Tips for Staying in an Overwater Bungalow with a Baby or Toddler

If you’ve ever dreamed of staying in an overwater bungalow set against crystal-clear turquoise waters, but didn’t get the chance to pull the trigger on Bora Bora or the Maldives before you and your partner decided to have kids, that doesn’t mean you can’t make that dream vacation happen now!

But, I know what you’re thinking – those open decks over the ocean seem a bit daunting to be traveling with a toddler, right?

As a mom, I’ve been there — envisioning my toddler as the mini escape artist he is, plotting his next great adventure off the deck. Are overwater bungalows safe for toddlers? Is it even doable?

Well here’s some good news: with good caution and preparation, these floating paradise overwater bungalows can be just as blissful for families with little ones as they are for honeymooners! We just got back from our family trip to Bora Bora where we stayed in an overwater bungalow with our 21-month-old son, and it was FABULOUS. He loved it just as much as we did! So I’m here to tell you that it can be done, with the right prep and caution, and help you decide if it’s the right fit for your family!

Understanding Overwater Bungalows with Kids: Safety and Comfort

First things first, let’s talk about safety. Look into your specific hotel closely – the good news is that many overwater bungalows are designed with families in mind! That means secure locks on doors, railings around decks, and kid-friendly amenities available. When booking, don’t shy away from asking about these!!! For example, at the Four Seasons Bora Bora, where we stayed, you are able to ask for the railings of your bungalow to be filled with an acrylic so that they aren’t as open – such a nice perk for families who want extra peace of mind. After all, peace of mind is the first step to vacation happiness, am I right?!

Essential Tips for a Safe Stay in an Overwater Bungalow with a Toddler

Tip 1: Securing the Space

Just like baby-proofing your home, securing your bungalow is key. Bungalows in Bora Bora are unique and built differently. Choose bungalows with railings for extra safety and always keep doors closed and locked to prevent any unexpected adventures. And, while you’re at it, do a quick scan to move any potential hazards out of reach can never hurt. For those extra cautious, consider packing a few baby-proofing essentials, too!

Tip 2: Constant Supervision

This one might seem obvious, but it’s worth emphasizing: constant supervision is a non-negotiable when traveling with a toddler – wherever you are. Even if you weren’t in an overwater bungalow – you wouldn’t let your toddler go exploring a hotel balcony or run out of a beachfront deck without you right next to him, and this trip should be no different.  Whether it’s making sure at least one parent is always on duty or setting up a family play area where everyone can relax together, supervision is a must.

Tip no. 3: Engaging Activities Indoors

Stock up on indoor toys and plan for activities that can keep them entertained without needing to adventure outside on the deck. Think coloring books, puzzles, and new toys that are reserved for the trip. Here are my favorite toddler travel toys. Check out my ultimate toddler packing list for more!

Tip no. 4: Pack a lifejacket

When it does come time to enjoy the water, and especially if you’re planning on boating, arm your little one with the right safety gear. A well-fitting life jacket (here’s Harrison’s!) or floaties can add an extra layer of safety for those adorable water baby moments. Plus, watching your toddler bob around in the water in a floatie is just the cutest.

Tip 5: Prep and Plan

Prepare for the unexpected by knowing how to access medical help, should you ever need it, JUST IN CASE. In my experience, I like to feel that if I prepare for it, I won’t need it! Having a clear plan for different scenarios can ease a lot of the “what-ifs” that come with traveling with young children. Don’t forget to have the emergency # for your hotel available to you at any given time.

Making the Most of Your Stay

Caution is key, but don’t let it stress you out! If your little one is under your care and watchful eye, they will be just fine. and you will all have a fabulous vacation! I really didn’t feel like staying in an overwater bungalow was any different safety or concern-wise than a normal hotel room with our tot!


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Embracing the adventure of staying in an overwater bungalow with a baby or toddler is all about preparation, supervision, and having the right expectations. It’s a unique opportunity to create unforgettable family memories in a bucket-list destination, and I highly recommend it!!

*Please note no part of this post is intended as advice, and you should consult your own family and make your own decision when it comes to deciding if staying in an overwater bungalow is right for you and your family. This is just my personal experience. 

Check out my other blog posts here:



The Ultimate Bora Bora & Moorea Travel Guide


What to Pack a Toddler for a Beach Vacation - Toddler Vacation Packing List


Christina is a leading luxury lifestyle and travel blogger with over 2 million readers. Follow her on instagram @jetsetchristina.