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27th March 2012

Houseboat Vacation May Be Your Best Trip Ever

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posted in Travel Tips, Getaways, Vacation, Family Vacations, water sports, weekend getaway, holiday, family holiday |

By: Cary Ordway

Is a houseboat vacation for you? Renting an “RV on the water” may turn out to be one of the best family vacations you have ever had.

There are boaters and there are RV’ers, but did you know there are people who combine the best of both worlds to plan memorable family vacations?

The houseboater is able to get out on the water just like the boater, but with all the comfort of a full-size upscale RV. The combination makes for an exciting yet relaxing vacation that is appealing to all members of the family.

First you have to understand that houseboats aren’t cheap. Chances are you’ll rent a houseboat rather than buy one, but you’ll still pay anywhere from $500 to $1,000 a day depending on the boat and especially the time of year. Prices are always much higher during the peak summer months in places like California and British Columbia where houseboating is particularly popular.

But another way to look at the cost is to amortize it - to figure out how much it would cost you to have complete accommodations for the same number of people in a hotel or other accommodation. A houseboat can accommodate a dozen or more people so let’s see - two people to a room, $150 a night per room - suddenly you realize that, for families, it’s certainly comparable in cost to other types of getaways. If it’s just you and your wife, well that’s another story.

Another big question that arises early in the discussion is: How do I rent a houseboat if I know nothing about boats? It’s surprising for many people to learn they don’t actually need boating experience to handle a houseboat. Some small boat experience will come in handy but, even if you’ve never been on a boat, teh companies can teach you the basics in just a few hours. They often provide DVD’s ahead of time to let you learn some of the basics before you even arrive. And don’t worry too much about docking - the rental attendants will take you into and out of the docking area. When you’re out overnight you’ll be beaching, which only requires you to learn a few basic techniques and doesn’t generally require you to be close to other boats.

So what’s the appeal of houseboating? Freedom. Once you get on your boat and are cruising up the lake you leave all your troubles and worries behind. Sit back and relax as the incredible scenery goes by and if you just want to sit in the middle of the lake, you can do that, too. Everything you need will be right at your fingertips including a full kitchen and living room area, bedrooms, bathrooms and often a hot tub and an elaborate entertainment system.

Some houseboaters will also rent a ski boat which offers the advantage of mobility — you can get to shore whenever you want and can have a lot of fun water skiing and boogie boarding. The big decks on top of a houseboat are ideal for sunning or just getting a 360-degree view of the scenery.

At night it’s a simple matter of selecting a suitable beach and gently driving your houseboat onto the shore. Your crew mates will help you secure the boat by tying lines from the stern of the boat to trees or stakes on the shores and you’re good for the night. You can cook up a big dinner, do a hike or two to explore the surrounding area, or you can drop your fishing line in off the stern of the boat and enjoy fresh fish for breakfast.

The houseboat vacation may be just what you’re looking for - an RV-on-the-water kind of experience that you and your family will never forget. It’s certainly worth exploring.

About the Author:

Cary Ordway is a syndicated travel writer and president of Getaway Media Corp, which publishes websites focused on regional getaway travel. Among the sites currently offered by GMC are, offering a California map of Golden State destinations, and, covering Oregon Coast vacation ideas as well as other Pacific Northwest travel destinations.

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