5 Essential Things to Pack for a Sailing Holiday

August 20, 2018 , In: Travel , With: No Comments
So you’ve got a sailing holiday booked in and you’re wondering what things you need to take with you? The truth is sailing holidays are one of the most exciting types of holiday: you have more independence in where you’ll go, what you’ll do and it’s also a great way to create some special memories with your loved ones. The evenings are the perfect time to sit around and chat, play board games or play a social game on your smart phone. Whether this is your first yacht charter, or you’re a veteran, there might be a few things you’re missing from your packing list or a few small changes that you can make to ensure your trip goes more smoothly. Here are my top 5 essential things to pack for a sailing holiday:

1. Appropriate Luggage

This is the first thing on the list, because it’s one of the most important things. Good sized luggage (i.e. as small as possible) will go a long way in saving cabin space and ensuring that you can easily access your things while on the boat. I suggest a duffel bag or a small suitcase, but a large, full sized suitcase is likely to just become an inconvenience on your yacht charter holiday. If you’re not used to light packing or worried about fitting everything into a smaller bag, I suggest starting with some packing cubes. You can easily find various sized packing cubes and if you roll your clothes and stuff them into a packing cube, you’ll find that you can fit so much more in your bag. Packing cubes also make it easy to keep clean and dirty clothes separate. You can organise your packing cubes by clothing style, or have different outfits packed together. If you can manage to pack light, I’m sure you’ll have a more enjoyable trip not having to carry around oversized bags with you!

2. Board Games

board gamesIn the evenings one of my favourite things to do on a sailing trip is to play board games. If you’re short on space, a deck of cards is an easy solution and barely takes up any space at all. I personally love traveling with a deck of cards because you can play so many different games with the same deck. While cards are fun, there’s something special about playing Monopoly, Risk or even Cards of Humanity (if age appropriate) as a group. It’s a great way to bring people together and to create some special memories. If you’re traveling with children, it might be nice to bring along some easier games that the children can also play along with. Uno, Connection Four and Operation are all family favourites that don’t go out of style. I suggest bringing one or two board games and a deck of cards along with you, that way you know you’ve got a few options for those long summer nights. There’s also a fun game that you can download onto your smartphone called HeadsUp. Get it in advance and I’m sure it will be loved by all!

3. An Underwater Camera

This is absolutely essential if you plan to do a lot of water sports while on your sailing holiday. A GoPro is a travel essential for me because it’s so much more durable than a standard camera, meaning that you can take it along with you for the ride – literally. You can buy or rent attachments for surf boards, paddle boards, helmets, you name it! This is such a great way to record your fun adventures without worrying about damaging your smartphone. If you don’t have a GoPro, ask around your friends and family to see if they have one you might be able to borrow. Certain rental places around the world often have GoPros to rent as well, which can be a great way to get the footage without having to buy one yourself.

4. Sunscreen

sunscreenThis is absolutely essential when you’re going on a sailing holiday because the heat of the sun reflects off the water and can cause really severe sunburn, leading to irreversible sun damage and other health risks. Take my word for it when I say there’s no easier way to put a damper on a holiday than some bright red sunburn – not only is it extremely painful, but you have to avoid the sun to properly let it heal which is almost impossible while on a sailing holiday! Take some strong sunscreen along with you and make sure to reapply it every few hours to prevent sunburn. Take special care with young children and babies as they are even more sensitive to the sun. Don’t forget your eyes as well, a good pair of sunglasses is an essential purchase when you’re heading off on a sailing holiday. Chances are you will be able to find sunscreen in most places you go, however on islands the prices will be very inflated, often costing two or three times as much you would expect to pay in a supermarket, that’s why it’s better to take some with you!

5. Good Footwear


You’ve probably already got your flip flops packed, after all you’re going to be the beach and ocean, so you probably can’t think of anything but slipping into your swimsuit and flip flops. However one of the perks of a sailing holiday, in my opinion at least, is all the little visits you can do to the nearby towns. While on land I’m guessing you’re going to want to explore and explore – that means plenty of steps, which can easily become uncomfortable in flip flops.  Take a good pair of walking shoes with you and don’t forget to take a bunch of socks, you’ll be thanking me when your feet are comfortable and you can keep up the pace. There’s nothing worse than ending up with blisters from wearing your flip flops too much, or trying to climb up a bunch of stairs with no support.
No matter where you are headed on your sailing holiday, packing these five essentials will ensure that you have a memorable trip. It’s important to try to pack as lightly as possible, so you’re not weighed down by your luggage. Good footwear will ensure that you’re comfortable at all times. A few board games will keep the momentum going through the evening and a GoPro will allow you to capture unforgettable memories no matter where you are. What are your sailing trip essentials? I’d love to know in the comments below

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