How to Enjoy a Houseboating Trip

So, you've decided to rent a houseboat, and you want to make sure it's an enjoyable trip. Since you will mostly be out on open water, it's important to bring everything you'll need, so you don't have to waste time going ashore or paying premium prices at a marina. You'll need to do a lot more planning for a week-long vacation, compared to a weekend trip, and it's important to coordinate with other families that might be coming along. Here's what you need to enjoy a houseboating trip.


  1. Image titled Enjoy a Houseboating Trip Step 1
    Review the houseboat's inventory list from the rental company, so you know exactly what you don't need to bring. Most houseboat rentals provide a well-equipment kitchen that includes pots, pans, dishes, glassware, flatware, cooking utensils, dish soap, sponges and dish towels. Sheets, pillows, blankets and bath towels may also be supplied.
  2. Image titled Enjoy a Houseboating Trip Step 2
    Make a list of household items you'll need to bring. This may include food storage bags, paper products, trash bags, laundry detergent, sleeping bags, flashlights, a lighter, a first aid kit, a camera, binoculars and various types of insect repellent.
  3. Image titled Enjoy a Houseboating Trip Step 3
    Plan the menu for three meals a day plus snacks and beverages. If more than one family is sharing the cooking, have each family buy the groceries for the meals they are preparing. You might designate one person to buy all the shared beverages, breakfast items and snacks, and then divide the cost and collect the money.
  4. Image titled Enjoy a Houseboating Trip Step 4
    Pack personal items.
    • Bring clothes that are suitable for the climate. If you plan on wearing a swimsuit most of the day, don't over pack. Pack a sweatshirt if you expect evenings and early mornings to be cool. PJs should be suitable for nighttime temperatures.
    • Think about toiletries you'll need during the houseboat trip.
  5. Image titled Enjoy a Houseboating Trip Step 5
    Bring everything you need for water recreation and fun in the sun during the houseboat vacation. This includes swimsuits, beach towels, sun hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, flotation devices and water toys.
  6. Image titled Enjoy a Houseboating Trip Step 6
    Prepare for bad weather and indoor activities during the evening. Bring board games, DVDs, CDs and other amusements.
  7. Image titled Enjoy a Houseboating Trip Step 7
    Take a fishing rod and tackle if you plan to fish. Make sure you have the necessary fishing license.
  8. Image titled Enjoy a Houseboating Trip Step 8
    Tow a motorboat or personal watercraft. You might consider renting this type of watercraft if you don't own one. It expands the water recreation possibilities, makes it easier to explore shallow areas and narrow canyons, or even stop by the marina for supplies.


  • If you are bringing a pet, don't forget to pack everything your pet needs during the houseboat vacation.
  • Even if the houseboat rental company supplies a cooler, consider taking at least one more for holding beverages out on the deck or on powerboats as well as for transporting ice.

Things You'll Need

  • Storage bags
  • Paper products
  • Laundry detergent
  • Trash bags
  • Sleeping bags (optional)
  • Flashlights
  • Lighter
  • First aid kit
  • Camera
  • Binoculars
  • Insect repellent
  • Food
  • Beverages
  • Clothes
  • Toiletries
  • Indoor activities
  • Swimsuit
  • Beach towel
  • Sun hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Flotation devices
  • Water toys
  • Fishing equipment
  • Smaller watercraft
  • Cooler(s)
  • Ice

Article Info

Categories: Family Vacations