If you’re planning on spending Labor Day at the lake, you’re not alone. Last year, 37% of Americans traveled for the 3-day weekend – about ten percent more than in 2015. The increase in holiday traffic led to booked hotels and crowded tourist attractions.
Renting a Forever houseboat is an ideal way to spend a short holiday weekend. With marinas at Lake Powell in Arizona and Lake Mead on the Arizona-Utah border, residents in California, Nevada and the Four Corners states can reach the lake in just a few hours by car or plane. While recreation on major holidays can be tricky, extended weekend holidays don’t draw the same huge crowds.
Here are five ways to have a safe and easy holiday vacation on your houseboat.
1. Book in advance: Houseboats fill up faster than normal during summer holiday weekends, so call 1-800-255-5561 as early as possible. You don’t want to show up at the lake, sans reservation, only to find out that the only spots left nearby are camping on the hard ground! On the plus side, Labor Day’s intense summer temperatures can scare away many out-of-town visitors. Still, you’ll want to have your reservation in hand asap.
2. Start packing: Forever houseboats are equipped with cooking gear and sleeping essentials, but you’ll still need sun protection, clothing, bathing suits and recreational equipment. Have the kids start packing three days early to ensure everyone is ready bright and early on the day of your travels. (Note: If you forget something, don’t fret. Common items like sunblock and toothpaste can be found on your houseboat or in the on-shore general stores.)
3. Head up early: Avoid holiday traffic by leaving midday on Friday (or even Thursday night). Roads are generally packed with work traffic between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m., and again starting at around 2 p.m. Leave home at 10 or 11 a.m. for the smoothest drive.
4. Find a quiet cove: Want to rest easy? Stake out a quiet, secluded area of the lake as soon as you arrive. Pay attention to how many boats go through your “target area.” If traffic is light during the day at your beach or cove, that’s probably a good place to anchor for the night.
5. Pay extra attention: Holiday weekends can get crowded even when the weather isn’t ideal. Be careful when piloting your boat on the lake. Watch for small boats and personal watercraft, as well as swimmers. Avoid moving through crowded waters when possible. Vacationers feeling uncomfortable with crowds can usually find lesser traveled areas away from the lake’s major beaches.
With thoughtful planning, it’s easy to have a safe and enjoyable vacation on Lake Powell or Lake Mead. Stay in a Forever houseboat and enjoy the freedom of being on the lake, coupled with peaceful nights and beautiful views 24/7.
You’ll likely have company out on the lake during Labor Day weekend and other holidays. Luckily, that means extensive opportunity for you and your family to make new friends and enjoy group activities on the water.