safe vacation with your children.

How to prevent seasickness for children?

How to prevent seasickness for children?

Any adult who has never been on a boat will have asked the question, "If I get seasick, what do I do?"; and you know, when you set off with children the worry is twofold! But the truth is that the younger children are, the less they suffer. 

There are a number of tricks and remedies, including natural ones for young and old, that you can take. Before curing seasickness, you can prevent it by being careful not to let children travel on an empty stomach by having them eat little and often, especially dry snacks, such as breadsticks and crackers; the same goes for water, adding a few sips of coke or energy drinks, but without overdoing it; while sailing, especially in rough seas, avoid making them move too much, go up and down below deck, entertain them with games and activities while sitting in the cockpit. To these simple tricks are then added natural and other remedies. Among the natural ones, the best remedy for children are bracelets, which by pressing at a specific point on the wrist appease the feeling of nausea; or ginger in the form of lozenges or even better candy to chew or oil to apply on the temples. Finally, medicines that we recommend that you always keep in stock in case of an emergency are Travelgum as chewing gum, especially indicated for children 4 years and older, and Xamine, also available for toddlers, to be taken at least half an hour before setting sail. 

Last but not least...do not convey your anxiety and worry to children, but distract them from the trip by having them play and have fun while sitting.

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In sailing, playing is synonymous with learning

The feeling of freedom and adventure that a sailboat gives both adults and children is priceless and hard to find in any other experience. But there is more to sailing than that. 

Children ages 6 and up will have the opportunity to learn so much during their vacation. They will learn not only how to share spaces and games with others, but new activities they would not learn elsewhere. At 6 years old, they are old enough to take on a few more "responsibilities" such as steering the boat with the rudder, lowering the sails or lowering the anchor, always joined by the skipper. They will also learn how to steer the tender, one of children's favorite activities, and feel like real captains and an integral part of the crew

It will be a continuous discovery for them, a genuine way to learn while having fun.

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Travel stories

 

5 children, a dad, a mum and a skipper. Wondering what a family holiday on a sailing boat is like?

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