Texans know- there’s nothing better than a river float trip on a hot summer day. As someone who has beat the heat every summer on the river with friends, I want to share my favorites for everything you need for the best river float trip ever because it can feel daunting. Don’t worry- I’ve got you covered!

Before anything else, you need to decide what river you want to float on. My river of choice is the Guadalupe. I love to use Rockin R because my friends and I can park, get into the river for a few hours, and there’s a shuttle that takes us right back to the parking lot. It’s a relaxing river float with a few rapids, perfect if you like a more chill float. 

Another popular river to float is the Comal. The Comal gets pretty packed and is definitely the party river. It’s a blast! If you’re looking for a fun-filled float with a big river rapid chute, don’t miss this river. 

Each river comes with their own regulations, so make sure you research those before going. Most of the times cans or one-time use plastics can’t be taken and you must use reusable containers or water bottles. These regulations aren’t to be taken lightly, as they can come with hefty fines if broken. Do your due diligence and get all the information you need for your specific river float before you go so you don’t ruin your trip with fines.

Going floating? Don't miss this guide with everything you need for the best river float trip ever. It's so helpful!

Once you’ve picked which river you’ll be floating, you’ll want to make sure you have everything you need to have the best river float ever. To make things easier on you, I’m sharing my tried and true favorites below! 

1| Sunscreen- The sun is HOT out there. Don’t ruin your river float trip by coming out of it like a lobster. Set yourself up for success with my favorite sunscreen. SPF 100 sounds like a lot, but these rays are no joke. Even after applying 3 times, I still got really tan but not burnt one bit. Don’t forget to let your sunscreen soak in before getting in and make sure to take it with you!

2| Tube- You can rent tubes from various companies near the rivers, but nothing beats having your own tube with a head rest, drink holders, a nice mesh bottom, and string. I promise you’ll thank me when you bring your own and don’t rent.

3| Reusable water bottle- Whether you’re drinking alcohol or you’re staying hydrated with water, a good river float needs to have a cold beverage. I love this Stanley because it is incredibly well insulated and isn’t hot to the touch on the outside in the sun. Plus, the handle makes it so you can tie it to your float and let it dangle alongside you (or put it in your drink holders!) 

4| Swimsuit- No river float trip is complete without a cute swimsuit. This is my pick for the summer (among a few others) ad I absolutely love it! 

5| Waterproof Speaker- Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy some good music while you float on the river. This JBL speaker is incredible! It’s got the perfect volume abilities, is waterproof, and is easy to take with you on the river.

6| Float pump- One thing you’ll absolutely want when you take your own float is a float pump. I’ve had this one for a couple years and it’s been great! Plug it into the car or charge it beforehand to run on battery. It even helps deflate for easy packing. 

7| Dry bag- I took a dry bag on our river float trip this year and it was the best decision ever. Snacks, my phone, and a pair of shorts fit inside and I had plenty of room for more things. The clasps on the dry bag handle were perfect to clip onto my float handle so I could float and not worry about holding anything. It was great!

8| Cooler- There are many ways to have a cooler set up on the river but this one is my favorite. An inflatable cooler is easy to pack in the car, fast to set up, and will stay afloat for your whole river ride.

9| Phone Protector- You can never be too cautious on a river trip when it comes to valuables. Keeping one of these around your neck will ensure your phone stays dry and you won’t lose your phone. A must have for sure!

10| Sunglasses- It is BRIGHT outside with the sun’s reflection on the water. Protect your eyes with a cute pair of cheap sunglasses! I don’t suggest taking a pair of expensive sunglasses on the river just in case you tip over. Take something you won’t care about losing just in the off chance it happens.

11| Water Shoes- Great water shoes are a must on any river float trip. I love Tevas for their thick, grippy soles and fun straps so they won’t get lost. There are times where you’ll have to walk on river rocks and flip flops won’t do the trick. A good sturdy Teva will help you grip the rocks, prevent slipping, and you won’t have a missing shoe at the end of the float.

12| Baseball cap- Most of floats are in the open sun without shade. As hot as summer is this year, protection is key. Grab a cute baseball cap (again, one you wouldn’t mind losing just in case) and protect your scalp and face from painful sunburn.

13| Towel- Of course, every river float trip needs a towel. Keep it in your dry bag or in the car for your return! 

14| Face Sunscreen- There’s no point in wearing makeup on the river, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t look cute. Glow Screen is a great Broad Spectrum Sunscreen perfect for giving an extra glow to the skin during your float. It’s not an essential, but it definitely makes things a little more fun. 

What are you waiting for? Grab everything you need for the best river float trip ever, get out there, and enjoy the river!

Want more ideas on things to do? Don’t miss the Travel archives of The Vintage Modern Wife!

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