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Boating holiday with children

(10 Posts)
aod2009 Mon 25-Apr-16 11:54:21

We are thinking of hiring a cruise boat this summer with a 1 year old and 4 year old. Has anyone done this before with kids as young as ours? Any recommendations / tips? Would you do it again? Are we crazy? ! Please help as this will be our first time 😊

aod2009 Mon 25-Apr-16 12:23:08

This will be on the Thames by the way ..

mummymeister Mon 25-Apr-16 15:30:54

gulp!! well good luck with this OP. really think that if the one year old is mobile its going to drive you mad. they will need floatation devices on all the time that they are on the boat because even a steady 4 yr old can slip and fall in. it will take both of you to do the locks leaving the children unsupervised. its also quite limiting with what you can do on the way with little ones. I think its a great holiday when they are older and a bit more responsible but really not at this age. sorry.

idontlikealdi Mon 25-Apr-16 15:32:49

I think they're too young, it will be a nightmare. I wouldn't do it with my 4 year olds, no way!

aod2009 Mon 25-Apr-16 15:53:52

Thank you lady's I appreciate the responses. My 4 year old is very sensible and won't run around carelessly but as you say he could slip if the floor is wet etc so yes life jacket on from the moment his eyes are open I reckon. My little girl will be 1 in June and she doesn't crawl yet (late developer!) so I'm hoping she won't be that mobile by the time she's just over 1 in July . We are not hiring a narrowboat it's a cruiser on the Thames and our understanding is that the locks are manned on the Thames ... This is all my husbands reasoning but does this change anything? Is it still risky do you think?

AuntieStella Mon 25-Apr-16 16:12:37

Sod's law will mean that your DD will become self propelling just before this trip!

There are 45 locks on the Thames, and you need to check carefully if all are staffed and if so during what hours. IIRC, they all take lunch breaks and sometime the 'self service' sign is up even during times they would ordinarily be staffed (typically 9-9:30 opening to anywhere between about 4 -6:30 closing).

What would you do if locks were not staffed?

Can you check in advance if you can actually bolt your DC into a cabin if there is need?

aod2009 Mon 25-Apr-16 16:40:34

I'm really glad I asked and thank you to those who responded. There's obviously a lot we hadn't thought about. We can bolt the cabin and we will check the route carefully with regards to the locks and manning hours ... however I'm feeling apprehensive about it all now so I need to speak to the hubby and try and think of a different unique or exciting holiday that will be less risky for the kids but that my husband will still consider to be an adventure ! All ideas welcome!

AuntieStella Mon 25-Apr-16 17:03:44

Boating where there are no locks? Perhaps the Norfolk Broads.

But bear in mind that there are fatalities every year from preventable drownings, so your DC will need to wear life jackets every waking hour, and adults should wear them at all times when not tied up. Having a safety line so you can fish out D. Rapidly might be a feature to look for.

If all this has put you off water for now (sorry) how about a holiday in a horse drawn carriage? I've not been, but have always liked the sound of this and there seem to be quite a few places you can do it in Ireland.

TheSconeOfStone Mon 25-Apr-16 17:20:47

Having been on my in-laws moored narrow boat with DCs that age I would say no way. Really hard work stopping them from falling in and really restrictive for active little ones. I wouldn't consider it now at 8 and 5 as they would quite literally get cabin fever.

We camp or self cater anywhere with a pool and playground. Space and other children are the recipe for happy holidays with little ones (or maybe that's just my kids). We add some adventure by doing cultural days trips.

mummymeister Mon 25-Apr-16 18:09:33

adventure holidays that are adventures for adults are pretty tough when you have little ones. you could look at a Neilsons type holiday where they have a kids club and then you could go off and do watersports whilst they are being looked after. We started venturing further afield once our youngest was 8 as any younger than that and we felt it would be a holiday for us rather than them. there are quite a few specialist companies that offer bespoke packages for adventures but again the kids tend to be older. wouldn't suggest a safari either as there is too much waiting around for the little ones and it is too restricting. hope you find something to suit.

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