Boat vacations can be the best times of the summer so whether you’re planning a boating weekend or an extended holiday on the water, make a checklist for the best wakeboard or wake surf vacation ever.
Don’t pull out of the driveway before checking every item off this list.
This one seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many folks get caught up in the moment and rush to the water without a solid plan. Whether it’s your favorite lake for the weekend, or a weeklong road trip to all the wake destinations on your bucket list, create an itinerary for the whole vacation even if you need to change it on the fly later.
And keep your boat’s capacity limit in mind. If you’re bringing kids, plan for their needs and entertainment including potty breaks.
Make sure you reserve space at campgrounds or rooms at hotels well in advance. You may also need to reserve a spot at a launch ramp too, so check before you leave. Having the right reservations in place means you can let go of any worries at the lake.
As a rule of thumb, always let someone who’s not coming with you know where you’re going and when you’ll be back. They can contact authorities if you don’t return on time.
Prepare the boat which includes fueling up, making sure all systems are working, and loading emergency gear and equipment onboard (life jackets, fire extinguishers, first aid kit, flashlights, etc.). Prepare the trailer and tow vehicle. Check the breaks, spare tires, lights, etc. Make sure your vehicle, trailer and boat insurance, and registration are current. Check your on-water and on-road towing and assistance coverage.
Pack your boating license if your state (or the ones you’ll be visiting) requires it.
Check the weather before and throughout your vacation.
Pack all toys including wake or surfboards, water skis, tubes, tow ropes, gloves and more.
With the essential prep done, make sure you don’t forget the little things that make a big difference:
- A dry bag for your phone, wallet and car keys
- All necessary chargers for your phone, tablet or handheld VHF radio
- Sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, jackets, personal medications and towels
- Clothing you can layer to keep warm and dry
- Provision drinks and snacks for the time you’ll be on the water
Pick a first mate who will be your go-to helper for the day or the whole outing. Be sure to include key decision-makers in the planning of the trip to help manage expectations and include everyone’s must-do activities. There’s no substitute for buy-in.
Now it’s time for the fun part! Pick your playlists for the drive and for the water; get your crew to volunteer homemade treats to bring along; make your trip a unique hashtag to keep everyone’s photos in one spot—whatever else you want to make this the trip of a lifetime.
Whether you’re enjoying tow sports at your local body of water, exploring coves in distant places like Lake Powell or Lake Lanier, inviting friends for an entertaining cruise or all of the above, a vacation checklist makes everything go more smoothly.