If you haven’t taken a houseboat vacation, take the time to gather useful information like amenities and check-in and check-out procedures.

It’s not as clear-cut as you might think, but with proper planning, you can enjoy a houseboat vacation that will be a fabulous experience.

How to Plan a Houseboat Vacation

The first thing you’ll need to do when planning a houseboat vacation is to figure out how long you intend to be during your vacation. Most companies offer choices that range from three-day to seven-day vacations. Occasionally, you might see a longer one or a shorter one, but these are pretty typical.

Possibly the best way to decide on how long to set a trip for would be to ask yourself if you can handle being with your guests for a certain amount of time. After all, there’s a reason that old saying, “houseguests are like fish that start to smell after three days.”

Truly, it depends on the amount of space you have to work within your rental. A larger houseboat would mean that there is more space for people to move around. A smaller houseboat would mean more time confined with each other.

The safest bet is going to be to either go for less time with a smaller boat or more time with a bigger boat. A good rule of thumb is that houseboats are similar to tents when it comes to capacity.

In other words, if a houseboat claims to sleep 10 with a maximum of 12, plan for 8 to sleep comfortably, much like you can really only fit four people comfortably in a 6-person tent.

Budget Your Money

It sounds simple, but the reality is that you need to budget money for a houseboat vacation, and you need to do it ahead of time.

It would also be a good idea to have the money paid for everything upfront before the vacation if you’re going to be going with other couples, families, etc.

Making the payment nonrefundable is a good idea, too, because if for whatever reason a single family backs out, then the group as a whole isn’t forced to pick up the cost. It will also make everyone accountable to be there.

Once you have the fixed costs like deposits figured out, you’ll need to estimate variable costs. That will include things like fuel, food, and any other fees. Remember that fuel at the marina will end up costing more than a typical gas pump.

What You Can Do on a Houseboat Vacation

There are plenty of things you can do on a houseboat vacation, but it really depends on what makes you happy.

For some people, the best houseboat vacation consists of quiet space and a few good books. For others, it means that jet skiing is the order of the day. If you’re not one for speed, then you might consider kayaking or canoeing.

You might even plan to do some fishing in the area. If you do, make sure you know the rules, restrictions, and other legalities, so you fish correctly. You wouldn’t want to get the wrong bait for the fish in the area, so familiarize yourself with the fish living in the water, too.

A Few Houseboat Vacation Destinations

Domestically, there are plenty of options for houseboat vacations. You can visit several different lakes and be able to have quite the experience.

Lake Roosevelt in Washington State

There are hundreds of miles of shoreline available to you. Because it is so vast, you have plenty of space upon which to navigate. The space makes you feel like you are on a river as opposed to a lake.

Lake Billy Chinook in Oregon

This lake is inside a canyon and is a popular houseboat vacation destination. You can go boating among the cliffs or simply float along the calm waters at the heart of the lake.

Lake Havasu in Arizona and California

Lake Havasu is uniquely situated as it is on the border between California and Arizona. This is frequently a popular destination for families and is found at the foot of the Mohave Mountains.

Taking the Plunge

Finding the perfect backdrop for your houseboat vacation is the first step. Planning and going forward with it is the second step.

Once you get there, you can create your own unique experience and build memories to last a lifetime.