Once you have kids, it’s not as easy to jet off to far-flung shores in search of epic waves. But having a family doesn’t mean you have to ditch surfing holidays – or that you have to ditch the kids when you head off on surfing adventures. Over the last decade we’ve learnt quite a bit about surf travelling with children in tow. Here are some of our top tips for planning the best family surfing holidays:

  Travel plans

Where possible take a direct flight, with a swift, no-nonsense transfer to your destination. Spending days going to the back of beyond to score waves just isn’t practical. You don’t want to spend your whole family surfing holiday with tired and tetchy children, only to have to head home via another hella journey.

 Don’t rough it

Ditch the budget backpackers, spider-infested shacks and shabby rooms with dodgy fans and no mosquito nets. It’s time to splash out on classy surfside accommodation. Now you can yo-yo between the waves, air-con comfort and family-friendly facilities. Bliss. 


Make sure there are waves for the whole family. Even if you’re a pro on a hollow reef break, you want easy access to some mellow breaks, lagoons and tropical beaches. Then the whole family can enjoy the ocean and try surfing.


As a parent it’s important to relax on your family surfing holiday. So opt for somewhere where there are supervised activities for the kids. Or where you can hire a babysitter to enjoy a solo surf, spa session, sundowner or evening meal.

 Head for the sun

It doesn’t have to be the tropics, but your kids are going to enjoy the waves much more if they’re not freezing cold in and out of the water.

 Book surf lessons

Paddling out with experts who know the local breaks will keep you all safer in the water on your family surf holiday. And, if you can already surf, you can break out the back and catch a wave for yourself while your kids are in the hands of qualified instructors. Also, most children thrive in the hands of a surf coach because they actually listen to what they’re being told.

 It’s not all about surfing

Choose a location where you can pack in other activities and sightseeing. Make sure your family holiday is all about enjoying the destination and having fun whatever the waves are doing. Then you won’t stress out or get bored when the surf’s not up.

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 Just in case

Make sure you go to a destination where there are decent medical facilities and a hospital. Again, this is a good reason to ditch those off-the-radar destinations. On a family surfing holiday, head to locations where you know there’s help if you get into a scrape with the reef or another surfboard.


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