Whenever you go on a holiday abroad, it’s wise to try and pack as light as possible, whilst remaining comfortable. A yacht charter is no different. In fact, you’re probably going to want to pack even less than usual. You can’t always guarantee a huge amount of storage space aboard a yacht, so make sure the essentials are in the bag first, before thinking about adding any extras. We’ve got you a very handy list inspired by LateSail, that should help you get the packing done for your big trip. Whether it’s the Caribbean, the Mediterranean or somewhere else you’re heading too, this checklist will get you ready to enjoy the sun and sea, completely stress-free!
Get your essentials in order:
- An appropriate bag: In order to be as safe as possible, you need to keep floor space as clear as possible, luggage will need to be stowed away in cupboards, drawers, cabinets etc. With that in mind, a big, square, hard suitcase is going to be very difficult to accommodate or fit in tight spaces. Make sure your bags are soft and flexible so that you can easily put them out of harm's way. A rucksack, holdall or duffle bag style is recommended.
- Sun Cream: The lifestyle of a mariner involves a lot of exposure to the sea, sun and wind, which means your usual everyday sunscreen might not make the cut. You’ll constantly have driving wind and the strong sun beating your face, neck, back, chest - just about everywhere. That means a much higher SPF and a larger quantity is going to be needed. Make sure you’ve packed enough!
Not only that, but you’ll be getting wet without a doubt, so only a waterproof lotion will do. If you’re in the more tropical areas of the world, combine this with a good insect repellent spray that will eliminate the risk of getting irritating bites.
- Your important documents: You’ll obviously need your official documents with you when being abroad, like your national passport and another form of ID like a drivers license. Also, any paperwork relating to your booking that you might need. We all know the panic of keeping these safe for the entirety of a holiday, but this is even more poignant when on a boat. You need to prevent all of this stuff from getting wet. The best solution is placing them in a waterproof ziplock bag that’ll be nice and secure if anything does manage to go wrong. It might be wise to do the same with and paper currency and your electrical devices.
- Don’t go overboard on clothing: Here’s the point where everyone gets carried away! It’s understandable to be concerned about not packing enough clothing, we’ve all been there and nine times out of ten you’ll still come back a wedge of neatly folded clothes that never came out of the bag. The good news in this situation is that you really won’t be needing much at all - we can tell you that for sure!
The likelihood is you’re going to spend your time in one of three places: The boat, the beach, or a secluded island. That means you won’t actually want to put too many layers on anyway. A handful of t-shirts, swimming shorts or swimsuits, and perhaps one or two thin but slightly warmer layers in case it gets a little colder. But that’s basically it. If you make sure everything is fairly quick-drying, you’ll be able to freshen everything up and wear again in no time at all. Try rolling your clothing up tightly before packing - you’ll save even more space!
In terms of footwear, just a pair of flip flops and maybe a slightly more supportive pair of trainers for doing some trekking, but nothing too bulky is necessary. Bring a cap with good face coverage and some sunglasses, too.
- Bring a towel: You should get towels provided for you to use for showering and about the boat, but it’s advisable to bring a beach towel along with you so you can keep separate options for each.
- Basic medication: You won’t need much here as first aid will already be stored on the boat as a health and safety requirement, but you might want to bring some of the more general medication such as paracetamol and ibuprofen to combat any basic aches, pains or irritations. As well as this it would be sensible to come equipped with seasickness medication, as it crops up more often than you think; regardless of your previous experience on the water!
- Have you got the right plugs adaptors?: Imagine the uproar from those millennials amongst us if the phones ran out of charge and you didn’t have the correct adaptors to charge them? We definitely all want to avoid that situation, so make sure you’ve done your homework beforehand to find out what plug sockets are available on board.
If you’ve got space for a few luxuries:
- Hoist a flag: Most yachts will have somewhere for you to show off your colours and hoist a flag. It could be your one and only chance to sail the seas repping your club, team, school, country etc. so don’t forget to bring a flag that’ll help you look and feel the part.
- Capture the moment: Can you even say you did it if you haven’t got a photo to prove it? Bring a camera along to snap all of your best bits, as well as a memory card to keep it all stored on.
- Make your own soundtrack: What could be better than cruising the open oceans with your favourite songs filling the air? Make sure you come prepared with a portable speaker and something to play all of your songs on. There should be a CD player fitted in every boat, so bringing the odd disc won’t go amiss either!
- Inflatables!: There will be plenty of opportunities to get that chill time in, so why not go all out. If you can spare the extra space then a few beach balls, rubber dinghies or bouncy slides will help you to have some relaxed fun if you fancy it, especially if you’ve got the kids with you! But we’re all just big kids really, aren’t we?
Things to give a miss:
- Get out of the kitchen!: Everything should already be on board in terms of cooking and dining equipment, so don’t waste any time getting your knives and forks together. You might even be lucky enough to have booked a full crew and a cook to go with it.
- Chandlery or marine tools: Once again, everything that’s for the boat will be on the boat, so leave it at home. Even if it’s you who’s doing the navigating and interior maintenance, everything will already be within an arms reach.
- A first aid kit; As mentioned above, every boat’s going to have one on board, but if you’re worried about them not having specific items then bring your own, as the last thing you want is not being fully equipped in an emergency.
- No need for luxuries: If you’re here for peace and quiet, then there shouldn’t be anyone around to judge you in a materialistic way, so use your trip as a chance to get away from judgement and self-consciousness - you’re here to feel good, not look good!
- Stress. AND Work: This is a holiday after all, and an adventurous one at that. Unwind, let your hair down, ignore all of your issues for a while. There’s no better place to chill out and take your mind away than on a beautiful boat in an extraordinary location - enjoy!