Kauai has got to be one of the most beautiful places on Earth, and the boating here is fantastic so we’re sharing 8 tips about sailing with kids in Kauai because there’s a few things you just gotta know.
Not sure about you, but for us planning any kind of boating adventure in a remote vacation destination can be challenging. Kauai is one of those places with beautiful clear blue ocean waters, and they just beg for you to go sailing on them – and we’ve done it now several times. Add together the warm waters, clear sunny weather, amazing snorkeling, and the fact that a huge amount of the Kauai coastline can only be seen by boat, and there are enough great reasons to book a trip. In fact, almost all of the famous Na Pali Coast is not reachable any other way.
Here’s a few things we’ve learned from several times on the water now:
8 Tips About Sailing With Kids in Kauai
- Choose the right boat that offers the smoothest sailing. We’ve tried several boating companies in Kauai, and with kids along for the ride you just don’t want to take chances on a sketchy deal. Recently we sailed with Captain Andy’s Sailing Adventures for the third time, and had a fantastic experience without rocking and rolling if you know what I mean. They sail two huge catamarans, which are the most stable boats on the water. (Those inflatable rubber raft boats that bounce and roll with every wave? Yeah, never again.)
- Take the damn Dramamine. For all the times as parents we have agonized over “Should we take it?” “Can we get by without taking it?” “I think we should make the kids take it” and the ever popular “I wish we would have taken it”. Just take the Dramamine – if for nothing else the peace of mind it will allow you so you can just enjoy the ride. They make a non-drowsy version. And for that what-if moment, you’ll know you tried to protect your kids from feeding the fish. (I personally learned this the hard way in Mexico, but the locals taught me to make a great little drink to calm my stomach.)
- Don’t go downstairs. Believe me, going into the cabin is to hang out is a poor choice. Not only will you miss all the fun, but it’s more rolely poley down there – which brings us right back to Tip #2.
- Bring too much sunscreen. What is too much, you ask? There is never too much. You are going to be on a boat in the sun for hours! Slather on the Coppertone SPF50 before you leave your room, and then reapply it as soon as you get on the boat. You may want to put more on again if you go in the water. Remember that one girl you saw by the pool with the lobster skin who could hardly walk from her ridiculous sunburn? You don’t want that for your kids. Or you.
- Wear your swimsuit under your clothes. There really aren’t any changing rooms, and you are definitely going to want to jump in the water. Do you want to miss out on valuable time snorkeling with your kids while you struggle with a swimsuit in the very tiny cramped restroom? We snorkeled with sea turtles and all kinds of crazy colored tropical fish – the kids were so excited and I’m glad we didn’t miss a minute of it.
- Have your camera on you and ready at all times. We enjoyed fleeting glimpses of whales breaching in the distance, and very close to the boat we sailed with schools of spinner and bottlenose dolphins. So amazingly cool! Our iPhone photos turned out pretty good, don’t you think? Would have been a shame if we didn’t have them ready and charged up.
- Invest in an underwater camera. If you don’t have a GoPro or a waterproof case for your smartphone, you can buy one of those inexpensive disposal cameras just for this trip. The photos of underwater smiles on your kids is money in the bank. Whichever you choose, make sure it is charged (unlike me – boo hoo)
- Don’t be a wuss about getting wet. You will get wet, and a great way to teach the kids not to sweat the little things is to NOT SWEAT THE LITTLE THINGS. Ocean spray is part of sailing, and getting a face full of salt water is kind of fun – just laugh about it and you will dry off in moments.
Most of all, just relax and have a blast. No one is asking you to relive moments from the SS Minnow on Gilligan’s Island.