When I was younger my family and I did quite a few lake vacations.  We skipped the normal summer routine of going to the beach and rented a houseboat on Dale Hollow Lake, Center Hill, or Shasta Lake for an entire week.  Just because you get a one week vacation does not mean you have to spend it in some tourist town’s bumper to bumper traffic.  I am going to help you with some ways you can plan an awesome, affordable, and fun lake vacation for this year’s summer vacation.

Your first item of attention is you need to invite the family.  This needs to be on of those, “Dad said everyone has to go”, kind of things.  Trust me.  The more people you bring, the more fun you will have.  The major difference in the lake and a tiny beach condo is that if you get tired of Uncle Rico, there is opportunities to just go walk into the woods or canoe away for a few hours.  The miles of untapped beauty allow plenty of space for everyone on your vacation.

For your lodging I will assume you have 3 options.  You can camp, rent a houseboat, or rent a lake cabin.  For the sake of me remembering my childhood lake vacations, I am going to assume that you are renting a houseboat.  Although all of these tips are universal and could be used for renting a lake house or camping.  Although I do not advise you try to dock your tent or fill your lake house up with boat gas at the marina.

So you have called your favorite marina.  You have the fold out brochure on the kitchen table, trying to decide, which houseboat is best for your family.  The main rule is that it must have a slide, and it must have an upper deck.  Beds, kitchen, living room, TV, and multiple bathrooms are all luxury items for this houseboat vacation.   If you are feeling sad mid-vacation about having to sleep on the floor, because you didn’t plan for enough beds, just take a ride down slide, and try not to smile.  It is a cure all for the lake vacation summertime blues.  This is a required item for your houseboat rental and summer lake vacation.

One of my favorite times during a houseboat lake vacation is the first day when all your gear is loaded.  The family is all together, and it is time to leave the dock.  The marina worker comes out to give a driving lesson for the 100′ + houseboat.  The funny part is this lesson lasts about 3 minutes, then you are on your way captaining a ship that is almost as long a football field.  No previous experience required.

Some additional items you can bring to make your lake vacation more fun are lake fun book, lake fun super vacation book, and any spare lake equipment that has been sitting in your garage for the past decade.  You will also need at least a john boat, paddleboard, canoe, or kayak so that you can get away from the main ship when someone gets annoying.

Location is key for planning your lake vacation.  I am not here to tell you exactly which lake you need to go to.  Take a map and draw a circle around where you live with a 4 hour driving radius.  One of the best parts of a lake vacation is that there are lakes everywhere.  We personally manage over 3,000 lakes here at Lake Fun so we know there is something close to you.  Not spending 3 days in the car on the way to your vacation will also be an added bonus so choose something close by.

What kind of food should you bring?  Just go to the store and fill up a huge cardboard box with everything you would like to eat in a typical week.  I also suggest you plan one day as a “Trapper’s Day.”  Make a rule where no body eats anything that you didn’t hunt, fish, or scavenge from the land (according to local laws, of course).  If you get hungry like Leonardo Dicaprio of the Revenant you just mind find yourself sharing a bloody animal heart with your family and a local Native American on the front deck of your houseboat, who knows.  If the “Trapper’s Day” is a bust at least you will loose a few pounds and look better in your swimsuit the next day.

We hope you have had fun reading our creative ideas for a lake vacation.  What other ideas do you have to make a lake vacation more fun?  Share them with us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Google Plus.

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