8 Tips Snorkeling With Kids You Can’t Ignore In Phu Quoc

8 Tips Snorkeling With Kids You Can’t Ignore In Phu Quoc

We can not deny that snorkeling is one of the most attractive water activities. Even without advanced swimming skills, people of different ages get to admire colorful coral reefs and sea creatures and enjoy the relaxing effect of snorkeling. In fact, kids can start learning snorkeling as early as four or five years old!

Snorkeling with kids in Phu Quoc
8 tips for snorkeling with kids in Phu Quoc (Cre: Families Love Travel)

Choosing suitable snorkeling spots for kids and parents

You have to answer the question: “Where and when are most reasonable to make the snorkeling trip on Phu Quoc Island?”

However, it's hard for you because you're not the locals. Moreover, you need lots of knowledge and experience to answer that question. 

Therefore, choosing a professional tour operator who can check the weather, and underwater visibility, and recommend proper snorkeling spots for you and your children is the best advice.

Choose proper snorkeling spots
Choose proper snorkeling spots

A proper snorkeling spot is the most important thing. Because a wrong snorkeling spot for you, your children, or both will ruin your day.

In snorkeling trips by boat and speedboat, the tour guides usually anchor near the coral reef. You don't need to swim too far to get to the coral spot. And they will point out where you can see vivid corals and fishes.

The best snorkeling spots for parents are shallow reefs of 0.5 – 3 meters in depth with clarity of the seawater. The depth is safe, not too shallow for you, and not too deep for your children. An underwater tour guide is necessary because he can help you enjoy snorkeling and take after your children.

The weather greatly affects your family's snorkeling experience. (Cre: CamperMate)
The weather greatly affects your family's snorkeling experience. (Cre: CamperMate)

The weather greatly affects your family's snorkeling experience. If the sea is calm, the water is clear. When it's sunny, the sunlight penetrates the seawater so we can see underwater more clearly. On the other hand, when snorkeling in bad weather, it is more difficult to swim, and the underwater visibility almost becomes greatly reduced. 

Make sure the right snorkeling gear for kids

It is an effortless task, but if your children don't have the right equipment it can be hard to enjoy the experience and potentially put them in danger. 

The use of high-quality kids’ snorkeling equipment significantly diminishes risks (Cre: Families Love Travel)
Snorkeling with kids in Phu Quoc

Poorly designed fins impede movement, and loose snorkeling masks cause water to fill up inside. For children who are more prone to panic than adults, you never know what's going to happen. Therefore, choosing the proper gear is especially important.

The use of high-quality kids’ snorkeling equipment significantly diminishes risks. You should not buy snorkeling gear without much thought as mere toys. Every piece of equipment must be made of the finest materials and designed purposefully to ensure both comfort and safety for your kids.

There are a few snorkeling tour operators on Phu Quoc island that have snorkeling gear for kids. You have to confirm with them before booking a tour. 

It is best to prepare your own snorkeling equipment for your kids. Phu Quoc doesn't have many stores that meet the snorkeling gear's quality. Therefore, the best tip for you is to buy them in big cities that can provide the finest snorkeling gear, such as Ho Chi Minh City.

How to not feel overwhelmed by the number of choices when buying snorkeling gear for kids?

It is best to prepare your own snorkeling equipment for your kids (Cre: scuba.com)
It is best to prepare your own snorkeling equipment for your kids (Cre: scuba.com)

Following the below considerations can help you greatly: 

  • Snorkel mask

A kids’ snorkel mask is essential in the sport. Aside from improving visibility, the primary function of a snorkel mask is to protect the eyes from saltwater. When buying a snorkeling mask for your kids, your primary concern is its fit

Generally, there are two kinds of kids’ snorkeling masks: regular masks and full-face masks. Traditional masks only provide coverage until the nose, while full-face snorkeling masks cover the entire face. For children who do not have much experience being in the water, a full-face snorkeling mask is the best. This type of gear allows natural breathing while underwater, making for a calmer experience.

  • Snorkel tube

You must always purchase snorkel tubes together with masks. This simple equipment serves as an entryway for air so your child can breathe in the water. 

The primary consideration when buying a snorkel tube is the mouthpiece. A kids’ size silicone mouthpiece with the right softness for your child to bite comfortably while preventing leaks is ideal.

Some snorkel tubes have purge valves that allow your kids to expel liquid by blowing in the mouthpiece.

  • Snorkel fins

Snorkel fins support quick and effortless movements in the water. Choose the snorkeling fins which fit your kids. Swim Fins that are too tight can cause poor circulation, while loose fins could come off while swimming. 

For saving, you can buy open-heel fins with adjustable straps. It will take a long time before your kid grows out of them. But if your child is more comfortable with full-foot fins, or fixed-size snorkeling fins, purchase those instead.

Consider the flexibility of snorkeling fins. Because children don’t have much muscle power in their legs like adults, staying away from rigid fins. Lightweight and flexible kids’ snorkeling fins will also ensure that your child won’t get tired easily when snorkeling.

Besides, if possible, you can buy your child a swimsuit, life jacket, arm ring life vest.

Teach your child how to use snorkeling gear

We highly recommend parents guide thoroughly and let their children practice with snorkeling equipment out of the water. 

Children must know how to properly use snorkeling equipment, especially breathing only through their mouths. This helps children know how to handle or call for help if having problems in the water, and avoid panicking. 

You can take your kids to shallow water to practice using the equipment. If they are not a good swimmer, use a flotation device (a life vest or a water noodle). Remember being comfortable and safe is most important.

Parents can ask for the support of a tour guide to help their children get used to snorkeling gear in the water.

On every island trip, John's Tours' tour guides, who have many years of experience, always brief you and your kids on the use of snorkeling equipment and safety guidelines carefully. If possible, you should choose a private snorkeling tour for your family to get more care and assistance.

Use reef-friendly sunscreen

Children's skin is thinner and more delicate than adults', it's more sensitive to irritation, so suncream is essential to protect their skin from sunlight.

Most common sunscreens are causing coral reef damage. Millions of tourists explore Phu Quoc Islands' coral reefs every year. Therefore, sunscreen has a great effect on the beauty of coral.

Tourists should be coral protectors, not coral damage. Therefore, use a biodegradable, reef-safe sunscreen that will not harm sea creatures.

John’s Tours Phú Quốc
Full-body swimsuits for kids

Sun protective full-body swimsuits for you and your kids not only protect your skin from strange sea creatures but also protect the marine environment because you significantly decrease the amount of sunscreen you need to use.

Phu Quoc sunlight may be harsh to your kids. Sometimes they can not adapt to the weather or food quickly like you. 

Therefore, besides sunscreen, swimsuit, and snorkeling gear, you should add sun hats, sunglasses, kid body lotion, blankets, at least two extra comfortable clothes, a first-aid kit (anti-itch cream, children’s medicine for allergic reactions, children’s stomach ache medicine, children’s cold and flu relief medication, children’s fever and pain reducer, etc.) into travel packing checklist for your children.

Teach kids basic snorkeling skills and rules

Relax and swim slowly

The trick with snorkeling is to relax and calm down (Cre: sunplay.com)
The trick with snorkeling is to relax and calm down (Cre: sunplay.com)

Swimming takes lots of energy. We may be getting exhausted. The trick with snorkeling is to relax and calm down. Only swim at a speed that allows us to breathe easily through our snorkel gear and keep our activity level at a pace that does not demand heavy breathing. The fins will make it much easier. Learn to float without effort and only swim rapidly if necessary.

Tell your kids to stop snorkeling whenever there's water leaking into their mask, there's water entering through the snorkel, or they feel tired. They can have lots of opportunities to see coral and sea creatures. Don't try to do it only once. Snorkeling is lifelong learning, even for adults.

Be a responsible snorkeler

Teach your kids  to be a responsible snorkeler to protect marine life
Teach your kids to be responsible snorkelers to protect marine life

All the above tips are about taking care of yourself and your kids. We have to take care of the ocean also. Do not touch or stand on corals. Do not interfere with fish, turtles, or any sea creatures

Most kids are naturally curious. Curiosity impulses children to learn through every experience and interaction they have, so they can touch whatever they see underwater.

The action of touching coral will make them stressed. Then they will expel the symbiotic algae living in their tissues, causing them to turn white. When corals bleach, they are under more stress and vulnerable to death.

Moreover, touching corals is easy to hurt and bleed you because some corals are hard and sharp.

Hand signals for underwater communication (if possible)

Because you can not talk underwater, teach your kids the basic hand signals such as how to describe "I'm ok", "This is a dangerous area", "Let's go", "Follow me", and "Go to the surface", etc.

Prepare packing lunch for your kids

Lunch served on Phu Quoc snorkeling trips are traditional Vietnamese foods. If your kids are not used to Vietnamese dishes or have allergies, especially seafood, prepare fast food for your kids on your own.

You can buy sandwiches, hamburgers, fried chicken, french fries, hot dogs, mashed potatoes, and salads in your resort or restaurants/eateries in Duong Dong ward and take them with you.

Some recommended restaurants for you:

  • Chicken BBQ Phu Quoc: 92A Tran Hung Dao Street, Duong Dong Ward.

  • Hardy's German Bakery & Cafe: 141 Tran Hung Dao Street, Duong Dong Ward.

  • Nora's Cafe: Chua Ong Alley, Tran Hung Dao Street, Duong Dong Ward.

  • Saigonese Eatery: 129 Tran Hung Dao Street, Duong Dong Ward.

  • KingKong Mart (make sandwiches yourself): 141A Tran Hung Dao Street, Duong Dong Ward.

In a snorkeling group tour, you only have two options for lunch: the fixed menu or the vegetarian menu. If you want to change your lunch to your taste, book a private tour, the tour operator serves whatever you want.

Choosing proper transportation

There are two means of water transport for tourists: boat and speedboat. Each type has different uses and advantages. Let's find out what is the right vehicle for you and your children.

Speedboat

John’s Tours tour guide guides tourists on how to use snorkeling equipment on the speedboat
John’s Tours tour guide guides tourists on how to use snorkeling equipment on the speedboat

Speedboats are popular because of their compactness and fast speed. Each speedboat can accommodate 20-30 tourists. 

Speedboat is a suitable vehicle for young people, travelers who want to save travel time, who love adventure rides, and those who are seasick.

On snorkeling trips by speedboat, tourists will have lunch at restaurants on the small islands. In particular, John's Tours' tourists will enjoy lunch in John's Tours' restaurant on May Rut Trong Island. Tourists can order more dishes in addition to the set menu.

Because the speedboat is smaller than the boat, the speedboat can get close to the coral reef areas. Remember to avoid tour operators that anchor too close to the reef, because the anchor can cause damage to corals.

You should choose reputable travel companies having professional and experienced tour guides who know where to anchor safely.

Boat

The boat has spacious space and its moving speed is slower than the speedboat. John's Tours' boats can accommodate 30 or more tourists. John's Tours 9 is the biggest boat capable of 120 tourists. 

John’s Tours tour guide guides tourists on how to use snorkeling equipment on the boat
John’s Tours tour guide guides tourists on how to use snorkeling equipment on the boat

Boats are a suitable vehicle for those who need more time onboard for relaxing, sightseeing in An Thoi's archipelago, and family who have kids, the senior.

All John's Tours boats have from 2 to 3 decks. There are toilets, a freshwater shower, chairs, tables for lunch on the lower deck, and sun loungers on the upper. You and your child can move freely on the boat.

If you want to eat other dishes besides the fixed lunch, you can wait until the boat arrives at May Rut Trong and enjoy delicious dishes at John's Tours' restaurant on the island.

The boat is big, so the guide has to anchor far away from the islands. Tourists swim into the coral reef area by themselves. Don't worry if you or your kids don't know how to swim. John's Tours' tour guide will help you get there.

The price of snorkeling group tours by boat is lower than the price of snorkeling group tours by speedboat. Therefore, this is a saving choice for your family.

Other fun activities for kids in daily Phu Quoc snorkeling trips

Seawalker

Seawalker with kids (Cre: seawalker.com.au)
Seawalker with kids (Cre: seawalker.com.au)

In this marine walk recreation activity, you and your kids have an amazing underwater walking experience and admire the most colorful coral and fishes.

You will wear a helmet (also called a "seabed astronaut hat") which provides oxygen. You are able to breathe and walk underwater at a depth of 5-6 meters. The professional guides will always assist you from beginning to end.

Seawalker is a fun and safe activity for your family to enjoy the underwater world without swimming or diving. You can even wear your prescription glasses, sunglasses, or contact lenses.

Moreover, the helmet keeps your head dry and prevents your makeup from coming off by seawater.

Aquatopia Water Park

Phu Quoc Aquatopia Water Park
Phu Quoc Aquatopia Water Park

Aquatopia is one of the most modern water parks in Southeast Asia. The special of Aquatopia is its location - on Thom Island. Thom Island (Hon Thom) is the largest island of Phu Quoc city in the An Thoi Archipelago.

Aquatopia water park will delight your family with 6 themed zones and over 20 adventurous games designed according to international standards. You and your children can share the memorable moments with thrilling slides.

Especially, "Roar Ringers" is the first wooden roller coaster in Vietnam nearly 1km long with a maximum height of up to 32.4 meters, and a maximum speed of 75km/h.

The first wooden roller coaster in Vietnam
The first wooden roller coaster in Vietnam

If you need any information when traveling to Phu Quoc island, don’t hesitate to contact John’s Tours. We will respond to you as soon as possible.

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