Family Sailing Holidays on a Catamaran Charter in Croatia

Taking a sailing holiday as a family is something that has grown in popularity in recent years. Possibly the biggest reason for that is that every stage of such a holiday can now be booked online with very little stress or sweat involved.

That includes everything from selecting the place to visit to chartering a boat for duration of your trip. It can all be done very simply using the internet these days and the prices are a whole lot more reasonable than might be expected.

That just leaves you to decide where to go and what boat to take. Here we will look at why you should consider sailing around Croatia on a Catamaran.

Family holidays in Croatia

Set on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, Croatia is one of the smaller European countries and is comparatively undiscovered by the tourist trade compared with many others. It is referred to by the people who live there as “our beautiful homeland” though and once you have visited you will not find that motto hard to understand.

The country presents a particularly fine holiday prospect for families because there is something to please everyone there. Croatia has nightlife and historic sights to delight any adult visitors as well as numerous national parks and outdoor activities that will allow the kids to burn off their energy.

Exploring Croatia by boat

The single biggest reason to opt for a sailing holiday in Croatia is that you will not be restricted to one place. Chartering a boat means that you can explore much more of what the country has to offer, moving on at your own pace whenever you are ready. You can now quickly and easily charter a catamaran from Borrowaboat, a site that have a wide range of Catamaran boats to choose from while on your travels around Croatia.

The water surrounding Croatia is clean and clear as crystal and there are plenty of little islands that can only really be experienced properly on a boating holiday. These include Brac, with its white stone buildings, the scenic Maslinica and Hvar, which offers glorious food and wine that can be enjoyed while you bathe in its summer sunshine.

Of course, the mainland of Croatia also has plenty to offer families and taking a boat means that you can sample as much of it as you want. If you are looking for some after dark fun once the children are in bed, Hvar town is known as the Ibiza of Croatia for its nightlife revels.

Entertainment that is more child-friendly can be found on Paradise Beach. While some Croatian beaches are rather rocky, this one is very sandy and will allow the children to swim in the warm sea or build sandcastles.

The country is also home to several national parks that the whole family will relish exploring for the day.

Mljet National Park is the only coastal one and can be found if you sail to the island of the same name. Alternatively, if you want to dock the boat and go inland for a while, there are seven to be found scattered throughout mainland Croatia.

All of these boast lakes, rivers and waterfalls that the family can dive into, alongside canyons and mountains that can be climbed by those who are adventurous – and fit – enough! Croatia is generally blessed with beautiful weather during the summer, so it is likely that you will want to get outside as much as possible during your family holiday there.

It is a country of fascinating sights like the Museum of the Krapina Neanderthal that is full of fascinating technology-based exhibitions detailing the birth of humanity. Its interactive, cutting-edge displays will delight children of all ages.

The sort of boat to take to Croatia

As you can see, there are plenty of good reasons to take your family on that sailing holiday to Croatia, but that still leaves the question of what sort of boat to charter. There is no shortage of boat types available, but a Catamaran offers many advantages.

One of the biggest of these when sailing with small children is that a Catamaran does not heel, unlike other boat types such as Monohulls. Heeling means when the boat tips to one side or the other, either due to wind in its sails or weight, and it will greatly increase the likelihood of seasickness in children or anyone who is not that familiar with the water.

The luxury that a Catamaran provides compared with other boats is another major argument in its favour. The size means that the cabins are apart from each other, affording a lot more privacy than other types of boats – which is essential if you have teenagers in tow.

Many Catamarans also offer clear separation between sailing and relaxing sections, so the family can sunbathe or lounge on board away from any crew that are helping to sail the boat.

Croatia is beautiful and there is no finer way to find that out than by taking a relaxing sailing holiday there with your family.

It will let you explore the peaceful islands off the coast, swim in the blue Adriatic Sea and stop off at points of interest.


10 Best Family Resorts in Florida

Florida is known as the Sunshine State for a good reason! It has two coastlines, year-round warm and pleasant weather, tropical islands at the Florida Keys and a dream family theme park at Walt Disney World.

Florida is a large state, with a ton of family-friendly resorts around to cater for all visitors. Whether you’re going to Walt Disney World or Epcot, or you’re looking for a beach lover’s holiday in Miami, there are a lot of family resorts in Florida to suit your budget and holiday needs. Florida’s perfect temperature and variety of destinations make it one of the best family-friendly locations within the United States

Let’s start planning your next trip to Florida for a family vacation! Here are the best all inclusive resorts and top family resorts in Florida, and leading family resorts in the Florida Keys as well as Miami and Orlando. There are a few different price points included in keeping your wallet in check. 

See also Best Spa Hotels & Wellness Retreats in Florida

The best family resorts in Florida

1. Marriott Hutchinson Island Beach Resort, Golf & Marina – Stuart, Florida 

If you’re looking for family resorts in Florida that offer a fantastic summer getaway, you can stop your search right here. Not only is the Marriott Hutchinson one of the most underrated family beach resorts in Florida, but it is also only 6 minutes from the city centre of Stuart, Florida, about halfway between Miami and Orlando.

This exceptional resort offers three swimming pools, beachfront access, free parking, breakfast, BBQ facilities and outdoor picnic areas. Large rooms are available for prominent families and many outdoor activities such as swimming, cycling, water sports, tennis, and hiking.

The Marriott Hutchinson Island Beach Resort, Golf & Marina is one of the best all inclusive family resorts in Florida while being slightly off the beaten path. 

Book your stay at Marriott Hutchinson Island Beach Resort

Family resorts in Florida, USA
Marriott Hutchinson Island Beach Resort, Golf & Marina

2. Tropical Disney Villa, Haines City

Do you prefer your accommodation to be a family home instead of a hotel? Look no further than the Tropical Disney Villa in Haines City, midway between Legoland and Walt Disney World in Orlando. 

This large villa home features three full bedrooms, a private pool, a unique games room for older kids and countless hours of family fun. This unique villa is located on the Southern Dunes Golf Course, providing excellent views and a nearby clubhouse for a quick lunch.

The host has even provided a pirate-themed treasure hunt activity for kids to enjoy. We think this fully-furnished destination is one of the best all inclusive family resorts in Florida for getting quality family time on lock.

Book your stay at Tropical Disney Villa

3. Islander Resort, Florida Keys 

We know that travelling with family can become expensive, so Islander Resort in the Florida Keys is a great budget-friendly option. This three-star resort includes a dedicated kids pool, beach access and bicycle rental facilities.

This destination is one of the busiest family resorts in Florida Keys, as it offers basketball, beach volleyball, fishing, kayaking and even a hot tub. You can choose from a variety of large rooms for the ultimate family-friendly summer vacation in Florida!

Islander Resort is also one of the most cost-effective family beach resorts in Florida Keys.

Book your stay at Islander Resort

Islander Resort in Florida
Islander Resort in Florida

4. The Rosen Inn at Pointe Orlando 

It can be pricey staying at some of the official resorts at Walt Disney World. Still, there are a lot of other great all inclusive family resorts in Florida that don’t break the bank yet offer incredible amenities.

The Rosen Inn is an excellent choice for families as it offers a family room, kids playground, game room, garden, and indoor and outdoor swimming pools. It’s also pet friendly so that you can bring your entire household along on your next vacation to Florida! In addition, there are many local restaurants and parks within walking distance to the hotel.

Notably, The Rosen Inn is only 5 miles / 8km away from Walt Disney World, making travel accessible for families wanting to visit the world’s happiest place on earth.

Book your stay at The Rosen Inn

5. Walt Disney World Dolphin, Orlando

We’re pretty sure that if you’re a parent or relative of a young child, they’ll want to go to Walt Disney World while visiting Florida. Walt Disney World Dolphin is probably the most popular of all inclusive family resorts in Florida due to its sought-after location. 

You’ll be staying within Epcot in the Lake Buena Vista district of Orlando. We expect your family won’t be disappointed when staying here, as there are a ton of exceptional amenities to enjoy after you’ve had a full day at Disney. A dedicated kids club, babysitting service, family room, playground, and easy access to Epcot theme park are available.

Other notable activities for families include karaoke, an outdoor swimming pool, table tennis and a tennis court, mini-golf, a large water park, and so much more. 

Some of the top attractions to look out for when not staying at the hotel include Disney’s Boardwalk, Walt Disney World and the World of Disney.

Book your stay at Walt Disney World Dolphin

Walt Disney World Dolphin in Florida
Walt Disney World Dolphin

6. Holiday Inn, Orlando Disney Spring Area

Do you want to stay in an official Disney hotel at a lower price point than some other options? Holiday Inn Orlando Disney Spring Area is the perfect place to enjoy a family vacation.

The Holiday Inn in Orlando is one of the family resorts in Florida that offers a hot tub, fitness centre, games room for kids with an arcade setup and family-friendly restaurant. 

Get all this while saving a bit of cash on accommodation! You’ll find lots of entertainment nearby, such as Epcot, Sea World and the Magic Kingdom. 

Book your stay at Holiday Inn, Orlando Disney Spring Area

7. Dolphin Point Villas, Florida Keys 

Here’s another fantastic option for travellers looking to experience the beauty of the Florida Keys. Dolphin Point Villas in Key Largo, Florida Keys, is one of the best family resorts in Florida Keys. 

Each neat villa offers a modern beach house vibe, a shared outdoor swimming pool, access to a secluded beach and dedicated DVDs, books, music, games, puzzles and TV for children. 

You’ll also find a dedicated BBQ area and garden to sit in a while your family enjoys the summer sun.

Book your stay at Dolphin Point Villas

Family-friendly holiday resorts in Florida
Dolphin Point Villas

8. Southernmost Point Guest House, Key West

Perhaps you are looking for more homely family resorts in Florida Keys. Southernmost Point Guest House is an excellent option if you are looking for a classic abode in the Florida Keys.

This bed-and-breakfast features manicured gardens, an outdoor swimming pool, a large breakfast including a kid’s buffet, outdoor garden and picnic area, kids TV channels and easy beach access and views from some suites. 

It’s also only a 2-minute walk to the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, and Dog Beach is a 6-minute walk away. We think this is one of the better family beach resorts in Florida for bringing your pet along. 

Book your stay at Southernmost Point Guest House

Southernmost Point Guest House
Southernmost Point Guest House

9. YVE Hotel, Miami 

You might be in the market for upmarket family resorts in Florida. If so, we think you’d love YVE Hotel in Miami!

This hotel offers a fitness centre and cycling activities and is also pet friendly. It’s close to Bayside Marketplace and Bayfront Park, while Miami Beach is only 10 minutes away by car. 

The YVE Hotel is one of the family beach resorts in Florida that would be a perfect choice for older kids or teens who enjoy hanging out at the beach without constant supervision.

Book your stay at YVE Hotel

Resorts for families in Florida
YVE Hotel Miami

10. The Guild Downtown | X Miami 

If you enjoy a minimalist aesthetic, even down to your resort or hotel rooms, Guild Downtown would be perfect for you. I wouldn’t be surprised if an interior decor magazine featured these modern minimalistic rooms, complete with a clean, bright feel.

On top of that, this is one of the best all inclusive family resorts in Florida as there are an outdoor swimming pool, BBQ facilities, outdoor lounge area and sun terrace, movie night activities, table tennis, and yoga and fitness classes. 

Children of any age are welcome at this beautiful hotel. 

Book your stay at The Guild Downtown

The Guild Downtown in Miami
The Guild Downtown

Summary: The best family resorts in Florida

Whether you’re going to Miami, Orlando, or even family resorts in Florida Keys, there are a lot of great family beach resorts in Florida to discover.

Bear in mind that the age of your children will impact the most suitable resort for your family. It would help if you considered a hotel with more children’s entertainment for younger kids, while older kids and teens won’t need as much of this. However, you know your family best – so choose wisely. 

We hope you have a fantastic family vacation during your next trip to one of many family resorts in Florida!

For more tips on visiting Florida, check out these posts:


Corcovado National Park Hike: A Jungle Hike for the Whole Family

Kids and adults love a good adventure!

If your planning a family getaway that will excite the kids and amaze the parents, Corcovado National Park on Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula is sure to delight everyone.

It’s exciting for families to explore the heart of a tropical jungle together, and to see exotic wildlife in it’s natural habitat.

One of the things to do in the park is to do a Corcovado National Park hike.

This blog post shares our experience of hiking in Corcovado National Park with kids.

Corcovado National Park hike, Costa Rica
Corcovado National Park hike

About Corcovado National Park

The Corcovado National Park is located on the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica. While the park is one of the more remote in the national park system, Corcovado provides excellent wildlife viewing opportunities. 

Flora and fauna in the Corcovado N.P. 

National Geographic called Corcovado National Park the “most biologically intense place on Earth” and this is no exaggeration. All four of the monkeys species found within Costa Rica (Mantled Howler, Squirrel Monkey, Spider Monkey and White-faced Capuchin) exist in large numbers throughout the park.

  • Two crocodilians (the occasionally large and saline tolerant American Crocodile and the small Spectacled Caiman) persist within all of the park’s major waterways, as do Bull sharks.
  • The Jaguar population within the park is the healthiest in all of Central America, however it is still extremely unlikely for a visitor to spot one (most locals have never seen them either.)
  • Many other elusive cats call the park home as well, including the Puma (which is slightly smaller and more arboreal in Central American than in the United States, probably due to competition with the Jaguar,) Ocelot, Jaguarundi and Margay.
  • The park is one of the last strongholds of the Baird’s Tapir and there are hundreds within decent proximity from Sirena Station, usually found lounging in the shade or in shallow pools of stagnant water.
  • There are dozens of snake species present, many of them venomous, including the Fer-de-lance (also known as terciopelo or “Costa Rican landmine”,) the Bushmaster, the Eyelash Pit Viper, and the Coral Snake.
  • The largest snake within the park is the non-venomous Boa Constrictor.
  • Numerous other small mammals and reptiles are common within the park including, but by no means limited to, the White-nosed Coati, Sloth, Tamandua, Giant Anteater, Basilisk, and Ctenosaur.
  • Birds include the highly endangered Scarlet Macaw, the Tiger Heron, Black Vulture and the Toco Toucan, among hundreds of others including the critically endangered Harpy Eagle.

Getting there by bus

Regular bus service is available to Puerto Jimenez. Passenger truck service from Puerto Jimenez to the southern entrance at Carate occurs on a biweekly or greater basis.

The journey generally takes between 3-5 hours by road depending on weather, traffic conditions. 

Getting there by 4WD

All roads on the Osa Peninsula exhibit the disrepair characteristic of Costa Rica outside of the main tourist destinations. The road from Puerto Jimenez to Carate require a 4WD vehicle as it is a gravel road with several required river fordings.

It is recommended that this drive should only be attempted during the dry season. Note that Carate is next to the beach. Take care not to pass Carate as it is poorly marked. Parking is available by paying the store/bus stop which is Carate.

4WD Taxis are available for the passage from Puerto Jiminez to Carate. They are easy to find on the main strip of Puerto Jiminez. 

Fees and permits

Permits must be reserved in advance. You must have a permit to stay overnight at Sirena. In practice, the Park often allows campers with their own food to enter without advance reservations and prepayment, but during busy times of the year even the camping areas are filled, especially Sirena Ranger Station.

Sirena is the only ranger station that offers dormitory lodging and hot meals in addition to camping. La Leona, San Pedrillo, and Los Patos offer only camping with no food service.

It is possible to secure park permits directly from the Ranger Station in Puerto Jiménez. They also do accept credit cards now (visa/master).

Corcovado National Park Hike

Hiking in the tropical rainforest together as a family can help to build a foundation of love for the outdoors and create family experiences that will be remembered over a lifetime.

Hiking in the tropical rainforest jungle with kids and young adults is different experience than with a group of only adults. Kids hike slower, their perspective is from a place closer to the ground. Kids are curious and have many questions about the new environment. There is a real joy in discovering the jungle from a young persons point of view.

The most important consideration in undertaking a long hike with children is to keep them engaged and interested through out the hike. One great way to keep them engaged is to keep a list of all wildlife encountered, and then to review the list together over dinner.

Related Read: Bird Watching Tips for Costa Rica

Both kids and adults will be amazed at the number of different species that they found in the forest. There are many games that can be played on the trail together to keeps kid’s engaged, another good one is to pick a letter and search for things in the jungle that start with that letter. For example, the letter is M, and they spot Macaw, Monkey, Motmot, Morpho, etc. 

It’s important to remember that kids and young adults have different abilities and stamina and parents need to honestly assess if it’s both physically and psychologically possible for their child to make a major multi-day hike to Corcovado’s Sirena Biological Station or if a shorter day trip is more appropriate. Evaluate your child’s ability to walk on their own for 6-8 hours, and be sure your kids enjoy hiking and exploring.

Corcovado National Park hike details

The best seasons for doing the Corcovado National Park hike are the dry season from mid December through April and the beginning of the Green Season in May, June and July. From mid August through mid November is the thick of the rainy season. The park is closed in October due to inclement weather. 

Park reservations are necessary to enter the park, even for day trips, so be sure to arrange your reservation through the park office or your guide before hand. 

Two great hikes for families into Costa Rica’s Corcovado National Park both start at the La Leona Ranger Station, accessed from the small town of Carate. A third option is to charter a plane from Puerto Jimenez to fly you into the park.

1. Day trip to Rio Madrigal for kids age 6 and older and adults who prefer shorter walks

This hike starts in the morning at the La Leona Ranger Station, and takes hikers 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) to Rio Madrigal. Along the trail, look for scarlet macaws, monkeys, morpho butterflies, mushrooms, and other flora and fauna.

While this hike can be made without a guide, guides are recommended as they can spot, share and explain the natural ecosystem and animals to the entire family. Bring a picnic lunch and your swimwear for a refreshing river swim and then hike back out to the La Leona Ranger Station in the afternoon.

2. Multi-day adventure (3 or 4 days) to Sirena Biological Station for kids ~12 years old and up and adults who enjoy serious hiking

This multi-day hike also starts in the early morning at the La Leona Ranger Station and takes hikers 17 kilometers (10 miles) from La Leona to Sirena Biological Station. Along the trail your guide will point out a wide range of flora and fauna from the forest floor all the way up into the rainforest canopy. This hike should not be made without a family friendly guide, as there are several river crossings and beach outcrops to navigate in collaboration with the tides.

Day one is spent hiking to Sirena Biological Station, the middle day(s) are spent exploring the network of trails around Sirena, and can include river swimming, waterfalls, and nature walks, and the final day is spent hiking out to La Leona Ranger Station.

3. Charter a plane into Sirena Biological Station

A third option for families not able to hike into Sirena Biological Station is to charter a plane from Puerto Jimenez (seats 6) to fly in / and or / out of the park. This option skips the day long hike, and offers amazing aerial views of the Osa Peninsula. The landing on the grass airstrip in the middle of the jungle is another experience you’ll not soon forget. 

Hikes along the La Leona Trail meander from beach to forest, so be sure to bring plenty of water (3 liters per person is recommended), a hat and good sunscreen for this expedition. 

Corcovado National Park in Costa Rica
Corcovado National Park

Tips before the hike

  • Get your kids outdoors often to look around for the small stuff – insects, fungus, birds.
  • Let kids participate in practicing their hiking skills before the big trip. 
  • Share maps, pictures of animals, insects and plants found in the tropical rainforest.
  • Express and share your own sense of excitement with your kids.

Tips during the hike

  • Bring plenty of snacks to eat and water to drink.
  • Give kids their own daypack or camelpack filled with water, emergency whistle, flashlight and snacks.
  • Emphasize fun: spotting exotic wildlife, funny plants, or river swimming is always fun.
  • Embrace the pace set by the kids, stop often to let kids rest, watch, and fuel up.
  • Take lots of pictures to remember the fun.
  • Let kids be kids and be prepared to change the plan if it’s not working.

What to bring on the hike

  • Plenty of water
  • Snacks for hike in / out
  • Hat & swimsuit
  • Comfortable lightweight clothing
  • Sunscreen & sunglasses
  • Closed toe, ankle high footwear
  • Insect repellent
  • Camera / binoculars
  • Sheets / tent for Sirena
  • Flashlight / other essentials

Related Read: Must Have Hiking and Camping Gear

More Tips for hiking safely in Corcovado National Park Costa Rica

Drinking water

The water at the ranger station is potable, but if you are concerned, bring some type of water purifier. The park recommends you carry 1.5 liters of water for the La Leona and Los Patos hike, but I’ve seen my guests drink this within the first 2 hours. Know your self and your water needs, dehydration and heat-exhaustion are common illnesses in the park.

Sunscreen

It’s recommended to use sunscreen, a hat, and long sleeved shirt on the hike from Sirena to La Leona. While much of the hike is through the jungle, there are long stretches along the beach that benefit from sun protection.

Insect Repellent

Recent outbreaks of Dengue Fever in Costa Rica are a concern. Currently there is no Malaria to be worried about. Also, bug spray helps with the sand flies and no-see-ums…

Solo Hiking? No

It’s best to hike with a guide or a hiking buddy. There are several tricky river crossings and tricky rocky ocean/beach crossings that need to be navigated at low tide…

Don’t hike off-trail

Each year people try to bushwack their way to discovered areas of Corcovado, and each year the local community has to preform rescue missions to find them when they go missing. For your safety and the safety of others, it’s best to stick to the marked trails.

No Swimming

Crocodiles and Bullsharks rule the ocean here and love to swim at the mouth of rivers. In addition, the currents and tides are quite powerful.

River Crossings

Cross carefully and quickly, and never risk crossing the rivers at high tide or during heavy rain.

Snakes

Watch where you step and touch. There are Fer de Lance and other poisonous snakes in the region. Be especially careful around rivers and streams where they come to eat frogs, especially at night.

Ants

Seemingly harmless, their bites sting for up to one hour…

Peccaries/Wild Pigs

There are two different species of peccaries in Corcovado, the Collared and the White-lipped Peccary. They run in packs and can be very aggressive. If threatened by a group of peccaries, climb a tree until you are six feet or higher off the ground.

Is the Corcovado National Park hike worth it?

While it’s really a hike vs a stroll through the park, Costa Rica’s Corcovado National Park hike is an experience of a lifetime. Corcovado is home to 5% of the world’s biodiversity and has been described by National Geographic as the most “biologically intense” place on earth.

A trip into Corcovado will be a trip your family will never forget.


Road Trip amazing landscape

Road Trip Necessities: What You Need to Keep Your Family Sane and Happy

 

When you’re taking a road trip with the family, there might be times when you want to consider a vacation by yourself because no one seems to get along in tight quarters. With a little imagination, there are some ways that you can keep the sanity alive in the car until you reach your destination.

However, it might require a few miracles when it comes to communication between your children.

Road Trip Necessities: What You Need to Keep Your Family Sane & Happy

Feed the Crowd

Food can often keep everyone quiet, at least for a short time. Keep snacks in the car that are healthy and that won’t make a mess. Cheese sticks or granola bars are ideal to enjoy in the car instead of chips or crackers as these things don’t make such a big mess with crumbs and such. Make sure that you have a trash bag so that items don’t get tossed on the floor of the car.

Have Electronic Devices

Don’t forget to grab the electronics and portable chargers before leaving home. Children can play games while traveling so that they have something to keep their minds occupied. Another option is to install a portable DVD player for children to watch movies. Audio books are also an idea if you want to enjoy the quiet solitude of a car trip while catching up on a bit of reading that you’ve missed out on lately.

Turn the Seats Into Sleep Spots

Make the back seat a cozy spot for sleeping or reading. Put blankets on the seat and a few pillows so that it looks and feels more like a bed than a car. Kids can have stuffed animals so that they have something to snuggle up to while on the road. After stopping at the library for a few books, this is a perfect area for your children to read a book. A benefit of turning the back seat into what appears to be a bed on wheels is that children can go to sleep if you leave home in the early morning hours.

Use Fun Bags

To keep everyone from fighting over what to do in the car, each person can pack a fun bag. It includes items to stay busy, such as a book, favorite toy or even yarn to crochet for someone older. The bags can also include a few snacks. A disposable camera can be included as a treat to give everyone a way to take pictures.

Traveling as a family can be fun, but it can also be a challenge as you might not always see eye to eye. Keep plenty of items in the car to stay busy.

If needed, pull over to stretch the legs before continuing on the journey.