How to pack and prepare for a boat holiday

How to pack and prepare for a boat holiday

Text from a series about skippered boats. What you should not forget if you are going on a cruise. We will advise you.

One of the most important questions to ask yourself before a cruise holiday is what to pack and what not to forget. What are the specifics of my cruise gear? We offer the ultimate guide.

Personal documents

To some this might seem like a given, but we have heard many stories of people leaving their ID or passport at home and not being allowed into the country. Don't forget any of the documents you need to cross the border, including any visas or driving licences if you plan to drive in that country.

Boat documents

If you have a hired skipper on board, he will provide proof of his skipper's licence when hiring the boat. You will only need the charter contract, which you will receive from us. We recommend that you physically print everything out including a copy of the documents (crewlist, booking confirmation, insurance).

Finance abroad

In most European destinations, you can now pay by card almost everywhere. However, we recommend that you exchange plenty of cash abroad, either local currency or world currencies such as dollars or euros.

YACHTING.COM TIP: Beware of the fees in the machines of private companies that try to charge you unnecessary fees. When withdrawing money and paying by card abroad, choose the option without fixed currency conversion. The exchange rate is always better, even by 10%.

Luggage on the boat

One of the most important pieces of information you must pass on to all crew members is the baggage requirement. There is generally limited storage space on the boat, so it is important to only take luggage that can be folded up when empty. On sailing ships, empty luggage is classically placed under the bed. A sports bag is the most suitable; a shell suitcase is the least suitable, as it will probably go back and forth across the deck during your cruise and get in everyone's way.

Clothes for the boat

From our many years of experience, we recommend packing for the boat:

  • Sunglasses
  • A head cover to prevent sunstroke
  • T-shirt with lycra or UV protection
  • Swimwear
  • Summer clothing: shorts, t-shirts
  • Shirt, collared shirt and long pants for dinner at better restaurants, for women elegant summer dresses

Even though you're going on a summer holiday, you never know when a slight cool down will set in. The weather at sea is unpredictable and can change (even really suddenly). That's why we recommend packing just in case:

  • Sweatshirt
  • Neckwarmer
  • Cap
  • Warm socks
  • Warm base layer (merino, functional material)
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Waterproof or at least windproof jacket or raincoat

Shoes for the boat

On most ships, the rule is that you don't walk on deck in the shoes you walk in outside. This is both because of the possible scratching of the paintwork by a pebble stuck in the sole, and because of the dark smudges that outdoor footwear can create. It is generally recommended to wear shoes with non-staining soles on the boat. These can be indoor sneakers, boots or other rubber shoes such as flip-flops and slip-on shoes with white or beige soles. If your cruise is in an area with sea urchins, coral or razor clams, we recommend packing water shoes or neoprene booties.

Boat equipment

It depends on what style of cruise you are planning, but we always carry a power bank, preferably solar, in case you need to charge your phone urgently and for some reason the boat batteries run out. It's also a good idea to pack a car charger. A headlamp or other flashlight will be appreciated if you want to experience night sailing. Do you see yourself in the role of captain's mate? Do you want to be actively involved in the running of the boat? Then we recommend sports gloves so you don't cut yourself handling the ropes. Even cycling gloves will do. Items such as clothes pegs, which you can use when drying wet swimwear on the railing, or a waterproof bag, in which you can hide valuables without the risk of getting wet, are also useful during your holiday. Although most boats will loan you towels and linens, you'll appreciate a quick-drying towel that you won't have to worry about whether or not it's dry. It will dry very quickly.


If you drive, you can make your purchase in advance. There are rather smaller and less well-equipped shops in the marina, so we recommend stopping at a supermarket somewhere else on the way. You can then shop for sundries in the marinas throughout the week, and be sure not to skip the local restaurants. Do you have a special diet and know that the ingredients you need are hard to find abroad? Don't forget to pack everything you need. Read the article How to deal with food on a cruise: Eat, drink, sail.


On a boat, the sun burns all the more because the sun's rays reflect off the surface. Don't forget sunscreen with a high UV factor. Panthenol or another after-sun product is also good to use in the evening. There may be mosquitoes in some areas near the water. We recommend packing repellent.

First aid kit for the boat

If you take medication regularly or need special substances, such as insulin most often, pack enough of everything. We also recommend that you tell everyone in your crew where your medication is stored so that everyone knows where to find it in case of an emergency. There is a basic first aid kit on the boat containing bandages, disinfectant, conventional pain killers, etc. Even so, we always carry our own personal first aid kit, which contains everything we might need in case of nausea, diarrhea, constipation, allergies or injury.

YACHTING.COM TIP: I'm sure you've heard about seasickness and you may be worried about it. Read all about this phenomenon to be prepared from the start and get rid of unnecessary fear.

Equip yourself for even better fun

Pack your "toys" on the boat. We mean equipment like:

  • Paddleboard
  • Snorkeling kit
  • Inflatable rings, flamingos, popsicles...
  • Sea bob
  • Jet surf or foil
  • If you like to read, don't forget a book
  • Fishing rod
  • A musical instrument to create a romantic atmosphere

TIP YACHTING.COM: Read about the accompanying activities in the text What else can you experience on a boat?

Contact details

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Denisa Nguyenová

Denisa Nguyenová

Sales Consultant

+420 730 188