What to Pack on a Sailing Holiday – Your Packing Guide!

If it’s your first time going on a sailing trip, then I guess that the primary question that comes up to your mind at the moment you plan your trip is, What to pack on a sailing holiday…right? It is quite understandable as just the idea of packing can be stressful sometimes, especially if you have never been on a vessel.

Well, let me start by saying that a sailing trip is much different than a cruise ship or a resort vacation, as the storage on a boat is quite limited.
In this article, I’ll share with you all the tips and tricks to ensure you pack only the essentials for a boat trip.


Soft Duffel bag

As I’ve mentioned above, the storage on board is restricted. So I recommend you avoid taking any hard suitcases as they are difficult to store, and they are not foldable.

A soft bag will be much easier to carry and to stock in the cupboards. I would suggest you take a look at The waterproof Duffel bags.

They are easy to use and protect all your stuff from the water. Besides, hard suitcases can do some damage and may scratch the woodwork.


You can’t go far without documents, so… remember to bring them! Try not to take travel checks as they can get lost. It is better to use a virtual credit card and cash for small expenses.

Let’s see all the documents you’ll need:

  • Passport and visa documents
  • Charter documents + Copies
  • Sailing license if you plan to navigate the boat (ICC is required in Spain, Turkey, Croatia, and Greece). See Bareboat charter requirements.
  • Travel Assurance
  • Driving license
  • Cash
  • Single-use credit card


The first thing you should consider before packing is the weather of your chosen destination. If you plan to spend your vacation in the sun, then you would want to bring light summer clothes like the followings:


  • Polarized SunglassesSunglasses and a hat
  • 3- 4 T-shirts
  • 3 – 4 Shorts
  • 3 Bathing suits
  • 2 Light trousers (for the evening)
  • 2 Summer dresses (Some restaurants might request smart casual clothes)
  • 2 – 3 T-shirts with long sleeves (To protect you from the sun when you are in the water)
  • 2-3 hats (The wind may blow sometimes, and it is not unusual to lose them)


  • Polarized Sunglasses
  • 2 – 3 Bathing suits
  • 3 – 4 T-shirts
  • 3 – 4 Sorts
  • 1 pair of formal trousers and a shirt ( Some establishments may require official closes)
  • 1 – 2 light jackets (for the evening)


Most yachts will require wearing shoes on board, while some won’t. If you want a good tip, girls, leave your high heels at home as they are not comfortable on a boat, and they can damage the teak deck. However, I would suggest you take some good shoes such as:

Flipflops on a beach

Man & Woman



I’ve always had this habit of taking most of my toiletries, and after a few times going on vacations, I finally realized that I was carrying too much of them!

If you want my advice… take the minimum!

Small toiletterie bag

Man & Woman

  • Sunscreen
  • Shampoo + Conditioner + toothpaste + brush teeth + dental floss
  • Deodorant
  • Hairbrush + Hairbands
  • Body lotion
  • Hydrating face cream
  • electric razor
  • shaving cream


  • iPod + Batteries
  • Waterproof camera + Batteries
  • Mobile phone + Batteries

Things not to forget!

How many times have you realized that you’ve forgotten to take something important when you arrived somewhere? Well, it happened to me many times:) And maybe to you as well. So, here is a small reminder for you!

  • Medicals and Prescriptions (If needed it)
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Sea-Band wristband against seasickness
  • Beach towels (Boats have only bath towels)

Sunscreen in a basket


What not to bring?

Many items are necessary onboard, while others have no utility at all! Also, wouldn’t it be a shame to lose something important or expensive?

  • Life jackets (All boats are equipped with safety equipment)
  • Bath towels
  • bed linens
  • Travel checks ( Easy to lose)
  • Don’t bring valuable things that are not waterproof
  • Some electronic items are a must, while others are best to avoid, such as hair dryers and hair straighteners.
  • Jewelry is not recommended on a sailing trip, so it is more prudent to leave them in a safe place.


  1. It is not unusual to get sick on a boat, so take precautions. Sea bands are very useful and practical!
  2. Pack light; chances are you’ll wear half the clothes you packed.
  3. You may need more than one hat as it is quite windy at sea.
  4. Remember to bring some batteries for cameras and phones.
  5. Save some extra luggage room for souvenirs. You may need it!
  6. The sun and the winds increase the risk of dehydration, drink a lot of water!
  7. Most ships possess snorkel equipment, but if you prefer, you can rent or bring your own gear with you )

In Conclusion

By applying these suggestions in this article, not only your trip will be easier but you won’t also have to think twice what to wear or what not to wear. In other words, packing light will allow you to enjoy your sailing holiday thoroughly without having to worry about your garderobe and to carry heavy bags!

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Do you have other items to add to this list? If so, feel free to share them in the comment below!

4 thoughts on “What to Pack on a Sailing Holiday – Your Packing Guide!”

  1. Hello there
    I really like the way you have managed a complete list on what to pack for a sailing holiday.
    anyone lucky enough to read your post just has to follow it when packing and they will have everything in place.
    Disorganized people like me who never knnow what to take and what not to will find this very helpful.
    You mentioned sea-band wristbands against sea sickness,what exactly are these? l have an idea but where can they be found or bought?
    Could you please explain why you suggest a single use credit card? l have read many travel blogs over the years but l dont remember anyone suggesting a single use credit card.
    Thanks so much for a very informative post and for your answers.
    cheers Roamy

    • Hi Roamy,

      I am glad you’ve found the article useful, it’s always good to hear this!

      Sea bands are very effective against sickness. You can find them in any pharmacies or online. Be aware that the sea bands are cheaper online.

      A single use credit card is much better than a regular visa card. There are few explanations to this.

      Firstly, you could lose it and not realise it on time and it may be too late to report it to your bank assurance.

      Secondly, it is much more secure, you never know with whom you are dealing with and when you are on vacation, you don’t always have the mood to verify the store from where you purchase.

      Thirdly, You know exactly how much money you spend with a single use credit card. You deposit only the sum you wish to waste. I personally use only single use credit card even at home!

      I hope it helped and don’t hesitate to contact me if need more info, I’ll be glad to help:)

      Thank you for the comment and wish you a fantastic day!

  2. I love sailing and I would have to say that this article was pretty spot on! Definitely agree with all your packing guide suggestions and I really liked the way you spaced it out. And the “what not to bring” was a nice add in because I have too often seen folks bring extra life vest not realizing that yachts or sailing companies already provide these supplies, and bring extra is just wasting space on the boat. Great article.

    • Hi Amandine,

      It’s great to hear that you like sailing:) Thanks for the compliment, I really appreciate!

      You are totally right and in fact, it is funny how we take into account only what to bring, and not what to avoid to pack!

      It happened to me few times as well:) But now I’ve learned my lesson

      Thank you for the comment and wish you a wonderful day!


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