Why Chartering a Yacht in Croatia will be Your Best Family Holiday

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by Tash Pericic,

Looking to book your family holiday? Here’s why you should consider chartering a yacht in Croatia for your family holiday.

Families. Funny things aren’t they. Sometimes we love ‘em, sometimes we love to hate ‘em. Let’s face it, the majority of our families are all a little dysfunctional or I like to call it – beautifully chaotic. We all long for quality time, while perhaps simultaneously dreading it.

The stress of organising such a holiday, combined with travelling to get here, then the thought of all being in a confined space for an extended period of time may seem a little daunting, which is exactly why I wanted to write this piece.

When I worked as a hostess on a yacht, I saw a lot of families come onboard; all from different corners of the globe, different cultures, nationalities, different family make-ups…

Some families were with ‘grown-up’ children, maybe they came from the states and all had high-intensity jobs – I could literally see the weight of the world on their shoulders and feel the energy of the busy New York City streets emanating off of them.

Other parents rushed behind their young children who had already eagerly climbed the gangplank and come rushing on the boat, fingerprints quickly smudging all of our polished surfaces…

No matter how they boarded, they all had one thing in common, well two – they were of course, family AND nobody quite knew what to expect. There was always a combination of excitement, mixed in with nerves, apprehension and mild dread.

I am not going to go into ‘How’ to organise a family holiday (I will save that for another day), but I did want to share with you what I saw over the space of a week. So, here is why chartering a yacht in Croatia will be your best family holiday.

There is No Escaping

This sounds like a negative doesn’t it (or maybe even a punishment)? But the truth of the matter is, you are on a boat together – together being the key word. There is nowhere to escape to and sometimes, heaven forbid, the wifi may not work, which means there are no distractions either. So, spending time together, swimming, eating, laughing, drinking. Or spending time ‘apart’ – each quietly relaxing in your own sun loungers; whatever the case. You are near.

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Adventures and New Experiences

There is perhaps nothing as strong as bonding over shared adventures and new experiences. While some families simply relished being on a boat and watching the coastline go by, others got out and about together – climbing up to forts and fortresses, biking around National parks, kayaking into abandoned military tunnels, jet skiing… we even got one whole family all up wakeboarding for the first time! At the end of an adventure, you can be sure that everyone shared with me how they felt about it and there was just no containing the excitement they had over completing a hike or learning to wakeboard, nor was there any way the parents could hide their pride in their children, or even themselves. It was truly humbling to watch.

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Getting Taken Care Of

This may be a bold statement, but in 99% of the cases it was true – I saw mothers, getting to relinquish some of the household duties and responsibilities for once. With a chef on board, crew to clean and make the rooms every morning, a captain to set the itinerary and in our case – a hostess to organise tours or book restaurants, the mothers’ ‘need’ to be everything lessened. For once they could enjoy the fruits of the holiday along with everyone else.

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Quality time

Similar to ‘no escaping’. Being all together, on a boat really encourages quality time. I watched ‘grown-up’ children sitting around a table after dinner playing board games with their parents (something I am almost 100% sure they don’t do back in New York), grandchildren swimming with their grandparents – a new youthful exuberance taking over the grandparents. I had one mother in particular come up and tell me that ‘this one holiday is so special because it is the most time they spend together all year.’ Touching.

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Really Unwinding

Like I said, the first day or two, people still carried the stresses of their day-to-day lives or jobs with them; but guaranteed, by day 3, the layers of stress anxiety and pressures began to melt away. It happened right in front of my eyes, I saw people truly begin to unwind and let go. It was somewhere in between the realisation that they were in one of the most beautiful destinations in the world and that there was absolutely nothing they needed to do. Breakfasts began a little later each morning, swim-stops lasted longer and siestas became more frequent. With no major decisions – besides:

  1. Where should we go today (even this can be left to the captain)
  2. What do you want to do (again, no answer necessary)?
  3. What time do you want to eat?

And

  1. What would you like to drink?

The word holiday, finally began to hold some meaning.

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Bonus: If You are Lucky, the Crew will love to help entertain your children

Now, this isn’t a given, but it just so happened that on the yacht I worked on, as a crew, we all adored children. Which meant that even though there was a lot of family bonding going on, sometimes we stepped in to entertain the kids, to let the parents relax that little bit more.

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The Best Family Holiday

I make no exaggeration when I say that almost every, single family stepped off our boat after having told me that this was the best experience of their lives. One mother came up to me, almost in tears, saying it was the most relaxed she had ever seen her husband – that he switched-off from work for the first time ever. Children from different families confessed the same to me (one of the greatest joys of being a hostess is that people really open up to you).

In the modern day and age, families spend a lot less time together – whether because of work, or distance; unlike in Croatia where the family unit is still very strong and most can shout out of their apartment window in any direction at an Uncle, Aunt, Grandparent or cousin… most of us aren’t so lucky.

To spend an uninterrupted week together on a boat, in one of the most beautiful destinations in the world, is really the perfect setting to bring families closer together. I could say so much more, but out of privacy and respect (for keeping some special moments between family, special) I won’t. All I can say is, every family left with a little more colour in their skin, glow in their cheeks (from the Mediterranean diet), a small weight off their shoulders and fond family memories that will forever be interwoven with the Croatian coastline and turquoise waters.

So, what are you waiting for, when are you coming sailing in Croatia for your family holiday?

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