Back view of father and son family sailing on a luxury yacht or catamaran boat

Life places numerous stresses on all of us, including our children, though often it’s them driving the rush in our cortisol levels. Nothing says relaxation in quite the same tone as the gentle, rhythmical swing of a yacht sailing across calm Mediterranean waters. Taking the family on a yacht trip is a great way to embrace three important elements of a dream vacation: adventure, bonding and, most importantly, relaxation. After a day’s snorkelling, exploring and sunbathing, the long evenings are free to stretch into long meals in the breeze and card games on deck to have some quality time with your loved ones. To make sure you come out of the family yachting vacation feeling rejuvenated and enriched here is some important advice.

Safety is clearly the most important – ensure the children understand the safety risks and agree to respect them while on the boat. Be sure to ask the charter company to impress upon your kids too for some extra authority. If you have toddlers make sure to enquire about whether extra precautions are needed and use them. Normal sun safety precautions become more important on the open seas, so ensure they have enough sun cream, water and shade throughout the day. Safety procedures will become routine once on board, but before that there are other considerations.

The type of boat you take will direct the type of holiday you have. Yachts come in all different shapes and sizes, some more child friendly than others – check with your charter company to see which is most suited to you. Consider how many bedrooms you might want for privacy and downtime. Another decision is living space – catamarans provide more walking and sunbathing space for the family to lie out, play board games or have picnics on deck, but they’re also more difficult to manoeuvre in marinas.

Marina at sunset
Marina at sunset

Choosing the style of yacht compliments choosing the type of holiday you want to have. Once there’s a plan forming it’s fun to get the kids involved. If they’re old enough even show them a map, draw a radius and let them pick an island or two themselves to feel more involved. Popular sailing destinations are often located with more easily accessible islands, so consider chartering a yacht, say from MyGreekCharter, within sailing distance of the Greek islands where family destinations are well known. If you’re going to be docking in marinas often to enjoy restaurant meals and organised activities for the kids, maybe a monohull suits you most. But if you’re after a more active adventure, you might be island hopping more and want the extra space on board.

Know what your kids want – are they water babies, who will be so wrecked after all the swimming that they crash at 9pm, or will they need some more stimulation with TVs, games consoles. Either way you’ll want to make sure your yacht has what they’ll need in the day and nighttime. This includes snorkelling equipment in kids’ sizes or even water pistols, water slides and other things kids love, so make sure to double check before you set sail. It’s essential to avoid anything that can cause whining or waste a day looking for what you didn’t know you needed when you should be relaxing.

The final part is the most financially dependent. If you have the finances to pay for it, you might want to free up your time by hiring a crew to accompany you and take some of the stresses of cooking or navigating off your own back. Each option has its own advantages that is really up to your own preferences. The most important thing is to be safe taking your most precious people with you. After that there’s not much to worry about other than which of life’s joys to embrace each day, be it savouring the Mediterranean diet, finding isolated beaches, or a simple family nap in the cool evening breeze.