With the 2023 sailing season now in our wake, it's the perfect time to reflect and learn from the past and start looking ahead. To help you navigate the upcoming year, we've put together handy tips to ensure your 2024 sailing adventuress are not only enjoyable but also kind to your wallet. Join us for a bit of inspiration and save money, time and peace of mind for your next boating vacation.
How to save money?
Let's face it, money is a significant factor for most of us. Reflecting on the past season, we've compiled practical advice for saving money without compromising the enjoyment and comfort of your boating holiday..
Book early or wait for last-minute deals?
Our clients often wonder whether it's better to secure their boat bookings early or hold out for last-minute offers. Based on our observations in the charter market over recent years, we can definitively say that Early Bird deals, which start in autumn and run until the early spring, consistently provide the most value. Though last-minute deals can sometimes yield savings, they have become rarer in the aftermath of Covid, with fewer boats available and last-minute discounts harder to find.
Beautiful sailing in spring and autumn
While the allure of summer sailing remains strong, with marinas filled to capacity and prices peaking, savvy sailors are discovering the charms of the shoulder seasons. Spring and autumn offer quieter waters, a more relaxed atmosphere, and often better sailing conditions than their high season counterpart. With the seas more tranquil and locals more welcoming due to fewer tourists, these seasons are becoming increasingly popular among those looking to enjoy their voyage in peace.
YACHTING.COM TIP: For the 2024 sailing season, consider setting sail in spring or autumn to take advantage of significantly lower charter fees — often up to 50% less than during peak season. For a deep dive into the advantages of off-peak sailing, check out our 5 reasons to set sail in autumn. And for those with their hearts set on Croatia, take a look at our 12 benefits of autumn sailing in Croatia for some inspiration.
Lesser known destinations
We encounter it every day. Captains complaining either to our team or on yachting discussion groups that it is expensive in Croatia. So, why not set course for less crowded and more budget-friendly shores? Greece, endorsed enthusiastically by yachting.com's owner Tomas Vondracek and skipper Jakub Machalicky, is renowned for its excellent sailing conditions, delectable cuisine, reasonable prices, and the warm hospitality of its people. Alternatively, consider Montenegro for its stunning vistas or Turkey's sun-drenched, azure coastlines for an idyllic getaway. For those seeking adventure with a side of beauty, the Canary Islands present a more demanding but equally rewarding sailing experience.
YACHTING.COM TIP: Are you interested in Montenegro? Then check out our 8 reasons to sail to Montenegro. If you're more drawn to the East, find out more in our comprehensive guide to yachting in Turkey. Prefer to keep your course within European waters? Discover our best sailing routes in Greece by experience and interest. And if you crave the vastness of the ocean, read Ocean sailing: set course for the Canary Islands!.
The atmosphere of Montenegro is majestic.
How to save time?
Time is money, so if we have already discussed saving finances, we should turn our attention to time. Because who wants to waste precious moments and opportunities on a vacation, right?
By plane or by car
Many travelers, especially from the Czech Republic, are accustomed to driving to Croatia. EU integration has eased border wait times, but bottlenecks persist.
An account from summer 2023 illustrates the point: "Traffic on the Maribor-Zagreb highway now stacks up at the Trakoščan toll booth in Croatia instead of the Slovenian customs. In Istria, the Dragonja crossing into Croatia is smooth, but the return trip gets congested at Koper due to an inadequate roundabout—previously mitigated by customs delays," reports Captain Pavel Janeček.
For the 2024 season, consider flying. Booking flights well in advance can be more economical than the costs associated with driving (fuel, tolls, and parking). By securing a boat early, you can triple your savings — lower boat rental rates, reduced airfares, and invaluable time saved behind the wheel.
Try flying to Croatia and you won't want it any other way.
How to save your nerves?
To ensure your vacation is a serene experience, it's essential to safeguard your mental well-being. Here's how to stay composed before, during, and after your getaway.
Choose a trustworthy partner
The right charter company can make all the difference. We, at yachting.com, understand the importance of reliability. We collaborate with charter partners that have proven trustworthy over time, offering client-friendly agreements and a service level we can stand behind. Our tip for 2024 — resist the allure of dubious charter offers. The market has recently seen an influx of new companies, but not all can boast the established and contractual relationships with charter providers like those of yachting.com, a veteran in the field. Opting for an unverified charter could lead to a letdown, potentially ruining your holiday. Our consultants are here to guide you towards reputable options and advise against booking with questionable charters.
New boat versus older boat
Choosing a newer vessel over an older, less expensive one can significantly enhance your sailing experience. While there might be a temptation to economize by opting for an older boat — perhaps with the adventurous idea of applying one's handy skills at sea — this approach often doesn't pan out as smoothly as imagined. Regrettably, it can lead to frustrations, a spoiled vacation, and a vessel that’s either out of commission or lacking in comfort. We suggest investing a bit more in a newer boat. Not only are such boats less likely to have defects or signs of wear and tear, but they also typically offer more advanced designs, technology, onboard amenities, and overall comfort.
Among the new products for 2024 you will find this beautiful First 44.
Tailor-made insurance for sailors
For those familiar with our offerings at yachting.com, our newly introduced pricing packages will surely have caught your eye. A highlight within our Premium package is the unique offer of free deposit insurance – a feature you won't find with any other boat rental service. This means that your refundable deposit is secure, regardless of any accidental damage to the vessel or its equipment, a benefit that has already proved its worth for numerous clients last. With this insurance, you can set sail in a state of complete tranquility, knowing that you are thoroughly covered.
Additionally, we recognize the unpredictability of life and have thus included specialized cancellation insurance. Should there be a major family emergency, health issues affecting the captain or crew, or a need to cancel the charter, you can be reassured that you will be reimbursed. In an era where health concerns such as viruses and the flu can arise unexpectedly, this insurance provides an essential safety net.
YACHTING.COM TIP: Interested in learning more about our insurance products? Check out our page dedicated to yacht insurance.
A boating accident can happen to anyone and even "just" a broken railing can be grounds for losing your deposit.
More and more boaters are discovering the ease with which they can enjoy their holidays when they book a professional skipper on board. Whether it's a skipper with whom you can communicate comfortably in your native language, or a local Croatian or Greek who knows the sea, islands and bays like the back of their hand. With an expert at the helm, you can experience a carefree and delightful voyage, ensuring that no part of your holiday joy is left to chance. Be sure to inquire with our sales team about the option of hiring a skipper when you book your yacht.
YACHTING.COM TIP: Planning to go sailing for the first time? Don't forget to check out our Boat charter FAQs first. With this knowledge in hand, you can set sail with confidence and make the most of your holiday.