This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our Affiliate Disclosure page.

If you are planning a family vacation near the Florida coast, you may want to consider renting a boat as part of the fun. Taking a boat to go water skiing, fishing or exploring for a great swimming spot can bring hours of fun while on a holiday. Here are some ideas you may want to consider before making that decision.


Renting a boat needs to be included in the vacation budget. Some research may be needed once you decide what type of boat you will need for your activity. Check to see what is included in the rental, such as life preservers, gas, dock fees and a first aid kit. Also, check to see what kind of amenities comes on the boat. Some may have coolers, deck chairs and a small galley. Different boat rental agencies will have varying prices for in and out of season, the size of the boat and the length of the rental.

Following the Law

Before renting a boat and proceeding out onto the water, it is important to check local and state maritime laws for boating. For instance, even though you’re on vacation, keep in mind that being drunk while boating is a crime. If fishing, check for a license requirement, as well as the local catch-and-release program. Nothing can spoil a vacation for the whole family more than fines or arrests for not following the law. Also, there are established boating ethics that should be observed while on the water, so try to brush up on what you need to know.

Things to Have on the Water

When boating, there are items you will want to have with you. You will need to bring enough drinking water for everyone, dry towels, food and a first aid kit. Sunscreen is a must as well, and everyone should bring a hat. Plan on bringing the equipment you will need for your activity, such as fishing poles, tackle, water skis and pull ropes. You will want to bring your cooler and ice if there is not a cooler on the boat.

Boating is a great addition to a family vacation. Plan activities for the kids, such as visits to beaches that will be great for having a picnic or grilling. Favorite cove swimming holes can be fun for the whole family. Be sure you have enough fuel for your boating destination and return, plus look for landmarks that will guide you back home.

Looking to save more money every day? Check out our coupon stash here!