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What do I pack for a sailing vacation?

Lifestyle Onboard

If you’re looking to book a dream sailing vacation, you are probably wondering what to pack.

Yacht charter packing is slightly different from a normal trip. Most of all, you need to consider the limited space on board as you don’t want to be tripping over clothes, shoes and bags.

To help, we’ve put together a yacht vacation packing checklist for you…


  • Travel bags: Use soft roll duffle bags or rucksacks that fold away. Don’t bring hard suitcases, as these are difficult to store in cabinets on board. You will not be able to store suitcases at the base
  • Day bag: Bring a dry/ZipLock bag for your camera, phone, sunglasses and wallet
  • Beach bag: For your towels, sunscreen, snorkel and change of clothes
  • Security pouch: Bring an under-the-shirt security pouch for documents
Woman reading in a yacht charter
Happy couple on board of a yacht charter

Clothes to pack for a yacht charter

Put everything you think you need in a pile and then cut it by a third!

  • Swimwear: Pack a few swimsuits, bikinis or swim shorts so you always have a dry one
  • Beach clothing: Pack clothing that dries quickly and include t-shirts, shorts/beach dress
  • Waterproof: Include a lightweight waterproof jacket
  • Outer layer: Include a warm top for the evenings if sailing Europe in low season
  • Shoes/sandals: Pack ones with non-marking soles and good grip – most of the time you will be barefoot on the boat to keep it clean
  • Water shoes: Protect your feet
  • Beach towel: Keep your included towels and linen free from saltwater and sand
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun hat/cap
Children enjoying vacation in a catamaran with sunglasses and lifejackets


  • Sunscreen and sunblock: Take plenty and make it oil-free and reef-safe – look for products that are free from oxybenzone and octinoxate
  • Insect repellant: Avoid the scratching
  • Lip balm: Prevent wind-chapped lips and choose one with SPF
  • Travel size toiletries: Shampoo/conditioner, soap, toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Make up: Keep it minimal
  • Seasickness pills or patches: Perfect for those who get seasick
  • Earplugs and eyeshades: Good for light sleepers
  • Medicine: Make sure prescription medication has all details on the bottle including your name
Belize landscape two canoes at sunset
Bridge of wood in rainforest


  • Passport and visas
    • Bareboat certification: If you are sailing yourself, don’t forget to bring your original certificates and copies with you
  • Insurance contact details


  • Favorite CDs: All boats have CD players, don’t rely on your mobile or mp3 player
  • Games: Playing cards are always a good idea
  • If you are on a skippered or bareboat yacht charter, you may wish to consider packing favorite herbs & spices: Pack in ZipLock bags to add zing to simple dishes
  • Matches
  • Flashlight
  • Notebook and pen
  • Flag: Represent your country, state, sports team or university – just for fun!
  • Hammocks and inflatable floats are fun too if it’s not a windy day!
Woman with hay at yacht charter
Two guests enjoying vacations at yacht charter
Woman floating on blue waters with fishes

Leave at home checklist

  • Tanning oil as it stains the yacht fittings
  • Cooking and eating equipment and utensils
  • Navigation tools and charts
  • First aid kit, as all boats have them on board
  • Expensive jewelry
  • Hair dryer and straighteners – you will be in the water a lot!

Welcome on board! Now it’s time to choose your destination – if you need some inspiration, head on over to our blog. Alternatively, if you have any questions, get in touch with us – we’re happy to help!

What’s new?

Stay up to date with news and events or get some inspiration for your next yacht charter and pick up useful tips by reading our latest blogs.
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