Interested in the thrill of chasing waves together as a family? If so, you have come to the right place. Surfing offers a fantastic opportunity for families to bond in nature and create unforgettable memories. Planning a surf trip for the whole fam, especially with younger children, may seem daunting, but with these tips and tricks, you can organize a hassle-free vacation that caters to everyone’s needs, from tots to teens.

Family-Friendly Surf Destinations

Selecting the right destination is crucial for a successful family surf vacation. Comfort, convenience, and vacation plans are something to take into consideration when planning your surf trip. Look for destinations with welcoming surf instructors, comfortable accommodations, and easy travel arrangements. I am more than familiar with the struggle of finding a surf spot that has something for all levels and ages of surfers, so here are my recommendations:


Portugal offers diverse beaches and surf breaks suitable for all levels. Places like Ericeira provide gentle waves ideal for beginners, ensuring a safe surf experience for the whole family. I fell in love with Portugal’s relaxed atmosphere and friendly locals on my first visit. With numerous surf schools available, arranging lessons and board rentals is effortless.


Indonesia has plenty of islands and each of them offers a unique surf experience. Bali stands out for its awesome waves that are perfect for families and beginners all year round. Most surf breaks in Bali are located very close to each other, making it easy to surf different spots during your stay and picking the best option based on the surf conditions.

Head to Kuta, Seminyak, and Canggu for a variety of awesome breaks that suit everyone, from beginners to pros. Plus, with budget-friendly surf guides, sorting out surf trips, lessons, and board rentals is super easy


Is there a better place to enjoy a family surf vacation than the birthplace of surfing? Hawaii offers amazing family-friendly waves for all levels, so there is something for everyone: kids, longboarders, and shortboarders alike. Islands, such as Waikiki, have plenty of renowned surf schools, which makes booking surf guides and trips stress-free.

Hassle-Free Packing

Packing with the family is usually a hassle, which we all have experienced more than once, and it can make leaving for the vacation stressful. You don’t want to start your vacation with a sour taste in the mouth, caused by stressing about who packs and what. With these tips, you will make the whole packing ordeal run smoothly without a hitch.

Start by creating a list of essentials for your surf vacation, including surf swimwear, clothing, toiletries, and any necessary documents. Opt for lightweight and quick-drying clothing to minimize bulk in your luggage. We all know the feeling of packing multiple outfits, only to end up wearing each item once. The best space-saving option is to pack versatile pieces that can be worn multiple times and mix and match outfits, same goes for shoes. For toiletries, choose travel-size products. A pro packing tip I learned recently is to roll clothes, instead of folding them, to save up space.

Smooth Travels with the Family

In addition to surf gear and swimsuits, certain essentials are crucial when traveling with kids. While surf schools often provide floats, they may not be suitable for toddlers, so packing high-quality floats or life vests is essential for water safety. Don’t forget plenty of SPF 50+ sunscreen and zinc to protect against sunburns, as well as entertainment like tablets, coloring books, and snacks for long flights. Pack games the whole family can enjoy together between surf sessions to make the most of your holiday.

Surfing Safely

Traveling, especially for a tropical family vacation involving surfing, carries risks. Sunburns are a common issue that can ruin the experience, but can luckily be prevented easily with SPF 50+ sunscreen, zinc, rash guards, hats, and sunglasses. Hiring local surf instructors is wise for safety, especially in new locations. Choose beaches with certified lifeguards and bring a travel-sized first aid kit for emergencies, as remote areas may lack facilities.

With these tips in mind, you’re well-equipped to plan the ultimate family surf getaway. So grab your boards and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in the waves!