Surf Travelling Family
Why going on surftrip with your family is a great experience !
When one decides to go on a family trip to surf, we are often first concerned by selecting the destination and accommodation and the most suitable surf school for children, if needed. If you decide to hit the road, you will prepare the route, scratching your head in front of a map. Thinking of all the aspects related to comfort, to organization, important elements of course, we often forget that they are the hiden face of the golden iceberg, filled with enrichment and self development simply generated by the fact to be at least all together !
We get ready all together
It is essential to involve all family members in the trip, several months before departure. Everyone will do his research on his smartphone, tablet or computer on his own, about 2 or 3 proposed destinations. Then debrief and brainstorming in the living room, installed on the couch or during mealtime. Mom will note in a document on her computer all information and notes of each child. You will be surprised of the findings and their vision of the destination.
No matter the distance, weather, if the room is large or if the hotel is luxurious, these are primarily parents's stuff. Usually, children do not care, their only concern is the action in the water, on the beach and discovery...
Therefore do not focus on one country, although of course it is important to find an original destination. If a country is overbooked or too far for just one week stay, or it's rain season, do not sulk, just try to go elsewhere. Your kids won't blame you, they will ask you always the same question : Are there good waves ? Are there other kids around ? The surf school look real cool ! Whether they are toddlers or teens, do not worry, they will accommodate and live their journey, as long as you are the guides and give the tempo of this Surf Trip.
No matter if teens are upset by the nightlife at the hotel and the number of girls they might meet during surf lessons, if toddlers does not want to stay alone with parents and stomp to go to the water with elders, when mom would hardly rest for two hours around the pool without hubbub, and if dad is complaining about the waves season wich is not on your vacation dates, you'll be TO-GE-THER !
Watch with them the videos of surf spots on the web, but also reports on culture, original and fun topics that will motivate them for the trip. Enter the premises or stages of the journey on a map of the country. Make a detailed update about the route from the place of departure, then take the map with you on the trip. They will be able to follow the path of the different regions visited and understand the distances and points of interest nearby.
It's my roadbook !
Let's each of them take ownership of the trip and transcribe the items in his personal road book. Of course the toddlers and the girls will be more conducive to this type of exercise. Teens, blah ! Entrust them rather your GoPro camera, they will be in charge of video production and social networks news about their last session in crazy waves - Important rule : no smartphone (in addition they will blow their mobile phone credit) or tablet or laptop during the day (be firm, even if it rains). Authorization for dinner and only for the Road book. Limit the use so you can spend the evening with the family. Give toddlers their own small waterproof camera (you can find now cheap models or secondhand on the web. It will also be useful for their other photos)
Take a phrasebook and download a voice translation app on your smarphone, fun and practice to learn a language under the coconut trees. With local surfers, the hotel staff or the surf school, teach them local expressions related to the ocean and surfing through playing and singing. This is an ideal opportunity to share.
Everything can be used for their surf adventure roadbook : stickers, advertising flyer, kitschy postcards, packaging or local bottles labels, site entrance tickets, foil and dried flowers, bonded sand (avoid algae or other seafood, you would get some disagrements). Good old herbarium book and diary tradition must be maintained over generations of travelers. They will thank you when 10 or 15 years later, they'll find it in the midst of their books while moving with their girlfriend. You can even buy the book abroad, some are beautiful with incomparable paper, grain and color...
You should encourage children to draw, reproduce ocean, waves, surfers and even coloring them. This will better prints in their memory, especially if they invent words that go with it.
Okay, let me explain you !
Traveling is to be faced with other cultures, other realities, other lifestyles. Discovering that it is possible to live differently. Apart from a society only based on consumption. Exit the report to materialism.
First lesson : Teach them not to compare. Bounce on the fact that Western culture and our way of life is not the world's best or the one & only, since other live differently and are also doing well, even sometimes better...
Those 2 are lucky guys...
Take this opportunity to expand their open-mindedness, tolerance, patience and curiosity... Qualities wich are more and more difficult to put into practice at home.
When they'll see those rotten surfboards with which small local guy are bursting the waves, they won't claim you every 6 months to get a new board with John John Florence's shape. They will discover the pleasures of children who are true beach boys, just happy to be on the beach. Take this opportunity to discuss with your children and local surf kids, you will share good times.
Hey, let's go in the water !...
If children begins and take the opportunity of the journey to learn to surf, you will opt for accommodation into a Surfcamp including a school, or a hotel close to the local surfing school. The ideal is to take classes in the morning and go surfing with your children in the afternoon. Good to show your parents the tricks we learned with Pablito our hyper cool surfing instructor (of course much more cooler that if you were the instructor...)
Plan a daily family surf session on an easy spot where everyone will share good times. If they have new surfing buddies met at school or on the beach, let them go together in the water, just with no one else. Choose the right spot, in order not have a problem if your children do not have the required level.
Plan a boat trip to surf a remote place, but still on a safe spot. They will have their first impression of a wild Trip and mom will love watching them from the deck of the boat, ideal area for filming and send vocal encouragements.
If your kids surf level is higher, ensure that they do not take too many initiatives on their own. If your two 15 and 17 years old teenagers are excited by a sunrise session on a spot located at 10 km, with 2 young local surfers riding a scooter, plan to go with them, even if you just sit on the beach with your smartphone in the pocket of your boardshort, it's safer.
Draw me the world
A family trip is a great time sharing when children see their parents differently from everyday life, and the context of a neutral destination is a great stimulus to tackle thousand subjects about the world, ocean, nature, and make them aware of ecology.
We must show them the day live of young inhabitants, discuss with local surfers who will make them discover amazing activities, reveal them their approach of fishing, their knowledge of marine species, visit their village's school and share their lifestyle. Your teenagers will be jealous of these children who go surfing right out of school, but it will be an interesting debate to understand why and do not compare these lifestyles.
So good to be with you, honey...
Ok, everything is turned towards the children, but family also means parents ! Travel is an important step in the couple, when everyone is together.
There is a herd instinct, we are all together and we want these holidays to never stop, as we enjoy it so much.
A sense of calm, too, because mom is not worried about the remoteness of her children. She can watch them surf while enjoying her breakfast from the Surfcamp terrace.
This family cement help parents to be more relaxed and feel less vulnerable both. We forget for a while our superhero role, being carried away with cheerfulness to just frolic in the surf and under the sun with our tribe.
Forget your role of censor and get into the skin of your child or teen at the same age. You have the right to make big jokes, amaze children by playing in the surf, everything seems allowed and your lover will feel a lively relationship, therefore closer, wich might be good for your couple !
Beware though, a family trip should not be the excuse to escape or a way of solving your own problems. Do not go in this direction.
Where to Go ?
If your tribe is heterogeneous in terms of age (eg, 5, 9 and 14) or if you go with a single child, your approach should be considered differently.
With a single child, especially if he is more than 10 years old, you can hit the road and opt for a mobile surfing trip. Easier to lodge three people rather than a whole tribe.
If you only have teenagers (eg 13, 15 and 17) choose surfcamps packages for the entertainment at night and a surf school nearby so they can make friends.
If you are more than 5 with toddlers, you might consider renting a villa, interesting price and you'll feel comfortable (In Bali, the villa renting often provide services as nanny, baby sitter cooker ...)
The Classics :
The Canary Islands : A must for families, 3 hour flight, heat and sun in winter, waves with varying levels (prefer Fuerteventura because of sand spots for beginners), surf schools, no jet lag, sanitary conditions as in Western Europe.
Morocco : Perfect for a first family surf trip. scenery, waves of all types, including for beginners, surf schools, kite, 2,5 hrs flight and no jet lag.
Portugal : Ideal from May to October, do not go there in winter. Low prices, scenery, all types of waves, surf schools. Villas for rent, affordable budget.
A little further...
Senegal : Exotic assured. Surf school, surf camp accommodation.Warning, not ideal for children under 10 years. An original trip 5 hours flight from Europe.
Dominican Republic : Heat, exotic waves of all types, surf schools, plenty to discover. 7 hours jet lag and flight.
Brazil : Land of the 2014 surfing world champion ! Miles of beaches and spots, surf schools, quality accommodation and an enchanting destination, not so far from europe actually.
Costa Rica : Standard of living and very healthy conditions. Landscapes, waves at all levels and surf schools. Wide selection of accommodations
Bali : More flight hours (around 10 hours) and jetlag (8 hours), but a legendary destination in the minds of young surfers. Choice and quality of accommodation, beachbreaks to start or have fun, trips to other possible surf spots and the charm of a South East Asia destination.
Going on a family trip is an extraordinary moment that must be seized without delay and to practice as often as possible, to give your children a taste of discovery and travel, forge essential links with your family. Your little darlings grow fast and soon will arrive the dreaded moment when they will refuse to go with you to the benefit of their friends, girlfriends or room mate...
So enjoy right away, and step into the world of children, drawn in by the fresh air breathe coming through the open door of Travel.
Working for several years in tourism in France and abroad, Jean-Hervé Cristol (aka Jean Révé) also has a large number of kilometer mark traveling around Planet Surf in search of endless summer waves.
In 2004 he created Destination Surf, the first agency specialized in Surf Travel , then Endless Summer a blog with tips, info and travel stories, in order to enjoy and share this rewarding experience with all surf travelers. → Learn more