Are Houseboat Vacations Fun? and ways to have more fun

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Houseboats vacations are a great way to spend some quality family time together. Of course you don’t just want to spend time together you also want to have fun while on vacation! 

Are houseboat vacations fun? How much fun your houseboat vacation will be is dependent on you and what you do while on board. There are tons of things you can do while on board to help you have a memorable and amazing vacation.

In this article I will cover some of the best things that you can do while on board your houseboat to make your vacation as much fun as possible. 

1. Explore

For many people exploring a brand new area is not only fun but also quite exciting. There is nothing that I love to do more when in a new place than to explore.

You can explore the shoreline, inlets, etc. with a kayak, jet ski or just by swimming around. You can explore the beach or nearby woods while you are on shore. You can explore the entire lake or river that you are on by moving to a different location every day. 

Having inflatable boats or kayaks on board will make exploring a little easier so you don’t have to move the houseboat all the time as well. 

Not only can you explore things on land but you can explore the underwater world around you. Using snorkeling or scuba gear you can enjoying viewing the new world that is a few feet below the surface. 

I love to get some snorkeling or scuba gear and a waterproof metal detector and see if I can find anything in the water. You can certainly metal detect on shore as well but there is something about exploring underwater while also looking for buried treasures that brings out the child in all of us. 

If underwater metal detecting piques your interest then you should watch the video below of some friends who go metal detecting in tons of places! 

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Metal Detecting Underwater for Buried Treasure While Scuba Diving! (Found Money & Diamonds)

2. Water Sports

When you are on the water you almost have to participate in some water sports. Many people have jet skis, kayaks, canoes, water skis, and more that they use to help make their time on the water more enjoyable.

Some or all of those things might be great of you have those items but there are tons of games that you can play in or on the water that don’t require you to purchase expensive equipment. 

The old standbys of keepaway, volleyball, basketball, football, and others take on a whole new level of difficulty when you play them in the water. There are many inflatable basketball hoops and volleyball nets that you can buy to allow you to have tons of fun while in the water without spending a fortune. 

If everyone on board is experienced swimmers than you can play in deeper water but even if they aren’t, setting up an inflatable volleyball net or basketball hoop in shallow water is still loads of fun! If the passengers are younger or not as experienced then you can alter the rules a little as well to make it a little easier. 

Of course water sports could be as simple as swimming or having races in the water. For younger children races on the beach or in shallow water works great! 

3. Toys 

There are certainly all kinds of toys you can use in the water. From expensive inflatable mountain climbing walls to simply using 2 liter bottles to make boats, the toys you play with can be as simple or complex as you like. 

One thing that people of all ages love playing with while on board a houseboat is an RC boat. In recent years they have made some really cool RC boats that can go up to 50 mph! 

Prices vary depending how big of one you want  but you can find some RC boats that go 20mph for $20-30 in many stores. If you are interested in learning more about RC boats you can find the answers to them at this blog.

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Of course there are a ton of toys that work well for different ages. Younger children will probably be happy just playing with floating bath toys while older children might enjoy some water fights or squirt gums. 

As we get older our definition of toys gets more and more expensive. Older teens and adults will enjoy jet skis, boats, and more. 

There are some really cool water scooters that you can purchase that will pull you along on top of the water or underneath while letting you enjoy the scenery on the other side of the waterline. Some of the better models have batteries that can last up to an hour before needing charged and they can pull you along at 4-5mph too! 

There are a variety of other toys and things that you can use while on board your boat. I wrote an article about the 13 best inflatable toys that can be found here. 

4. Fishing 

This is a pretty common idea but one that I couldn’t go without listing. Fishing is probably the number one activity that is done on every houseboat. From kids as old as 4-5 all the way up to retirees fishing can be fun for all! 

Having a houseboat means you can get up with the sun and hit the best spots without every having to get out of your pajamas! Then once the fish stop biting you can hop back in bed and go back to sleep for a couple of hours. 

Some of my fondest memories from childhood are of fishing with my dad and grandparents early in the morning. They used to come and spend a week or two with us every fall as we went fishing on the branches of the Mississippi. 

You can make countless memories with your children or grandchildren and you don’t even have to get up early and drive to the best fishing holes! Fishing is a great way to spend a morning waking up or an evening winding down! 

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Even if you don’t catch anything, half the fun can be watching the younger children react to the worms or minnows be put on their hooks or when they get excited to catch something and it’s only some weeds or a twig! 

They make some cool kids fishing poles now that are smaller and have some of the characters that the younger kids will love. 

Fishing can be tons of fun and once you buy the poles and tackle it’s a relatively inexpensive thing to do! There is nothing like watching the sunrise or sunset with a fishing pole in your hand! 


There are certainly far more things to do on board to have fun than just these few main things that I mentioned. I just wanted to give a brief overview to get your imagination flowing. 

The most fun part of a houseboat vacation is spending time with family and friends just kicking back and doing nothing! With a houseboat you don’t have to be doing something to have fun. You can watch others playing, or simply watch the water run by while enjoying the view. 

Ultimately how much fun a houseboat vacation is depends on you! If you don’t do anything but sit around and complain the entire time you certainly won’t have much fun at all! However, if you get out on or in the water with friends and family you are almost guaranteed to have some fun! 

If you need some other ideas of things to do while you are on board your houseboat you can read an article that I wrote that give 84 fun activities that you can try on your trip! 

As always,

Happy boating 

Matthew Robbs

I love the outdoors and especially spending time with my family. Whether on a boat or at the beach, my happy place is near the water.

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