If you are looking for a relaxing but exhilarating holiday with your family that allows you to get up close and personal with nature, then a canoeing holiday is for you. Forget the traditional tourist route, and try exploring a new place by canoeing or river paddling. If you keep some of these thoughts in mind, your holiday can be safe and cheap, but also exciting and unforgettable.


Safety and Relaxation

Going on a canoeing holiday should not be stressful. If you choose the right canoe and location, you don’t need to worry too much about experience, safety, or physical exertion. A reasonable fitness level should be acceptable. Canadian canoes are wide, buoyant, slow moving, and perfect for river paddling. Kayaks, much smaller,  and lighter than canoes, are also often available for use. The speed and type of tour you would like to go on varies between leisurely and calm to something a bit more challenging. However, it is important to remember that large boats and motorized watercraft might also be navigating the waters and leaving large wakes, which lead to accidents. Therefore, make sure to look for a calmer river with fewer risks of accidents, and that the canoes made available are safe and of top-quality. Additionally, make sure to follow certain other rules while canoeing, such as wearing bright clothing, traveling in large groups, keeping an extra paddle for emergencies, and always keeping your life jacket on. If you have a tour guide, he or she will often be the one taking care of many of these issues. Often, other necessities, such as helmets, waterproof containers for stowing food, or buoyancy aids, are taken care of by the tour guide as well. Children under the age of twelve, unless experienced, should probably not attempt canoeing holidays.


What to Expect

Many canoeing holidays are often of the tour group variety. Other families will probably come along as well, but there is usually a maximum number of members in a party; you won’t have to worry about having too large of a group. Canadian canoes are the most popular type of watercraft for these holidays, and they sit two or three to a canoe. Canoeing holiday tours will most often involve river paddling, but many tours offer lake paddling as well. Either way, the speed of the water is usually slow and gently enough to allow for maximum sightseeing, so bring your waterproof disposable camera. Some tours, such as one in the French countryside, include hotel lodgings or other types of accommodation. Many, however, like those in Sweden, involve wild camping as their accommodation, bringing down the price significantly. Additionally, many canoeing holiday tours will include a tour guide in the price, but many are also self-guided, and therefore a bit more challenging for the average family. On a self-guided tour, it is important to pay attention to any instruction on direction or technique before you set sail, in order to get an idea of what direction to go, where good camping spots might be located, or how to correctly steer your canoes.


A canoeing holiday would be an ideal vacation for those who would like to combine adventure and exhilaration with beautiful scenery, leisurely activity, and quality time with family. Whether it is a relaxing drift down a French river, or an adventurous camping tour across Swedish lakes, you are sure to have an unforgettable journey on your canoeing holiday.