Whale watching has long been a popular pastime for those that live near the coast – and those traveling to visit coastal areas. If you’re thinking of going whale watching during your next day trip or vacation, here are a few tips for getting the most out of your trip:

Prepare Ahead of Time

For many people, whale watching sounds like a perfect family activity. While this is certainly true if everyone in your family is onboard with the outing, young children might not be fully prepared for the amount of quiet time spent waiting while watching for whales. Talk to your children before the trip so you can be sure they’re ready – and be prepared to bring something to keep them busy between whale sightings.

Children and adults alike should consider taking sea sickness medication before leaving for the trip, just to ensure the ride is as enjoyable as possible.

Pack Accordingly

A day at sea is a little different than a day at the beach. While you’ll need to wear sunscreen and sunglasses or hats, you may also need to dress in layers as you’ll be on the cooler waters and splashing or light showers may occur during your trip.

Be sure to bring your camera, phone or other recording device as well; you never know what you might see and when so being prepared with camera in hand will help you remember and appreciate the beauty and majesty of the marine animals you see.

Don’t Be Late!

Any time you’re expecting to catch a boat or other mode of transportation for a scheduled event, you will want to do everything you can to be on time. Being late might cause you to miss your boat, and some companies do not offer refunds or replacements tickets if this happens.

Ready to watch some whales? Look for a nearby company – or one in your vacation destination – that offers whale watching for visitors. It may be available as part of a tourist package, so be sure to ask your hotel concierge or travel agent. You and your loved ones will love taking part in one of America’s favorite pastimes – and you’ll bring home beautiful photos and memories that will last a lifetime!

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